What's in a Surname?
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Surnames connect us with our ancestors, revealing their trades (Smith, Taylor, Brewer), appearance (Brown, Short, Thynne) and origins (Scott, Allen, Bolton). David McKie investigates where such naming practices began, unearths some of the more bizarre examples and considers why people change their family names. In the final chapter he asks whether surnames will survive in an age when our communications are becoming less formal and married couples keep separate surnames or choose a new one.