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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2012
I'm not sure who the target audience is for this book as it combines genealogical and historical research with the latest DNA mapping techniques. I've got a biological sciences background and found myself having to concentrate very hard to understand the latter. The early chapters give an overview of how and when surnames came into use employing historical research into old documents. We then learn how researchers have tried to work out how surnames were chosen often using old maps. I found it fascinating how many surnames have retained their geographical distribution, relating to their original place of origin, even into the 20th century. Older methods of tracing surnames through genealogical methods are described and lastly the latest method of tracking surnames using DNA mapping on the male Y-chromosome is described and how the technique can give more precise information about the origins and distribution of a name and in some cases prove or disprove a link to an ancestor and settle whether family trees with the same surname are in fact related.
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