A major research project led by UWE, now in its final year, is set to create the largest ever database of the UK's family surnames. It contains over 320,000 surnames, of which many of the rarer names are recent immigrant names.
In January 2014, AHRC awarded UWE a further grant of about £600,000 to continue the project so that all surnames in the UK with more than 20 current bearers (instead of the present 100) can be included.
The project aims to complete a detailed investigation of the origins, history, and geographical distribution of the 45,000 most frequent surnames in the UK by March 2014. It will subsequently be made publicly available and will be of enormous interest to genealogists, family historians, social historians, historical linguists, and indeed anyone interested in learning more about family names.