Three new books covering different aspects of surnames reviewed by Genealogy Team member Ann Copeland.

A dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia, by Alexander Beider

This dictionary contains information on over 25,000 names from Galicia. For each surname the author describes the districts within Galicia where the surname appeared, the meaning of the name and the variants found. The book also includes information on the history of Jewish names in Galicia, etymological analysis and an analysis of surnames in the various provinces of Eastern Europe. This book would be of major importance to anyone researching their Galician ancestors, surnames and geographical areas. A complete list of the surnames indexed is available here.

 Surnames, DNA, and family history, by George Redmonds, Turi King and David Hey.

This book focuses on British surnames and traces their origins to different parts of the British Isles and Europe. Some names die out, some spread across the world and yet many remain concentrated in the areas where they were first established centuries ago.

The authors have also used recent advances in DNA testing combined with historical research to find out if the various forms of a single name actually have a common origin. This book contains hundreds of examples and will appeal to anyone interested in British ancestry or the latest techniques in using DNA testing for family history research.

 The surnames of North West Ireland: concise histories of the major surnames of Gaelic and Planter origin, by Brian Mitchell.

Mitchell has attempted to compile concise but informative histories of the principal surnames that are most closely associated, through numerical strength or uniqueness, with North West Ireland.

Based on primary and secondary material the book contains over 300 single page histories of surnames that originated in or became established in North West Ireland. These histories include such information as – the names and their meaning, the variations of each name, the geographic prevalence of the name in North West Ireland and the ancient origins of the name’s founders.


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