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Surname studies with genetics

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: Genetic studies of surnames are briefly reviewed. In particular, such DNA studies can sometimes provide clues to a surname s meaning. A few surnames are being found to include unusually large single families, which are far more populous than computer simulations for monogamous families predict, suggesting that they might best be explained by their getting off to a fast start through polygyny or concubines: Brehon Law in Ireland and medieval Welsh Law were relatively accepting of polygyny. The Plant surname in the Welsh Marches largely comprises an abnormally large single family and this favours the Welsh meaning [many] children , though various other meanings for this surname have been suggested. The surnames Meates, Meats, Mates, Mate and Myatt in north Staffordshire and Ireland belong to a single family and appear to have derived from the female forename Maiot.

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