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By David Hey

Family names are a vital a part of everyone's own background. the tale in their evolution is quintessential to relations heritage and engaging in its personal correct. shaped from first names, nicknames and occupations, names let us hint the pursuits of our ancestors from the center a long time to the current day. David howdy indicates how, while and the place households first bought their names, and proves that almost all households stayed with reference to their areas of beginning. payment styles and family members groupings will be traced again in the direction of their origins through the use of nationwide and native files. relations Names and family members background tells every person drawn to tracing their very own identify the way to set approximately doing so.

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Naming practices gradually came to reflect concerns about inheritance, but for a long time surnames were not fixed and hereditary. Some surnames were abandoned in favour of others after a generation or two, and junior branches of a family sometimes adopted surnames that were different from those of the main line. Occasionally, a son adopted his mother's name when he inherited her land. Thus the son of Eustace Fitzjohn by his first marriage to Beatrice de Vesci took the name of William de Vesci; the son of Eustace's second marriage was known as Robert FitzEustace.

Fortunately, the subject has reached the stage where the philologists have established a body of work on which others may build. The time is opportune for the vast numbers of people who have an interest in a particular surname (usually their own), or in all the names of the families in a chosen locality, to make a contribution, either by proving the dictionaries right or by suggesting other explanations for the 'homes' of family names. Members of the Guild of One-Name Studies, who try to trace every person bearing the distinctive surname that they are interested in, are well placed to make constructive suggestions.

In 1995 the United Kingdom telephone directories listed 106 subscribers with the surname Flather and thirteen named Flathers; seventy-nine of these people lived in Yorkshire, particularly in the central parts of the West Riding and in the Sheffield district. The Flathers appeared briefly in the Sheffield parish register in 1637 and 1663 but they did not settle there permanently until the eighteenth century. In the Victorian era the Flathers became prominent Sheffield steelmen and in the twentieth century two of them served as Master Cutler.

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