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Discovering Surnames: Their origins and meanings Paperback – 28 Feb 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Discovering Surnames: Their origins and meanings
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  • The Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames
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  • A Dictionary of British Place-Names (Oxford Quick Reference)
Total price: £32.06
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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd; 3rd edition (28 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747804850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747804857
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 64.5 x 449.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

The late J. w. Freeman had written historical articles for newspapers and magazines for many years. He became interested in the history and origins of surnames in the 1960s and his interest never diminished.


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This is an interesting little book, giving basic information about the origins of many British surnames. It only has 120 pages, but manages to give the history of names deriving from trades and crafts, nick names, geographical, Anglo-French, Anglo Saxon and Viking, and others. Who knew that people with the name Cavell is from the French chauve, which was a nickname for a bald man? Or that Hibbard and Hilbert is from the Teutonic Hildeberht, which meant battle glorious? There's even a little bit about made up names from the era of Victorian foundling hospitals. This probably won't suit the academic, but as a pick up and put down reference book for the interested amateur it is fine, and full of interesting little gems.
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This is a good book on Discovering Surnames especially if you are doing a One Name Study with the Guild of One Name Studies. There are hundreds of Scottish names missing, but then its a relatively new publication. My suggestion is to write to the publishers and let them know the surname that is missing. Its a good book for looking up specific surnames and its a shame you can't look for the surname before you purchase it - out of the thousands of surnames I have in my family tree there are only a handful of surnames listed. Quite disappointing - but then thats really nobody's fault. Its good for doing essays on surnames though.
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unfortunately, none of the surnames that I looked for were in the book.
So wasn't any help to me.
Maybe other people found it helpful?
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one for dipping into for family history.
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