Collected Name Resources from LoARs (2010-present): - Late Period English -
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Collected Name Resources from LoARs (2010-present)

Articles from Juliana de Luna, Lillia de Vaux, and Alys Mackyntoich

- Late Period English -

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July 2011 - Juliana de Luna Link to LoAR Cover Letter

This month I'm continuing my discussion of the articles and books I most frequently use to document names from a given time and place. Having talked about Old and Middle English, we can move on to late period English.

Let me begin by saying that until relatively recently, we had fewer resources for 16th century England than for 14th century England, which is a strange state. But it's due to the biases of the published sources we use; they focus mainly on the earliest citations of a given name element (given name, surname, placename).

If you're using the print resources, Bardsley is more likely to have late period citations than Reaney and Wilson, and Mills Dictionary of London Place Names more than Ekwall or the other Mills. But the best resources for this period are not in print.

The best is our new resource: the search program for the IGI Parish Extracts, which I discussed in last month's cover letter.

However, there are several important articles online as well. For given names, I start with Julian Goodwyn's "English Names from Pre-1600 Brass Inscriptions" ( It's a good source for surnames as well (most bynames by this time are inherited surnames, so that John Smith is probably not a smith and Alice Johnson's father may have been named Henry. There are a variety of articles that list a few thousand surnames from that time found at There's not much to choose between them (unless you're looking for a particular place), so you can just start clicking or use a search engine to look at multiple of them at once. If you do that, don't forget that a bunch of them are not housed at!

I also find myself using British History Online (, which includes a variety of sources about British history. Many preserve period spellings. You have to be careful, though, as some sources on this site modernize spellings; in general, you want to look at other names in the same source to make sure that elements aren't always found in the standard modern spelling.

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