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Surnames, DNA, and Family History Hardcover – December 17, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199582648 ISBN-10: 0199582645

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Surnames, DNA, and Family History + DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-First Century + Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199582645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199582648
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Enthralling and compulsively readable, this book combines linguistics with genetics, genealogy, and local history to provide a fresh and eye-opening vision of the British past -- and indeed of family histories across a wider world. Focusing on the history of British surnames it casts a totally new light on what makes us who we are -- and how we can find out. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in their roots, this book offers nothing less than a new perspective on British history."--Michael Wood, historian and broadcaster


"This approachable volume on British family names bridges revisionist genealogy and new genetic research in historical linguistics...well-presented."--eLanguage


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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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mike40 on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book for some help in tracing and explaining my own family surname, but I was rather disappointed. There is a great deal of information on a great number of individual surnames, much of which is of itself very interesting, but there is very little in the way of general principles that I could apply. At times, I felt the authors were more concerned in pointing out errors in the works of earlier writers who had investigated the particular surnames they chose. The DNA section was OK as a general introduction, but again was lacking in principles which might help one decide whether different lines with similar Y-DNA spectra could reasonably be expected to have a common ancestor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kappavpi on March 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are looking up this book you're probably most interested in the use of DNA testing to trace surnames. This subject is finally discussed in more detail near the end of the book, and there are a few interesting points there. However, to arrived at that point, you must make your way through a thick forest of other information -- exhaustive explanations about a particular collection of surnames. That's nice if you happen to have any of these surnames in your family or if you could use the book like a dictionary and reference certain surnames at will. It is also a bit interesting if you're interested in history in general. But mostly it was very tiring reading so much information and waiting for something to come up that might relate to either my own family's surnames (which never did) or about actual DNA testing, which was very little.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Russell F. Shaw on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best in depth explanation of how Y-DNA analysis can solve those otherwise unsolvable genealogy problems. The authors obviously have a total handle on the subject and can explain a very complex situation to the average layperson. Throw away all other attempts to cover Y-DNA analysis. This is the reference book we have all been waiting for! Although the examples are all British surnames, the principles involved can be extrapolated to many genealogy 'brick wall" problems worldwide. Still in its infancy, Y-DNA analysis will become more important as more and more researchers become aware of its potential. Kudos to Redmonds, King and Hey. Russell Shaw.
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By JR on November 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice overview of how surnames came to be and information about the origins of hundreds of British Isles surnames, many dating back to the 1100s. Lots of referrals to other publications and websites so the reader can further explore specific names and families. If the book had gone just a little deeper into each surname mentioned, maybe only a sentence or two, I would have given it five stars.
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By Jether on March 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
When the best scholarship in multiple fields combines to create a quantum leap in my already sophisticated understanding of a subject I say 5 stars!!
The meticulous fieldwork, wealth of insightful multilingual placename etymologies coupled with an elegant explanatory style of the genetic mechanisms at play make 'Surnames' invaluable for conceptualizing the whole phenomenon of naming, where, when and from whom names are derived and the degree to which Y chromosome genetics and surnames are connected.
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