The Cornish have for a long time long considered themselves a race apart from the English and their origins are indeed more related to those of the Welsh, Scottish and Breton peoples than to most others east of the River Tamar. Almost every town and village in Cornwall has been used as a surname, and the traditional Cornish trades of fishing and mining have also provided inspiration for family names. Features of the landscape such as hills and rivers have had a huge effect, with many of these containing elements of some names which can be tracked back to the old Celtic language, for example the prefixes Pen (headland) and Pol (pool). A lot of names are tied to a particular area of Cornwall: Rodda and Bottrell are seldom found east of Penzance, whilst names like Odgers, Opie and Wearne are most common in mid-Cornwall around the mining areas of Redruth and Gwennap. Surnames can reveal a lot about family history, but their origins can be difficult to trace. This handy lexicon, drawn together from an exhaustive research, serves as an ideal starting point for tracing ancestry. Packed with information about notable families and migration, this is also an ideal book for anyone interested in the story of Cornish people.
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