Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Genealogy Mapping

It has been the Clarke family mission for the last 150 years to spread the 'Clarke' name across the length and breadth of this green & pleasant land. As you can tell from the map above it is a mission with which we have spectacularly failed.   

In the 1850s the surname 'Clarke' was largely concentrated in London, the Midlands and the North West of the UK. In 2016 the 'Clarke' family name was concentrated mainly in London, the Midlands and the North West.

I created the animated map above showing the concentration of the 'Clarke' surname over the last 150 years using the Consumer Data Research Unit's GBNames application. GBNames uses historical census data and modern consumer registers to show where where family names in Britain have been mostly concentrated since 1851. 

If you type a surname into GBNames you can view a map which allows you to see where that name has been most concentrated over the last 150 odd years (measured as where the population-weighted density of the surname is highest). As well as the animated map GBNames provides information on the individual parishes where the name has been historically most concentrated and the areas where the name is most concentrated today. It also provides you with an estimate of the probable ethnicity of the name and the number of people with that surname in each year in the CDRU's database. 

If you live in France then you can visualize the historical and geographical distribution of your surname on Geneanet. Enter a French family name into Geneanet and it will show you an interactive map showing the geographical distribution of that surname since 1500.

This map includes an interactive timeline control which allows you to view the geographic distribution of the surname for any selected date range. The map will also update to reveal the number of people with that surname for the selected dates. Beneath the map you can view a list of the municipalities with the most individuals with that surname and how many individuals with that name in each municipality. 

If you want to research the geographical distribution of surnames in other countries then you can use:

You can also explore the global distribution of your family name using Forebears. You can use Forebears to undertake a global search for your surname. If you enter a surname into Forebears it will tell you the meaning of your name and show you a map of the global distribution of your name. Beneath this generated map you can view a list showing the number of incidences of your surname recorded in each country around the world.

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