The Society has an index of 2,517 different surnames which it has on its files for the parishes in our area: more than that, if variants are included. We have produced a 'Top Twenty' list, viz. those surnames which appear in most places.
Number 1 is JONES
Numbers 2 - 5 are HARRIS, HEMMING, SMITH, TAYLOR
Numbers 6 - 14 are BENNETT,COOKE, DAVIS, WILLIAMS, PARKER , FREEMAN , PERKINS , HEATH, KNIGHT
Numbers 15 - 20 are GREEN, HALL, HUNT,MILLS,SKINNER, S IMONS
In England, surnames began to appear in the Middle Ages (12th to 15th centuries). In Wales the process lagged behind Eng-and. Our local list may be divided into several categories: there are names there obviously originating in occupations - Smith, Taylor, Hall (Servant at the Hall), Hunt (huntsman).
Some originated in places -- Green, Heath.
Some came from personal names, often religious -- Bennett (diminutive of Saint Benedict) Perkins (a pet form of Peter) Simons (Biblical Simon)
There seems to be an indication of Welsh migration into the Midlands --- Jones, Harris, Davis, Williams.
Summer 1990 Index
© Alcester & District Local History Society 1991