Saturday, January 21, 2006


Anne Finch of Westgate writes:

“I wonder if many of the Thanet life readers have investigated their origins, on the new website linked to the study, by surname to the area they originated from in 1881. It is very interesting the site is

It examined the distribution of 25,000 surnames in the 1998 electoral roll and compared them with the 1881 census to chart how people have moved around the country.

The study- paid for by the Government-Funded Economic and Social Research Council also highlighted immigration patterns.

The name Patel which did not appear at all in the 1881 census is now the 40th most common UK surname. There are 80,000 with the highest concentration in Harrow, North-West London.

It is very interesting, I thought my family originated from another part of the country, but I was wrong apparently.”

Ed: I see what you mean Anne. The 1881 census confirms what I knew about the origins of my own family surname in the Lancashire area, which you can see on the map with purple, followed by red as the hotspots. Apparently there were three fewer of us in 1998 than there were in 1881.

1 comment:

James Maskell said...

It is very difficult to get into though. I heard about this site from the BBC website and it takes a lot of patience.