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Project on to study names of immigrants

Study to examine sources dating back to 11th century
To carry meanings, origins of 150,000 surnames

31se December 2009: For good 13 years Jack remained the most popular boys’ name. And, in multicultural Britain, children named after the Muslim prophet Mohammed come a close second.

Now, to find out the latest position, the largest study of UK surnames is all set to be carried out by the University of the West of England.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the study is expected to create a database. It will carry the meanings and origins of as many as 150,000 surnames, and will be accessible to the public. It will examine sources dating back to the 11th century.

The research will be carried out with the faculty of informatics at Masaryk University, Brno, in the Czech Republic. Besides investigating the names of English and Scots origin, the study will also look at the surnames of Norman French, Gaelic, Welsh and Cornish descent, along with Huguenot, Jewish and later immigrant names.

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