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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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What's in a name?

How British names conquered the world
By Charles Clover http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...surnames31.xml
(Filed: 31/08/2006)

The biggest concentration of people called Salt is in Stoke-on-Trent, as is the greatest number of people called Pepper, according to a new study which maps the spread of British names across the globe.


The number of people with either surname is roughly equal so the reason for this is likely to be that both Salts and Peppers derived their names from people who made pots for condiments in the Potteries, according to the authors of the study, published at the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference yesterday.

What the study of 20,000 British surnames over five generations has enabled researchers to do for the first time is to track the migration of people with British names and to see where the largest concentration of people of that name lives.

Now anyone may do this by logging on to the website www.spatial-literacy.org.

The name Blair, for example, originated in the west of Scotland. The number of Blairs in Britain has grown by 50 per cent since the 19th century to 12,473 today. They are outnumbered, however, by their 27,379 cousins in the United States, who are concentrated in Kentucky. There is also a respectable concentration of 2,581 Blairs in Tasmania.

The name Beckham originated in Walsingham, Norfolk, and although it cannot be traced in Australia, descendants of Beckhams cluster today in Northland, New Zealand, and Mississippi.

A database of more than 100 million people's names in the United States, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada was used to track the British migration.

The authors of the study say that the size and extent of the big diasporas of British people living abroad, such as prisoners and settlers to Australia, and Scottish and English colonialists in Ireland, were unknown until the latest developments in information technology.

The authors have devised a ranking of the most adventurous and least adventurous names. There are relatively few Yorkshire names, such as Broadbent, Midgeley or Illingworth, in the United States.

This may be because Yorkshire has generally been prosperous and not subject to major disruptions such as the Highland Clearances.

The Welsh are less travelled than the Scots, the English or the Irish.

The most travelled names, not surprisingly, tend to be from Scotland, Cornwall or some of the grimmer northern towns such as Bradford or Halifax.

There are, for instance, fewer McDonalds in Britain now than in 1881 and more in the United States, where the largest concentration is in Mississippi.

Richard Webber, visiting professor at University College, London, and one of the authors of the study, said: "The conclusion we've come to is that people think people migrate randomly to another country whereas in fact migration flows are very specific. They tend to move from one part of one country to another part of another country at a specific time — Scots went to Tasmania in the 1890s, for instance, and people from Cornwall to Wyoming in the 1860s."

The reasons for names disappearing extend beyond migration. Researchers compiled a list of "most embarrassing" names, which people have tended to change.

There were 3,211 Cocks in Britain in 1881 — when most were centred around Truro — but only 826 in 1996. Likewise, the number of Handcocks, Smellies, Haggards, Slows, Willys, Piggs, Hustlers, Nutters and Glasscocks has fallen.

Conclusions can also be reached about Christian names. The upper classes, defined by educational achievement, have tended to stick to the same Christian names over time — the top 10 being Felicity, Katherine, Phillippa, Penelope, Elizabeth, Hilary, Giles, Annabel, Alastair and Jeremy. The lower classes, defined by education, are more likely to choose newer names. Tracey or Tracy, topping the list, followed by Michelle, Lee, Darren, Jason, Donna, Annie and Kelly.

The influence of British names extends outside English speaking countries. Nelson and Wellington are both used in Portugal and Brazil — Nelson Mandela's Christian name is thought by researchers to be a faint echo of Portuguese influence in South Africa.

There are many Byrons — used as a Christian name — in Greece. Further discoveries, however, will have to wait for the researchers to widen their database.
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 07:26 PM
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I did some academic work on English names once for a Humanities course. It was very interesting. Normans had surnames going back to the Dark Ages - Viking society was caste-oriented, with each individual having an pre-assigned military position. That way they could be called from the fields and immediately organize into infantry, cavalry, etc. A person's name was first name/military assignment. The Scandanavian suffix for "man" was "ing", from whence we get terms like "earthling" and "underling" (undarlowing, beneath a low man, a slave). We get all kinds of names that indicate rank in these armies -Notting (common English name "Nottingham") is a "Nothing Man" - a man who owns no military property but is free - a foot soldier who must be supplied with weapons. A Low-ing, a lowman, a farmer of some sort, who might bring some weapons, but no major property like a horse. A horseman was a nay-ing (nay - neigh from the sound a horse makes), from which eventually came the word knight. Booty was divided according to these ranks. There are all kinds of modern English names of this type, Epping (the heralds, "Epp-ings", epp which became epulets), and the various premutations of "ham", meaning "from the village of" or "son of" (Chattingham, son of a serf, modern word "chattel"), actually an Saxon appellation used to describe the places the Normans settled, probably meant "fort" orginally. Chattings did not fight, they did all the logistical stuff like prepare food or load boats (hence picking cotton is "chattel slavery") - all kinds of derived words that have something to do with social rank come from these words.

The top dog was called the Koi (meaning chief) or Koi-ing (king) while his nobles were Hoi-ing (where the word "high" comes from - Hoi-ing Shariff, High Sheriff, etc, high-this-and-that, Norman noble classes not found in Anglo Saxon culture). The word Viking comes from the way these people described their bands - "We are the Volk Koi-ing of Eric the Red" for example - we are members of the King Eric the Red's folk, something many Anglo-Saxons heard right before his skull was cleaved with an axe as he asked "WTF ARE YOU GUYS! So the name "vikings" got around.

Anglo Saxons had no last name until the High Middle Ages. They were simply "John" or "Tom", which worked well once the Normans enslaved them. The Normans were the world's first accountants, which anyone who knows the story of the Domesday book realizes. In the late 1300's and early 1400's the Black Death caused a huge labor shortage and also allowed many serfs to escape from the land owned by the now dead to become free labor. This occurred at about the same time the Norman aristocracy was enjoying vast wealth from the plunder of France in the 100 Years War, and castle building became all the rage. The Norman accountants kept payroll records where the person's first name and the job they did were the line item. So now Tom, now the groundskeeper, became "Tom - Parker" in the record book, along with "Jim - Baker" and of course the legions of arms makers became "John - Smith". And the fellows who dressed smartly and guarded the doors with long spears and hallards? "Fred - Hall".

So if you have a name that ends in "ing" or "ingham" you are most likely descended from Normans. If you have a name that indicates the job of a commoner, you are descended from an Anglo-Saxon nobody.

My own name, Vining, comes from soldiers who patroled the winelands of Normandy (given to the Vikings so they would leave Paris alone, it was a cash cow as wine was a guaranteed income in those days the way oil is today) on horseback, collecting taxes and probably raping a few French girls for fun here and there, and skewering the occasional local. In 1066, William the Conqueror, known then as William the Bastard, was flat broke from killing all his brothers for the dukedom of Normandy, but he struck upon an idea - he would offer sections of England to the various "ing" classes as payment on credit for his invasion of England. The Vin-nay-ings were offered the only part of England were wine grapes can grow, which is in the Somerset countryside, where they planned to expand their operations to torturing Anglo Saxons into growing grapes for them. There are lots and lots of them still there, especially in the village of Wincanton. There aren't very many in the U.S., since these people were fairly prosperous in England. Most of them came over in the 1600's as various government flunkys.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:11 PM
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As an interesting way this knowledge can be applied, consider this map of England, and the location of Nottingham (village of nothing-men, or the base of professional year round soldiers):



We have an image of the Sheriff of Nottingham as being a leader of some horseback troop chasing old Robin around the forest. But he was not - a Sheriff collected taxes, much of which was paid in produce and live stock, in addition to commanding troops to keep order or be in the first line of defense while the citizen-army was being assembled. Notice the central locality of Nottingham, an excellent location for an army of foot soldiers that could march to any point in Upper England in about the same amount of time, while providing a bulwark against those nasty, smelly Scots, as well as backup reserve for the larger troop concentrations in Lower England. As a depot for tax payments, it must have been a tempting target for old Robin. But by the name of the place, we know that this was "the city of the professional foot soldiers". The Hollywood version of swashbucklers pushing aside the Sheriff's soldiers, was probably quite inaccurate, as one would imagine these were the last guys in England you wanted to jack with in those days.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:32 PM
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Very good information guys. To add to the Kentucky link, The Western Scots and Welch traveled to Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Penn to work in the coal mines in the 19th Century. My folks [the McAllister clan – with about 26 spellings] came from an island called Kintyre [also home to the Campbells and McDonalds] and traveled across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland [12 miles] for centuries. At some point, most wandered over to Kentucky to work in the coal fields.

Kentucky has the two largest Scottish Festivals in the US. I believe there is one bigger one in Nova Scotia, which makes sense.

Now remember laddies and lassies, if it ain’t Scottish it ain’t Shit!!

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
My own name, Vining.....
Didn't you resign from this forum in a spread spanning 25 pages; resurrected yourself in the same thread and contributed to your own resignation yet vehemently denied it at the same time? Now my head's spinning....
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:42 PM
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"There are, for instance, fewer McDonalds in Britain now than in 1881 and more in the United States, where the largest concentration is in Mississippi."

And Mississippi is the most obese state as well; it's all starting to click now.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:43 PM
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My little essay actually does much to confirm Botnst's concepts. If one was to check any phone book, they are full of Smiths and Parkers, while Chattinghams and Eppinghams are quite rare. The commoners with the castle job surnames, descended from the social classes who became lower social classes due to defeat in war and subsequent serfdom, had much better reason to immigrate away from that society than those who were descended from the winners.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BMWISBEST
Didn't you resign from this forum in a spread spanning 25 pages; resurrected yourself in the same thread and contributed to your own resignation yet vehemently denied it at the same time? Now my head's spinning....
That was someone else.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Very good information guys. To add to the Kentucky link, The Western Scots and Welch traveled to Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Penn to work in the coal mines in the 19th Century. My folks [the McAllister clan – with about 26 spellings] came from an island called Kintyre [also home to the Campbells and McDonalds] and traveled across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland [12 miles] for centuries. At some point, most wandered over to Kentucky to work in the coal fields.

Kentucky has the two largest Scottish Festivals in the US. I believe there is one bigger one in Nova Scotia, which makes sense.

Now remember laddies and lassies, if it ain’t Scottish it ain’t Shit!!
There is a whole body of work in the field of Social Psychology that deals with the Celtic orgin of the populations of the Southern States and the English orgin of the Northern States. The main thrust is the Celts liked to drink whiskey, smoke tobacco , sleep a lot, screw a lot and fight a lot, while the Englishmen were dull, hard working and thrifty, just like back home.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 08:52 PM
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And that's why they lost the Civil War.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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