Featured Map: Possible Surname Regions in Britain

This map is one I created for a working paper I am currently writing. Using surnames from the 1881 census of Great Britain, I have been implementing a measure (the Lasker’s Distance) that establishes the similarity of populations based on their Coefficient of Isonymy. The Lasker’s Distance enables the similarities or differences between populations (in this case those in British Districts) to be thought of in terms of ‘surname space’. Put simply, areas that have more surnames in common can be considered closer together than areas with fewer common surnames. This is useful as it enables a number of analysis techniques to be applied to the resulting distance values. In this case Ward’s Hierarchical Clustering has been applied to produce 15 clusters. The map represents each of these clusters with a unique colour. These results suggest that regions are present in the geography of British surnames. This map should be considered as preliminary as it is yet to undergo academic review.
2001 Surname British Surname Clusters