Data Spotlight

Geo-Genealogy of England and Wales

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Map created by Rebecca Broadbent - Austin Community College

What are we Looking At?

The purpose of this map project is to combine a love of genealogy with a love of Geographic Information Systems. The project takes a dataset commonly used in genealogical research (the census) and adds a spatial component to it. The resulting map provides a visual representation of the spatial and quantitative distribution of common surnames in England and Wales based on the 1881 British Census. The map is patterned after the “Geo-Genealogy of Irish Surnames” map created by Dr. Kenneth Field.

Where Did the Data Come From?

The 1881 British Census data was provided by the North Atlantic Population Project. Information can be found at

Historic Counties data comes from Historic County Borders Project and was downloaded from

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 90 meter global elevation data was downloaded from