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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The theme here is the relevance of first name and surname studies, and the special role reserved for genealogists in Britain and overseas, both as beneficiaries and contributors. This takes into account recent and significant developments in the methodology of both subjects. In the case of first names, the emphasis is on the practices which characterized name-giving in earlier centuries and the value of comparative frequency studies for the period 1377–1700. The move in surname research has been away from etymology and into matters such as historic distribution, linguistic development, the nature of origins, ramification, and expansion or decline. In a wider context the subjects are seen as having implications for family and social historians, linguists, place-name specialists, geneticists, and demographers.

Keywords: surnames, first names, genealogy, naming practices, multi-disciplinary approach, changed methodology

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