Thursday 7 June 2012

The Surnames Handbook

I have now finally submitted the manuscript of my second book The Surnames Handbook to my publisher, the History Press. The book is scheduled to be published in the UK in October and I have been told by the History Press that they have selected it as one of their key titles for the autumn.

Surnames have effectively taken over my life for the last year, and in the last couple of months I've been working on this book for very long hours seven days a week. When I accepted the suggestion of writing the book I hadn't realised quite what a marathon task it would be, simply because I hadn't quite anticipated the sheer volume of literature that had already been published on the subject. It's been a huge amount of work but I'm pleased with the way the book has turned out.This is essentially the book that I would have liked to have had available when I started out on my own surname research. It's intended as a practical guide to all the different aspects of surname research, but I've also provided some background on surnames in general, drawing on the research from all the many different disciplines that are now involved in surname research, emphasising in particular the contribution that can be made by the family historian. The book includes links to hundreds of relevant websites, an extensive bibliography, and numerous detailed appendices with information on all the essential resources for a surname study both online and offline. The text is supported by a long list of 190 references. The contents are listed below.
Foreword by Derek Palgrave 
Chapter 1: The history of surnames
Chapter 2: The classification of surnames 
Chapter 3: Variants and deviants 
Chapter 4: Surname mapping 
Chapter 5: Surname frequency 
Chapter 6: Has it been done before? 
Chapter 7: Laying the foundations - the key datasets 
Chapter 8: Surname origins - pre-1600 resources 
Chapter 9: DNA and surnames 
Chapter 10: One-name studies 
Appendix A: Genealogy websites 
Appendix B: Surname websites 
Appendix C: Lay subsidy rolls 
Appendix D: Organisations and journals 
Appendix E: Linguistic resources 
Appendix F: Place-name resources 
Appendix G: Population statistics 
© Debbie Kennett 2012


Anonymous said...

Looks good! Wish the book was out sooner as I could do with it as guidance. At the moment, I am just winging it with regards to surname origin, frequency, etc.

I hope to progress to a proper One Name Study in the future - perhaps after reading your book :-)

Debbie Kennett said...

I hope you like the book. You can get lots of help and advice if you join the Guild of One-Name Studies:

I see that one of the names you're researching is Irving. Have you been in touch with James Irvine? He's been researching the surname for 30 years or more and now runs the Irvine DNA Project: