Surnames and the Search for Regions

This paper is a thoroughly referenced study into the geographical distribution of family names in determining ‘cultural regions’ in the context of English Local History.  It is based on census enumerators’ books (CEBs) linked to a parish-based digital geography using records from the 1881 UK census.  Methodologies outlined and mapped include ‘surname density’ ‘mean separation distance’.
There are clear commercial and government service implications of these approaches to name analysis, particularly when groups of family names of a common origin are aggregated.  Origins data for distinct cultural groups in Australia mapped at fine levels of geography improves the ability to locate key target groups, enabling them to be reached more efficiently with appropriate messages.

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