Top positive review
77 people found this helpful
Great reference for variants, origins and first mentions
on 3 February 2002
This paperback is brilliant value at 18 names per penny, and my heavily used copy is dog-eared, battered and always within reach like favourite books should be. It lists surnames and variants, dates and sources of first mentions, origins and meanings. The Introduction about types of names, their historical roots and how and why they vary is a book in itself. There are 10 pages of obscure reference sources which take me into another world. An Appendix tells how to plot the distribution of surnames and locate their home. I run a very large genealogical website for Derbyshire and get many hundreds of e-mail enquiries about strange names. Looking the surnames up in this book is always rather exciting and the information often surprising. The book has been a pleasure to use. Sometimes when I can't find a name I wish I had a larger book, but I haven't come across a better reference work yet. The sheer volume of detail and the effort spent collecting it is amazing. If there were six stars this paperback would get them.