Some surnames are considered unique to certain areas. In 1890 Henry B. Guppy published "Homes of family names in Great Britain" (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968) in a study of farmers. Below is a list of "peculiar to one county names" which he found at that time for Lincolnshire. They can provide a clue to research, but should not be taken as conclusive evidence that the name originated there. (Thank you Ivan Dominikovich):
Anyan, Bermrose, Bett, Blades, Blankley, Border, Borman, Bowser, Brackenbury, Bristow, Broughton, Brownlow, Brumby, Burkill, Burkitt, Butters, Cade, Cammack, Capes, Casswell, Chatterton, Codd, Collishaw, Coney, Cooling, Cottingham, Coupland, Cranidge, Cropley, Cutforth, Cuthbert, Dannatt, Daubney, Desforges, Dook, Dows, Dowse, Drakes, Drewery, Drewry, Dring, Drury, Dudding, Elmitt, Elvidge, Epton, Evison, Forman, Frisby, Frow, Gaunt, Gilliart, Gilliat, Gillyatt, Goodyear, Goose, Grummitt, Hay, Herring, Hewson, Hides, Hildred, Hoyes, Hoyles, Hutton, Ingall, Ingle, Laming, Lamming, Leggett, Leggott, Lill, Lilley, Lynn, Mackinder, Maidens, Marfleet, Markham, Mastin, Maw, Mawer, Merrikin, Minta, Mowbray, Odling, Overton, Palethorpe, Patchett, Pick, Pickwell, Pocklington, Ranby, Reeson, Rhoades, Riggall, Rippon, Sardeson, Sargisson, Scarborough, Seholey, Scoley Scrimshaw, Scrimshire, Searson, Sergeant, Sharpley, Sneath, Stamp, Storr, Stowe, Strawson, Stuble, Temple, Thurlby, Trafford, Ullyatt, Vinter, Waddiugham, Wadsley, Wass, Westerby, Westoby, Whitsed, Willey, Willows, Winn, Wroot.
Here is a quote from "Genealogy for Beginners" by Willis & Tatchell (Phillimore):
"Spelling will be found to be very erratic in the registers. Entries were often made by the parish clerk who spelt more or less phonetically... One must remember that education... is a product of a later age, and that in the 17th and 18th century there were comparatively few in the village who could read and write... It was, however, not ignorance only that was responsible; spelling; up to about the end of the 18th century, just did not matter."
Just to add to the above, public education didn't become a national priority until about 1850. It was the rare individual who could write his own name before then. Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary was produced in 1755 and did a lot to standardize spellings.
Many Lincolnshire researchers maintain online databases or lists of personal names they are researching (or have found). Most of these lists cover areas outside of Lincolnshire as well, but include many names common to the county. Here are a few:
- Lou Mills' site has a quick surname lookup as a front-end to over 3,000 individual's names.
- Kevin Shucksmith does even better with over 41,752 persons listed at his Lincolnshire lookup site.
- Rex W. Johnson (different person!) has a list too of his North Lincolnshire relatives.
- George Smith has at least 377 Surnames and 559 Families on his website.
- Some Lincolnshire folk escaped to Western Australia. See Mary Rogers list of names.
- You may also list your surnames on the Kay Elmer site, but this is an all-England site.
- Submit a Query or Surnames for your lost Lincolnshire ancestors at Rootsweb GenBBS Pages for Lincolnshire. If you include Surnames in your query the surname list will be updated regularly.
- Another site to consider is Graham Jaunay, although this is not restricted to Lincolnshire.
- Anne Serafini from Perth, Australia, has her surname interests at Anne Serafini's list of names.
- See if your family is listed in Contemporary Biographies of Lincolnshire, 1907.
- Orphans often wound up at the orphanage in Hull, Yorkshire. It might be worthwile to check the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census extracts.
- If your family was clergy or related to clergy, look in our Extracted Clergy and Gentry file.
- In the 1870's, farmers and agricultural labourers clashed over unions and workers rights. You might find a relative listed in Liz Davies' Workers Revolt of 1872 or Farmers against the Union, 1874 file.
Please exercise care. Many books are promoted claiming to be about your surname(s). They are often collections of public data, telephone listings and already published family histories (which may have many errors), sold to you at a stiff price. Many people find these books worthless.
Also, look to see if there is a family association. Use an Internet Search Engine and type in the surname you are interested in, followed by "Family Association" and press the Enter key.
- Jim Appleyard has published a book, 350 pages with 450 photographs, "A Lincolnshire Legacy," about his APPLEYARD family that he has traced back 300 years to Laceby in Lincolnshire at the start of the 1700's. You can contact the author via e-mail at: Jim Appleyard.
- Follow the links at Lorraine M. Money's website to find the BABINGTON clan, some of whom emigrated to Australia.
- The BAILEY surname also occurs in Lincolnshire.
- For the BROWN family, see the book "William Brown and Elizabeth Taylor of Lincolnshire, England, and Franklin County, Indiana" 1940, Jay B. Wright, DeWitt, N.Y., 33 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. Call Number: CS71.B88
- The CADE family has roots in Lincolnshire.
- For CHRISTOPHER, send an e-mail to Sarah Alderson, giving details of your connexion to the name.
- For COLLINGWOOD, there is a book entitled "The Collingwood Collection", published in New Zealand, written by a Collingwood. The family emigrated to New Zealand in the 1880s from the Isle of Axholme area of Lincolnshire. John Hopkins of New Zealand has a website of COLLINGWOODs in Lincolnshire.
- Chris Drakes has a One Name Study on DRAKES/DRAX/DRACASS/DRACAS and variants.
- Anne Cole has a One Name Study on DUNCALF(E)/DUNCUFF/DUNCUFT and variants.
- There is an EDGOOSE database that is worldwide.
- Jean M. Fanthorpe has a One Name Study on FANTHORPE, which originated in Lincolnshire. Contact her via e-mail at: J. M. Fanthorpe.
- Alan R. Moorhouse has a One Name Study on FARMERY with a particular emphasis on Lincolnshire.
- June Lidgard has collected a lot of entries on the FIELD(S) surname and is eager to share. Contact her at E-Mail: June Lidgard.
- For the FYDELL family, see the book "The Fydells of Boston" 1987, A.A.Garner, History of Boston Publication. The author notes the name can be spelt FIDLE or FIDEL and occurs in Gedney, Somersby and Lincoln.
- The GHENTs are documented in the book "The continental origins of the Ghent family of Lincolnshire" 1940, Richard M. Sherman, Association of Friends of Bardney Abbey, 1978, 19 p. : geneal. table ; 21 cm. Call Number: CS439.G413. Gilbert de GHENT (or GAUNT) arrived from Flanders in 1066 as part of William the Conqueror's forces. There is also a 1973 Doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University titled "The Gant Family in England, 1066-1191" by Mary Ralston Abbott, which has much information on this family.
- The GOODLEY surname around Bourne and down into Cambridgeshire is the focus for Beverly Wade. Contact her via E-Mail at: Beverly Wade.
- Sheila Richards is looking for GRUNDY relatives.
- See also the book "The Hammonds of Bassingham" 1984, Mike Kaye PIP Printers, 56 p. : ill., geneal. tables ; 30 cm. Call Number: CS439.H2815
- Carolyn Fenwick has done a one-name study of the HORSEWOOD (HORSWOOD and HORSTWOOD) surname which is unique around Louth. Her records range from 1523 to 1901. Contact her via E-Mail at: C. Fenwick.
- Patricia O'Neill is looking for HUFFER relatives. Her link is William HUFFFER, chr. 15 May 1799 Bourne, LIN, son of John and Ann, married Elizabeth NORMAN on 17 September 1821, Grantham, buried on 5 May 1863 aged 64 at Swineshead. Send any data or a query to Patricia O'NEILL.
- Phil Hunt is looking for other HUNT relatives.
- The LUSBY surname is documented in the book: "Lusby Family History 1771-1989", by Doris Harkness, 1989, publ. unknown. It details the descendents of a Thomas LUSBY born 1737 in Wrawley, Lincolnshire, and died 1801 in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
- Philip Markham, in Denmark, has a database of MARKHAM relatives from the area around Binbrook, LIN, covering 1719 to 1842. The file there is an Adobe Acrobat document.
- Chris Mahoney reports that the MARRIOTT part of his website includes a number of families with origins in Lincolnshire.
- Researchers looking for MOORE, KNOWLES, GARDINER and DIGBY families between Sleaford and Stamford might want to contact Isobel Jones and ask about the letters which were handed to Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Royde by a member of the MOORE family.
- David Mowbray is doing a one-name study. Visit his MOWBRAY website for a name which is unique to Lincolnshire.
- Linda Sokalofsky has a lot of PLOWRIGHT ancestors in Lincolnshire. Her records are mostly 19th century. Contact her via E-Mail at: L. V. Sokalofsky.
- For QUICKFALL, which originated in northern Lincolnshire, send an e-mail to B. H. Stegeman in the Australia, giving any sighting of the name, anywhere.
- The SKELTON clan of Lincolnshire can be found at Patrick Lambe's Decoymen site.
- For TAYLOR, see the book "Taylor Family of Lincolnshire" 1981, Richard B. Taylor, Las Vegas, Nev., 78 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. Call Number: CS71.T24
- A surname with many different variations of the spelling is TWIDALE (TWIDLE, TWYDELL, TWYDALE, etc.). Angela CHAPMAN in Staffordshire would like to hear from you.
- For any one of the 38 different variations of the spelling of WELDRICK, send an e-mail to Jane WOODALL and she will search her database for you.
- Ever go on a wildgoose chase? Here's one that may be worthwhile. Try looking up your WILLGOOSE connections.
- You might want to find a copy of the book "Who's Who in Lincolnshire", published in 1935 by Ebenezer Baylis & Son, Ltd., Worcester.
- Don't forget to do the Global searches at Family Search, Ancestry.Com, or Rootsweb. Use the Advanced Search features, where provided, to limit your searches to Lincolnshire.
- Got a name and wonder if it came from the Bible? Look it up at the Biblical Names site.
- Looking for the distribution of your surname across England? Look it up on CD-ROM available from the Archer Software site.
- Or check the distribution of surnames from the 1881 and 1891 census at London University. The data is approximate.
- What's behind some of those Christian or given names? Look at the Behind The Name site.
- Similarly, you can check out the Forenames site.
Future site or source listings will be accepted on this page only if they offer a general lookup. This is not intended to be a surname exchange page to replace those already in existance.
- Under English Common Law, one could change one's name at any time, as long as the intent was not to hide from the law. In order to change your name, you only had to start using a new name. Everything else is merely to prove the name change has taken place. This is generally true in most former colonies, as well.
- A Deed of Change of Name (the official name for what is commonly known as "Deed Poll") is a legal contract in which one binds oneself to using the new name.
- Other types of evidence of a change of name: A letter from a responsible person such as a priest, doctor, member of parliament etc.; Public announcement such as an advertisement in a newspaper; A statutory declaration.
- It is not unusual for immigrants to change their name. American immigrants from a country like Poland might Anglicize their surname. Sometimes husbands would take the wife's surname, particularly if inheritance might be an issue. And, at least in America, one can change one's name when becoming a citizen. Men who had abandoned their family would often settle under a new name. Religion sometimes caused family splits and one side would take on a different spelling or whole new surname.