Learn the meanings behind your family monikers with these new manuals.
1. The All New Surnames of Ireland by Edward Neafsey (Irish Genealogical Foundation). Discover some 200 family histories — each accompanied with a map of Ireland showing clusters of the surname — in this tome, which combines historical research with the locations of Irish families today. The introduction gives an overview of how Irish surnames are handed down; it also discusses prefixes such as Mac- or Mc- and 0'-. This book is a great reference for families with surnames from Adamson to Yeates.
2. Christian Names in Local and Family History by George Redmonds (Dun durn Press). This book shows how Enghsh fist names (or Christian names) are just as important as surnames in genealogy. Other works on given names usually concentrate on etymology, but Redmonds goes a step further: He believes every name has a precise origin and history of expansion, meaning you can trace your first name to a specific region or town. This book will inspire you to review first names in your family history with a more critical eye.