Patronymica Britannica: A Dictionary of the Family Names of The United Kingdom
Patronymica Britannica: A Dictionary of the Family Names of The United Kingdom - Mark Antony Lower. Containing several thousand surnames—mainly English, but also Scotch, Welsh and Irish—this dictionary lays out the history and classification of family nomenclatures. The author cites the year 1000 as “the proximate date for the assumption of family names” and credits this assumption of surnames by England with being an “importation of the Norman Conquest.” Arranged alphabetically, entries include the etymology of each name, its history and origin and whenever possible, the “epoch at which it first appears in our records.” Cross-references to spelling variations are included. Introductory articles discuss “surname literature;” surnames in America; Scottish, Welsh and Irish surnames; and the classification and corruption of surnames. The author has written: “My design throughout has been chiefly etymological—using that word in its most popular, and least technical sense. I wish to convey to the inquirer information as to the immediate origin of each particular surname.” He shows how surnames have been derived from one’s own landed possessions; from trades, occupations and offices; from characteristics of mind and body; from baptismal or personal names; from the animal and vegetable kingdoms; from social relations; from times and seasons; from oaths and exclamations; from the naturalization of foreign surnames; and more. This dictionary will be very valuable to researchers looking for the origins of their family surnames and to those generally interested in nomenclature and name etymology. (1860, 1996), 2014, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 490 pp.