The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Edited by Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates and Peter McClure
Published by Oxford University Press

The definitive reference work on family names and their origins. Published by Oxford University Press.

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland is a unique reference work containing more than 45,000 English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish and immigrant surnames, making it the most comprehensive such resource published to date.

This unparalleled archive includes every surname with more than current 100 bearers and those with more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census. Each entry contains variant spellings of the name, an explanation of its origins, examples of early bearers (some dating back to the Middle Ages) and geographical distribution. There are also genealogical and bibliographical notes, where relevant.

To compile the entries, the editors have used a range of original sources, such as wills, tax records, court documents, parish registers and Nonconformist circuit records. Their research has led to the inclusion of names never previously explained and corrections to previous errors. They have also contributed an introductory essay explaining the historical background, formation and typology of surnames, a glossary and a guide to researching family names and ancestry. Together, this material makes this the most authoritative reference on family names available today.

‘The pedigree of the work is excellent and in keeping with the scholarly reputation of works from Oxford University Press.’

  1. Diana Dixon, Reference Reviews

4 volumes
3,136 pages
276mm x 219mm
Published by Oxford University Press

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