For the USA, there is a
Distribution map (generously supplied by the Quaker-L list). Just type
in the surname, select the year (1850-1990) and a map showing surname
distribution will appear. Represented as one for every thousand(s) surnames
in each state.
Email you'll find some email addresses to search...but remember to not
become a spam meister in your enthusiasm! Similarly, check out
For Northern Ireland To search
by county on - put the FULL county name
into the area field and it will work
e.g. County Tyrone (and not Co Tyrone or Tyrone)
In addition to numbers geographically in the searched county, this search
brings up 'out of county' entries for surrounding area phone codes that
overlap the county boundaries.
Middle names in English-speaking places appeared very gradually. They were
virtually unheard of before 1700, and the earliest example of a documented
middle name was about 1646. Middle names continued to be quite rare until the
1800's. After about 1850, they came to be customary in most places.
With a custom that was becoming ever more popular, it is difficult to tell
whether someone who used a middle name as an adult actually started out with it,
especially if there is a birth record that leaves it out. Of course, there could
be reasons why a middle name bestowed upon a child might be omitted from
official records, such as a clerk who felt these "new-fangled" middle
names were a silly affectation and simply refused to write them down.
Mathesonís Special Report on Surnames of Ireland shows surnames with five or
more entries in the birth indexes of 1890, and the main counties in which they
were found. The birth rate was 1:44 at that time so you can estimate the number
of people of the name at that time. On microfiches, available from A. J. Morris
for a very reasonable sum.
Genealogical Publishing has it in book form.
Irish Genealogy, a record finder, ed by Donal Begley, Heraldic Arts, Nassau St.,
Dublin 2, includes Matheson's Special Report.
Useful Books about Irish and "Scots-Irish" Surnames
An excellent resource for anyone interested in the origin of their Irish,
Scotch-Irish, English-Irish ect. surnames is Dr. Edward MacLysaght The
Surnames of Ireland. Published by Irish Academic Press, 6th Ed. is ISB
Irish Pedigrees, 2 vol
O'Hart. Lists many Irish families "back to Adam and Eve!
Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Dublin 1892,
ISBN 0-8063-0737/4 Set Number, ISBN 0-8063-1259-9
Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia,
Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta Co., 1745-1800.
By Lyman Chalkley. 3 vols., 623+652+712p. (1912) 1993.
An invaluable source for Scotch-Irish research, this set contains
marriages, wills, deeds, fee books, delinquents & more. Indexed.
Rosenkrantz & Satran. Beyond Sean and Shannon. (This one is from
memory-- it may be *Beyond Shannon and Sean.*)
Sierra, Judy. Celtic baby Names:Traditional names from Ireland, Scotland,
Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. Eugene, OR: Folkprint, 1997.
Names in general:
Ingraham, Holly. People's Names: A Cross-Cultural Reference Guide to The
Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names and Cultures.
Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland & Co, 1997.
Note: This is an excellent and fascinating book. Aimed at writers who need
authentic names for their novels, it has lists of names and commentary on naming
patterns from many times & places.