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About the study
I have recently started this ONS although I have been researching my wife's SHIRE's for a while now. The aim is to find out as much as I can about the name and those with the surname, both in the UK and worldwide.
I haven't yet registered any variants although there are bound to be a number of them.
From previous research on my wife's SHIRE's, I am pretty confident that they originated in the Somerset area of England, probably around Crewkerne. Hopefully, my study will determine whether my gut feeling is correct.
Purely on the UK Census excluding any mis-spellings etc, there were between 102 SHIRE's in 1841, peaking in 1911 with 435.
Distribution of the name
Coincidentally, in both the 1841 and the 1901 census, 57% were living in Somerset.
My research is in its early days and I am still analysing UK census data between 1841 and 1911.