Anthropologists The Influence of Cultural/Bio-anthropologists 2002-3 This looks to be a most exciting area for the immediate future. Local historians have debated as to what constitutes a community? The area that inhabitants most often identified with. Is it the parish or a much wider area? And if the latter, how can its possible boundaries be defined? Family historians know that at the parish level there has been a good-turnover in surnames. But does this hide a stability if a larger area were to be chosen? David Hey refers to this larger area as the ‘country’ as in the Black Country, Phythian-Adams alludes to the term ‘pays’ and has drawn maps of possible cultural provinces derived from watersheds and drainage basins. But how does one define such an area? Is there one or are there many kinship areas? The area could be defined by a day’s walk occupational network religious network There is another possibility – the mapping of total surname distributions from the 1881 census to help define these cultural regions. [However, the distribution of a name does not equate to the assimilation of that name in the local community. Due to kinship networks the reach of a name might be wider than its physical distribution.] Results show that inhabitants of English city A might have migrated to city B, but the latter’s inhabitants seem to have been inhibited from returning the compliment. London stands out as an almost universal hoover – 95% of all the UK’s names can be found in that city. Graham Ullathorne in a 2004 study1 of migration from Derbyshire to Hallamshire wrote:- “..while many core High Peak names migrated into Sheffield, it appears that the core names of Sheffield did not spread out into the High Peak… It indicates a paradox; that there is no real border, yet the surnames of the High Peak and Sheffield are separately distinctive. A similar phenomenon exists across the Derbyshire-Staffordshire border shown in the surnames of Longnor in 1532-33” (Graham Ullathorne, Northern History, 2004) And where else? Might there have been regions defined not by economic factors, but by a sense of belonging? Kevin Schurer, in a study of three Essex parishes that fringe the border with Hertfordshire, discerned that the overwhelming majority of marriage partners came from parishes within the same county. It was as if the county boundary, a border marked by the River Stort, was acting as a psychological barrier. (Kevin Schurer Regional identity and populations in the past in Naming, Society and Regional Identity.) This total mapping approach applies not just to the UK: Does New York or Boston or Virginia retain a significant number of all surnames? what would a comparison of the surnames present in say 1880 between Boston and St Louis reveal? And would a comparison taken 20 years later be significantly different? Did the Great Migration westwards involve a cross-section of all names or just a few? Surname density can be plotted against area. Some areas like Wales will surely reveal low density; whilst Lancashire a high one. Will clearly defined boundaries emerge (aligned with physical features such as rivers, hills, etc.) or will the result be mainly amorphous? (One of the tacit assumptions that bio-anthropologists make for isonymic studies is that surname densities are even, or graduated.) Which individual surnames will be the most diffuse, and which the most concentrated? Will they correlate to type e.g. locatives? Surnames and occupations Malcom Smith (University of Durham) has presented two case studies of closed communities (in Human Biology and History (2002)). He has used the techniques of isonymy (people bearing the same surname) and statistically manipulated the data in a sophisticated manner to produce 2-d data presented graphically. The surnames of the area are divided into broad occupational groups, farmers, fishermen, etc., for each census 1841-1881. These are then plotted against each other to reveal: movement – whether new names are entering these occupations how the surname/occupation groups compare against each other I know that this cursory description does no justice whatsoever in conveying the power of the technique. As the author says, it has potential, for example, in throwing new light on the closed and open parishes debate. Forenames and cultural groups Recent work by Ken Tucker on contemporary Canadian surnames has proposed that the relative size of the associated forename pool can be used to identify individual cultural groups. Could this forename-surname analysis be applied to historical UK studies in any way? Will areas of low surname density be found to have a much wider pool of forenames? Will not only surnames be strongly identified with individual occupations but also forenames or forename pools? Onomastic fields When surnames were taken, (or became adhered to people), what were the limitations on choice? Are there some nouns which were never used (consciously or unconsciously) as surnames? Examples? Can some regional surnames be grouped into onomastic fields because they are terms for similar broad features? In his 2003 article, David Hey uses the example of Greengrass, as a notionally widespread name, which in fact is found predominantly just in East Anglia, as is the surname Ling. Do both names belong to the same regional onomastic field? In southern England, the surnames Chalk, Chalker, Down, Downer show similar distributions (as does Stone, surprisingly). They were names potentially available for use, just in the south(???), but not Flint which, as a likely nickname, is strong in the Pennines but relatively unknown in the south, except for Sussex. 1881 distribution of names with the element ‘Royd’ Onomastic dialects Whilst the above examples, relate to words that belonged to a common vocabulary, there are dialect words which are restricted in use to a limited area. These might be termed onomastic dialects when used as surnames. Royd is a Yorkshire dialect word for Road i.e. a clearing, and generates surnames such as (in descending frequency): Holroyd, Ackroyd, Murgatroyd, Boothroyd, Oldroyd, Learoyd, Ormondroyd, Howroyd… (An exception is Broyd, an Essex surname, which must have a separate origin.) The distribution map demonstrates how resticted was the use of the element Royd, reaching its highest use in the Halifax Registration district.