Surnames, DNA, and Family History

Surnames, DNA, and Family History

by George Redmonds, Turi King, David Hey
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Surnames, DNA, and Family History by George Redmonds, Turi King, David Hey

This book combines linguistic and historical approaches with the latest techniques of DNA analysis and shows the insights these offer for every kind of genealogical research. It focuses on British names, tracing their origins to different parts of the British Isles and Europe and revealing how names often remain concentrated in the districts where they first became established centuries ago. In the process the book casts fresh light on the ancient peopling of the British Isles. The authors consider why some names die out while others spread across the globe. They use recent advances in DNA testing to investigate whether particular surnames have single, dual, or multiple origins, and to find out if the various forms of a single name have a common origin. They show how information from DNA can be combined with historical evidence and techniques to distinguish between individuals with the same name and different names with similar spellings, and to identifty the name of the same individual or family spelt in various ways in different times and places.

The final chapter of this paperback edition, looking at the use of genetics in historical research, has been updated to include new work on the DNA of Richard III.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199582648
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/17/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

George Redmonds is a freelance historian, specialising in Names Studies and Local History. He has lectured widely in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand and in 2001 presented the BBC Radio 4 series 'Surnames, Genes and Genealogy'. His numerous books include Surnames and Genealogy (1997) and Names and History (2004).

Turi King read Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge before undertaking her MSc and PhD in genetics at the University of Leicester. For the past ten years her research has focused on the link between surnames and genetics and its applications in the fields of forensics, epidemiology, genealogy and population history.

David Hey is Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History at the University of Sheffield. He is President of the British Association for Local History and the Chairman of the British Record Society. His numerous books include The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History ( third edition, 2008).

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Surnames, DNA, and Family History 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CharlesA More than 1 year ago
The book emphasizes how DNA testing is providing new insights in the field of surname research. It explains that many British names had single, rather than multiple, family origins, that many names, even common ones, have remained concentrated in their districts of origin, that many names have changed beyond recognition through the centuries, and that a huge majority have become extinct. Most intriguing to me is the book's speculation that many surnames have been genetically hijacked as a result of their original family's failure to produce surviving male offspring, while children who were informally adopted or conceived through undisclosed infidelity within that family became prolific and eventually dominant.