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The landscape and people are the two most distinctive qualities of the Yorkshire Dales, and this book employs new sources and methods to help the reader see both in a different light. In earlier centuries, religious and social factors influenced the first names that were given to children. Distinctive surnames were inherited, and their expansion or decline can throw light on local communities, on migration and population growth. Place-names emerged from regional and customary practices that illuminate topography, husbandry, mining, communications and much more. The book also uses material from Quarter Sessions, title deeds, wills and other documents to investigate a wide range of topics that touch on the lives of individuals and families, from religious dissent to sheep-stealing and vagrancy. There is emphasis too on the poor, showing the impact on families and communities of bastardy, fire, flood, violence and other disasters. A book written for anyone interested in the local and family history of the Yorkshire Dales.
Dr George Redmonds is a local historian with a life-long interest in name studies. In 1973 he wrote Yorkshire: West Riding, the first volume in the English Surnames Series, and in 2001 he presented the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Surnames, Genes and Geneaology’. Recent publications include Surnames and Geneaology (1997), Christian Names in Local and Family History (2003), Names and History: People, Places & Things (2003) and The Place-Names of Huddersfield (2008). The Making of Huddersfield (2003) has recently been reprinted by Wharncliffe Books. George is a well-known lecturer at international conferences.
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