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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Most adventurous surnames mapped
Blair family
There are 50% more Blairs now than in 1881
The most adventurous Britons over the decades have been identified by academics analysing people's surnames.

Geographers at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, at University College London, looked at the spread of 500,000 names across the world.

People called Riddle, McRae or Granger were most widely spread. Baggots and Goodeys were prone to staying put.

Their surname-mapping website also allows people to look at their surname's social standing in society.

Adventurous: Riddle, McRae, Granger, Crabtree
Likely stay-at-homes: Baggott, Blewitt, Daines, Elvin

By looking at more than 500,000 names, researchers found Riddles, McRaes, Grangers, Crabtrees and Tillotsons were most widely spread to countries including Australia, the US and New Zealand.

The analysis also looked at the growth and decline of certain names.

Surnames including Cock, Smellie, Daft and Shufflebottom have been dumped by people since 1881, compared with figures in 1998.

Posh or common

In contrast, the number of people sharing a surname with the prime minister has grown by 50%. There are more than 12,473 Blairs today.

The surname profiler website was the result of a study aimed at understanding patterns of regional economic development, population movement and cultural identity.

It first mapped the distribution of surnames from the 1998 electoral register and the 1881 census, making it possible to see how surnames moved around the country during the last century.

The site also maps surnames in terms of social standing - how posh or common they are, compared with others.

What's in a surname?
17 Jan 06 |  Magazine
What's in a surname - Part 2
06 Jun 06 |  Magazine

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