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Publication Detail
The quantitative analysis of family names: historic migration and the present day neighbourhood structure of Middlesbrough, United Kingdom.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Longley PA, Webber R, Lloyd D
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    31, 48
  • Journal:
    Annals of the Association of American Geographers
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    family names, migration, neighbourhood profiling
This paper describes the way in which a unique new quantitative data resource and evidence base has been used to relate historic measures of U.K. migration flows to the contemporary socio-economic patterning of neighbourhoods. The resource enables generalised analysis of the regional origins of British and Irish people from their family names, and makes it possible to relate the current regional distribution of names in the US, Great Britain and other English speaking countries to equivalent information from the Great Britain Census of 1881. Illustrative applications may be viewed at www.spatial-literacy.org. In this paper we develop a number of indices of the historic origins of English and Irish family names, as a prelude to detailed micro scale analysis of late twentieth century surname patterns. We illustrate the usefulness of these various indices through case study analysis of Middlesbrough and East Cleveland, an area of the U.K. which attracted large numbers of economic migrants during its rapid nineteenth century industrialisation. We use our quantitative evidence of the historical distributions of different family names in order to characterise the social mobility of descendants of Scottish, Irish and Cornish migrants, and to evaluate the practice of ascribing family names to particular localities in historical GIS. The case study thus illustrates the ways in which our data resource may be used to substantiate existing thinking about historic migration and residential structure, as well as to generate and investigate new hypotheses that might guide future work.
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