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Population structure and the spatial analysis of surnames

Cheshire, J.A.; (2011) Population structure and the spatial analysis of surnames. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Geographers have largely overlooked surnames (family names), and their geographic concentrations, as a valuable source of data to indicate the spatial structure of populations. This thesis seeks to provide a substantive contribution to the geographical literature by demonstrating how quantitative spatial analysis of surname data can be used as an aid to understanding population structure at a range of scales from the regional to the continental. The primary purpose of this research is not to develop detailed case studies or to investigate specific examples of population characteristics considered interesting for their novelty: rather, the core concern is to focus on the identification or confirmation of generalised trends. Much of the current research that uses surnames (for example in population genetics) contains a geographical element, yet stops short of exploiting and accommodating the effect of scale, shape and size of spatial units. The application of computationally intensive spatial analysis techniques to a comprehensive and innovative dataset (see worldnames.publicprofiler.org) makes it possible to address these issues for the first time. The thesis develops and applies a robust analytical and methodological framework for the analysis of surnames as a primary data source. Applications of the research are used to demonstrate the utility of surnames in studies of population genetics, in migration research, as well as in the spatial analysis of large datasets more generally.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Population structure and the spatial analysis of surnames
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright restricted material comprising of journal articles has been removed from the e-thesis.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Geography

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