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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2019 > Books


Karen Clare takes a look at some new titles of interest in the world of family history

Great British Family Names and Their History: What’s in a Name? by John Moss

Language and family names across Great Britain are a legacy of the chequered history of our islands, a melting pot of migrating and invading peoples over the centuries that have made us what we are today.

In his fascinating directory, John Moss explores the origin and history of more than 300 of the nation’s most interesting surnames, passed down from Celtic, Danish, Saxon or Norman ancestors. What you won’t find are the surnames based on occupations, such as Butcher or Baker, nor those originating from counties and cities (think Devonshire, York, Chester). Instead we find the ancient, historic and noble, those names that played a significant role in the nation’s history, politics or culture. These can be iconic family names such as Cromwell, Churchill, Wellington and Shakespeare, or those that are simply interesting in their own right or peculiar to a certain area, from the Aske family of Aughton (in the north-east of England) to Ireland’s Wingfield family of County Wexford.

The author has made extensive use of old sources, ranging from translations of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and the Domesday Book to Pipe Rolls and medieval treasury records, to delve into the history of these names and trace them through time.

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We're all busy in today's 24/7 world - but we've got solutions to help you make the most of that precious time and take your family history to the next level... 1. Discover how to transform your approach to your ancestral research in our 20-minute read by professional genealogist Susie Douglas. 2. Make that dream of writing up your family history a reality with our simple strategy for writing up your family history in #1,000words". 3. And never overlook the value of those core vital records. This issue we're exploring 500 years of marriage records and showing you how to use them on your family quest. Plus more than 25 websites to transform your Irish genealogy, memories of the moon landings in this 50th anniversary year, and so much more... Enjoy!