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15 May 2020 18:38

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names Surname The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

An online surname dictionary database is allowing families to discover information about their ancestry for free while in lockdown. The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland features more than 45,000 family names online. Searching your surname on the website could help you shine a light on where your ancestors came from, offering information regarding surnames with English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish origins, in addition to family names from immigrants who have settled in Britain and Ireland since the 16th century. While the website is usually only accessible through subscription services, from 15 May until 21 May the online database is free to use, as part of a collaboration between Oxford University Press and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to mark the UN's International Day of Families on Friday. Mike Collins, head of public engagement at the AHRC, explained the development of the online dictionary "was made possible by careful and painstaking research over many years".

At a time when many family members are apart, it will help bring people together as they discuss the biographies of their surnames," he told The Guardian. The online dictionary was compiled by researchers from UWE (University of the West of England) Bristol. Richard Coates, professor emeritus of onomastics at the university, said it was a "splendid" idea to offer the dictionary for free for a limited period. "It can be an excellent way of helping people begin to trace their family histories." Coronavirus: London on lockdown 1/29 A man walks down a deserted Camden High Street Photos Angela Christofilou 2/29 Goodge Street Station is one of the many stations closed to help reduce the spread Angela Christofilou 3/29 An empty street in the heart of Chinatown Angela Christofilou 4/29 People in masks in Chinatown a day after the lockdown Angela Christofilou 5/29 A near-empty Piccadilly Circus during the first week of lockdown Angela Christofilou 6/29 Sonja, my neighbour, who I photographed while taking a short walk. As we approach the end of the second week most shops now have started to stock up Angela Christofilou 23/29 Empty streets around Soho Angela Christofilou 24/29 A noticeboard on Camden High Street urges the public to stay at home Angela Christofilou 25/29 Camden High Street, one of London's busiest tourist streets turns quiet Angela Christofilou 26/29 Thriller Live confirmed its West End run ended in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak Angela Christofilou 27/29 Empty and eerie Soho streets after stricter rules on social distancing announced Angela Christofilou 28/29 A woman pauses for a cigarette on Hanway Street, behind Tottenham Court Road Angela Christofilou 29/29 A man steps outside onto Hanway Street, that sits behind what is usually a bustling retail hub Angela Christofilou 1/29 A man walks down a deserted Camden High Street Photos Angela Christofilou 2/29 Goodge Street Station is one of the many stations closed to help reduce the spread Angela Christofilou 3/29 An empty street in the heart of Chinatown Angela Christofilou 4/29 People in masks in Chinatown a day after the lockdown Angela Christofilou 5/29 A near-empty Piccadilly Circus during the first week of lockdown Angela Christofilou 6/29 Sonja, my neighbour, who I photographed while taking a short walk.

UK stores have closed until further notice Angela Christofilou 10/29 A notice displayed on a shop window in Camden Angela Christofilou 11/29 As part of the lockdown, all non-essential shops have been ordered to close.Image from Camden High Street Angela Christofilou 12/29 A skateboarder wearing a mask utilises his exercise allowance in the Camden area Angela Christofilou 13/29 Communities have been coming together in a time of need Angela Christofilou 14/29 A woman stands alone in a deserted Oxford Street. As we approach the end of the second week most shops now have started to stock up Angela Christofilou 23/29 Empty streets around Soho Angela Christofilou 24/29 A noticeboard on Camden High Street urges the public to stay at home Angela Christofilou 25/29 Camden High Street, one of London's busiest tourist streets turns quiet Angela Christofilou 26/29 Thriller Live confirmed its West End run ended in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak Angela Christofilou 27/29 Empty and eerie Soho streets after stricter rules on social distancing announced Angela Christofilou 28/29 A woman pauses for a cigarette on Hanway Street, behind Tottenham Court Road Angela Christofilou 29/29 A man steps outside onto Hanway Street, that sits behind what is usually a bustling retail hub Angela Christofilou Magazine, stated that the online dictionary "is the most authoritative resource for anyone wanting to understand the origin of their family name". An online dictionary explaining the meanings and origins of more than 45,000 Irish and British surnames is being made accessible to all in the hope that it might help bring families separated by Covid-19 closer together. For the next week, people will be able to tap into the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland for free and find out where their surnames – and so perhaps their ancestors – came from. Mike Collins of the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council, which is working on the initiative with Oxford University Press, says people are also being asked to share photographs and objects they feel capture their family story."This amazing database covers tens of thousands of family names and was made possible by careful and painstaking research over many years," he says.

"It feels appropriate to give people free access to this searchable database for a week. The dictionary was compiled by a team of researchers from the University of the West of England, in Bristol. Richard Coates, the university's professor emeritus of onomastics, who led the research, says: "There seems to be perpetual interest in where surnames come from. It can be an excellent way of helping people begin to trace their family histories." There are dozens of obvious surname links to occupations, such as Smith (a name carried by more than 500,000 British and Irish people), or to places, such as Sutton or Green. The dictionary suggests nearly 40,000 family names are native to Ireland and Britain; the remainder reflect the diverse languages and cultures of immigrants who have settled since the 16th century. So many people have taken up the offer of free access that the dictionary's website has been crashing; Oxford University Press is working to bring it back online as soon as possible. It offers information just about every surname that has more than 100 bearers (and more than 20 in the 1881 census). Or maybe you are named after a place, think Green, Sutton or Leicester. Mike Collins, Head of Public Engagement at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: "This amazing database covering tens of thousands of family names was made possible by careful and painstaking research over many years by a team of researchers at UWE Bristol. "It feels so appropriate to give people across the UK and Ireland free access to this searchable database for a week as we celebrate the international day of families. At a time when many family members are apart it will help bring people together as they discuss the biographies of their surnames." The Oxford Dictionary is based on a research project – Family Names of the United Kingdom. It was funded by the AHRC and led by Professor Richard Coates and a team of researchers based at UWE Bristol that ran between 2010 and 2016. (Please note the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland is experiencing unusually high levels of traffic due to the interest in this offer).

Comments

shaun96 May 15 2020 18:44
It's not a hard book to read. But the author has a habit of confusing the industry-standard full name with a surname. The reader will probably have to read the book several times to get a grasp of the language. And the author is the author. He's not a dictionary expert, and he does not understand the modern English spelling system