I found this very useful for my current project, Damaris in Distress, especially the bits on prefixes and suffixes.
For this week’s blog I’ve gone through my nineteenth-century Burke’s Peerage to compile a list of what I consider to be quintessentially English surnames.
During the years I’ve been writing novels set in Regency England, I have had a habit of giving most of my characters two-syllable British-sounding surnames. For example, my heroes have had names like Wycliff, Radcliff, Sedgewick, Allen, Pembroke, Warwick, Rutledge, and Agar. All of these names were proper British names. My perusal of surnames from nineteenth-century Britain seemed to justify that the most common names in the country, indeed, consisted of two syllables.
Some more common two-syllable names revealed in my recent examination include Wraxall, Balfour, Fletcher, Sempill, Stanhope, Crauford, Hervey, Mostyn, Sullyard, Stewart, Talbot, Sinclair, Seymour, Selkirk, and Cooper.
Frequently Used Suffixes
I also discovered a proliferation of common prefixes and suffixes of common English surnames. Let’s examine the suffixes first because, in my opinion, they’re…
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