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Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland Hardcover – November 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


"[Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland] is nothing less than a catalogue of Newfoundlanders as a distinct and unique tribe ... It should sell like hot cakes and sit, side by side, with the family Bible." Ray Guy, Newfoundland author "Perusing Seary's comments on the surnames of friends can be as gratifying as backyard gossip, and infinitely less dangerous ... A book that every school in Newfoundland should possess and display." Professor P.A. O'Flaherty "A work of major importance." Dr. Edward MacLysaght, author of Surnames of Ireland, Irish Families "The work itself is entirely and uniquely his own in concept and presentation and bears the mark of his exacting standards of scholarship ... The names themselves have a fascination not only for people in the Province who know them or who bear them but also for anyone interested in the establishment of families and their names in this erstwhile corner of British influence which still maintains a fierce sense of identity and independence. The study of the names and their origins and distribution is in itself a study of the history and settlement of the province and of the relationships between the island and those parts of Europe from which the majority of settlers came." J.D.A. Widdowson, Editor of Lore and Language

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 632 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgill-Queens University Press (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773517820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773517820
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 8.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By on October 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Seary's in-depth study of nearly three thousand family names of Newfoundland, arose from his work on the study of place names of the island. As his study progressed, Seary became fascinated with tracking families as they migrated along the coast or changed their names to avoid detection by Britain and France. His pursuit of the rise of Newfoundland surnames illustrates that relationships, place of origin, occupation, and even nicknames played very important roles.
The core of his research comes from the Official List of Electors 1955 chosen because it was the most comprehensive list of names and the communites to which they were linked before the massive resettlement programs of the 1960's. The sources of his information are vast as he quotes from scholarly works from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and the Channel Islands as well as the many censuses taken in Newfoundland since 1675 in his attempt to get at the origin of the name.
Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland attempts to trace each name to a geographical origin in England, France, Ireland, etc. as well as trace its linguistic origin. This will provide the reader of this text with answers to such questions as; What does the name mean? Where is the name found in Newfoundland? When was the first recorded incidence of it in a particular region? Of course, this information is invaluable to any researcher of family history.
The real value to the student of genealogy, is that as Seary lists the early instances of each name in various places in Newfoundland, he provides us with all kinds of tidbits of information about the person - how they were killed, where they worked, their father, etc. And as expected from a scholar such as Seary, all of this information is referenced back to an original source document!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GEM on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Excellent source of Genealogical information on family surnames, helps you find the places that you should be looking for your family. Doesn't do your genealogy for you but most certainly helps.
Names are listed in Alphabetical order, no index necessary
There are 4 editions available but the 1988 corrected Edition is the best
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hooked on genealogy on November 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If someone in your tree lived in Newfoundland 100 years ago or more this is a great book for you. Many long time Newfoundland families are mentioned in this book. Some, but not all, of the people in my tree who lived there are listed in this book. The author obviously put a lot of work into compiling this volume. It is 573 pages long and includes the various locations of each instance of a particular family name. Very helpful for genealogists or family historians.
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By Ty C on August 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best resource I have found so far for researching the names on the Island of Newfoundland. Particularly helpful if you have no idea where your immigrant ancestors came from overseas. Also helpful if you need ideas on how the name changed over time.
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