What’s in a Name?

The November edition of our tea and talk ‘In The Ballroom’ on 8th was very well attended as usual, and guests enjoyed a talk by Anthony Paulton-Smith about our surnames and where they come from.

He explained that the Normans brought surnames into Britain. Many surnames are place names, trade names, nicknames or ‘son of’, e.g. Richardson, or ‘Mc’ in Scotland. Smith is still the most popular at 1.15 % of the population but many names have been in a steep decline since the 1901 census, e.g. Beeching, Clegg and Pratt (meaning clever!).

One in 50 surnames are now double-barrelled, as with the speaker! After the talk there was the usual tea, coffee and cake served by Unlocking Warwick volunteers, and Helen’s picture quiz was about the names of famous people past and present. Can you name them all?

The next ‘In The Ballroom’ gathering will be on Wednesday 13th December, when there will be a Christmas celebration with carols and mince pies. Space is limited, so please reserve your place at the Visitor Information Centre, or email info@visitwarwick.co.uk. Or you can phone the team on 01926 492212.

[Report and photos by Gina Tipton]