Surnames Dictionary is Free During Lockdown

An online dictionary explaining the meanings and origins of more than 45,000 British and Irish surnames is being made accessible to all in the hope that it might help bring families separated by Covid-19 closer together.

For one week only, people will be able to tap into the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland for free and find out where their surnames – and thus perhaps their ancestors – came from.

If nothing else, it might be a welcome break from the virtual family quizzes and bingo games that have stood in for face-to-face contact so often during lockdown.

Mike Collins, the head of public engagement at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which is working on the initiative with Oxford University Press, said people were also being asked to share photos and objects they felt captured their family story.

You can read more in an article by Steven Morris in The Guardian web site at: https://bit.ly/2WAQTud.

5 Comments

very fascinating; I knew my surname ( Mainprize) was from England in the Yorkshire area but this shows me a lot of other area’s also.
Thank you for this interesting news story.

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Still no Malsed or Malseed from County Donegal area (per titlables).

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I don’t see where I can access this dictionary.

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    —> I don’t see where I can access this dictionary.

    The above article states, “You can read more in an article by Steven Morris in The Guardian web site at: https://bit.ly/2WAQTud .” If you click on that link, you will then see full article in The Guardian and that article provides the link to The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland.

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I had trouble using it at first. So I set up an account. Then I went to The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland and used the “search this reference” box and put in one of my more common surnames, before trying some of my more unusual ones.

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