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Analysing and Visualising Social Change: The Case of Surnames

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This talk was presented at the Royal Geographical Society's Annual Conference, London. 2010

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Analysing and Visualising Social Change: The Case of Surnames

  1. 1. Analysing and Visualising Social Change: The Case of Surnames RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Thursday 2nd September 2010 James Cheshire UCL Department of Geography [email_address] spatialanalysis.co.uk @spatialanalysis
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Surnames in Great Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>Utility of Surnames. </li></ul><ul><li>Data. </li></ul><ul><li>Capturing surname distributions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hotspot Analysis. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance Measures. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Summary. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Surnames in Great Britain <ul><li>In 1066 the Normans brought with them a fashion for surnames. </li></ul><ul><li>Main purpose was to clarify the right to ownership of land. </li></ul><ul><li>Indicated family place of origin in France or land acquired in England. </li></ul>
  4. 4. ...we have migrant surnames to consider as well. Surnames in Great Britain
  5. 5. The Utility of Surnames <ul><li>The majority of surnames remain concentrated around their areas of origin. </li></ul><ul><li>Widely recorded alongside location information. </li></ul><ul><li>Applicable to the entire population. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Data <ul><li>1881 Census. </li></ul><ul><li>29 Million People. </li></ul><ul><li>425, 793 Surnames. </li></ul><ul><li>345, 781 <10 occurrences. </li></ul><ul><li>Principle level of geography: 657 Registration Districts. </li></ul><ul><li>2001 Enhanced Electoral Roll. </li></ul><ul><li>45.6 Million People. </li></ul><ul><li>1,597, 805 Surnames. </li></ul><ul><li>1,457, 681< 10 occurrences. </li></ul><ul><li>Principle level of geography: 1.8m Postcodes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Flett Richards www.nationaltrustnames.org.uk
  8. 8. How have the spatial characteristics of surnames in Great Britain changed between 1881 and 2001? - At an individual level. - At an aggregate level.
  9. 9. Individual Surnames: Methods <ul><li>Kernel density estimation (KDE) </li></ul><ul><li>Percent volume contours. </li></ul><ul><li>Output Area Level (2001), Reg. Dist. (1881). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Individual Surnames: Density Analysis
  11. 11. Individual Surnames: Density Analysis
  12. 12. Individual Surnames: Results Approx. 20,000 surnames analysed.
  13. 13. <ul><li>Lasker Distance Measure. </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical clustering. </li></ul><ul><li>Multidimensional scaling (MDS). </li></ul><ul><li>Ward and Admin. Dist. (2001), Reg .Dist. (1881). </li></ul>Groups of Surnames: Methods
  14. 14. Groups of Surnames: Distance Measures Can be thought of as placing the districts in “surname space”.
  15. 15. <ul><li>Considers union of every cluster pair. </li></ul><ul><li>The two clusters with the minimum increase in ‘information loss’ are combined. </li></ul><ul><li>Information loss is defined in terms of an error sum-of-squares criterion. </li></ul>Groups of Surnames: Clustering
  16. 16. Groups of Surnames: Results 1
  17. 17. Groups of Surnames: Results 2 1881 2001
  18. 18. Groups of Surnames: Results 3 1881 2001
  19. 19. Groups of Surnames: Results 2 1881 2001
  20. 20. Summary <ul><li>The question “what’s in a name?” can require a surprisingly long answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis of large datasets provides some contemporary and historical insights into population structure and its evolution over time. </li></ul>
  21. 21. References Cheshire, J.A., Longley, P.A. and Singleton, A.D. (2010) The Surname Regions of Great Britain, v2010, 401-409. 10.4113/jom.2010.1103. Cheshire, J., Mateos, P., Longley, P. 2009, Family Names as Indicators of Britain's Changing Regional Geography. CASA Working Paper 149. Available from http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/publications/workingpapers.asp Colantonio, S., Lasker, G., Kaplan, B., Fuster, V. 2003. Use of Surname models in Human Population Biology: A Review of Recent Developments. Human Biology. 75, 6: 785-787. Everitt, B., Landau, S., Leese, M. 2001. Cluster Analysis 4th Edition. Hodder, London. Gatrell, A. C. 1981. Multidimensional Scaling. In Wrigley, N., and Bennett, R. J., Quantitative Geography. Routledge, Oxon. . Gordon, A. 1999. Classification. CRC Press, Florida. King, T., Jobling, M. 2009. What's in a name. Y chromosomes, surnames and the genetic genealogy revolution. Trends in Genetics. 25, 8: 351-360. Székely, G., Rizzo, M. 2005 Hierarchical Clustering via Joint Between-Within Distances: Extending Ward's Minimum Variance Method. Journal of Classification. 22: 151-183. Ward, J. 1963. “Hierachical Grouping to Optimize an Objective Function”. Journal of the American Statistical Association 58, 301:236-244 Zelinsky, W. 1997. Along the Frontiers of Name Geography. Professional Geographer. 49, 4: 465-466.
  22. 22. Thank You James Cheshire UCL Department of Geography [email_address] spatialanalysis.co.uk @spatialanalysis

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