Friday 15 May 2020

Family Names Dictionary: thumbs down for Irish names

The press seems to have whipped up some excitement today with the news that the online version of The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, published in 2016, is available free for one week.

From most accounts I've read today, it's been practically impossible to get access to it, presumably due to the numbers wanting to learn what the dictionary reveals about their surname.

I can suggest a quick fix for this: if you have an Irish surname, you might make better use of your time today by not trying to gain access to the dictionary. Free it up for researchers with a non-Irish name. My blogpost, written when it was first released online, will explain why: Four Volume Dictionary of Surnames.

Genealogist and tutor Sean J Murphy also reviewed the publication: see Facebook.

Incidentally, I subsequently contacted the authors about the issues I raised in my blogpost and received a pleasant reply from one of the editors which, in a nutshell, acknowledged there had been problems with the Irish research.

When I gained access to the site first thing this morning, the issues I complained of were still in evidence.