UK Surname Distribution Analysis
The Aggregated Distribution File

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When you upload a Census National Index Extract file, you will be given the opportunity to download the Aggregated Distribution file which is created from the National Index Extract file.

Alternately, if you are a Windows user, you can download a program that will convert a National Index Extract file into a an Aggregated Distribution File on your own PC.  

The Aggregated Distribution file can be uploaded instead of the National Index Extract file if you wish to create distribution maps in a subsequent session.  Because the Aggregated Data File is considerably smaller than the National Index file, it is much quicker to upload.

The format of the Aggregated Distribution File downloaded from this facility when you upload a National Index File is 'Tab delimited text', which uses TAB characters to separate the three fields in each record, as follows:-


Note that the TAB character is non-printing, and is represented by the in the above example. The 'Tab delimited text' format is convenient for loading into a spreadsheet for editing or further analysis.  

The three fields in each record are the Surname, the Chapman code for the 'Old' County, and the number associated with this county.  When the Aggregated Distribution File is downloaded from this site, or created with the ukdistag program which can be downloaded from this site, this number is the count of individuals with the Surname in the County.  However, it could be some other figure, such as a population density (e.g. 0.000013) providing you calculate that figure and create an Aggregated Distribution File of your own.

In addition to the data, the file can also contain an optional title, which identifies the data in the file. The title appears on the first line of the file, thus:-

Title=WYKES and variants - 1881 Census Place

The title must appear on the first line of the file and it must be preceded by Title= which identifies the record as the title record.

Creating Your Own Aggregated Distribution File

If you want to create distribution maps from a source of data other than the LDS 1881 British Census CDs, you can do so, but you will need to create your own Aggregated Distribution file.

As noted above, the file is a plain text file.  You may use either TAB characters or commas (,) to separate the three fields in each record, as follows:-




The three fields in each record are:

  • Surname 
  • Chapman code for the 'Old' County
  • The number associated with the surname in the county. 

The number can be a count of the number of people in the county with the surname, or any other meaningful measurement, such as density or frequency of the surname.

If you have data for the Channel Islands you can plot these either for the individual islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark, or as a single entry for the Island group. Take care that you use either CHI or the individual island codes, JSY, GSY, ALD and SRK.  If you do include CHI and any of the codes JSY, GSY, ALD or SRK then the data for the individual islands will not be plotted and will appear as Other in the Legend. 

The easiest way to create your own Aggregated file is using a spreadsheet.  Your worksheet should contain 3 columns, corresponding to the 3 fields in each aggregated record.  If you want to include a title record in your file (see above), this should be placed in cell A1. When you have entered all your data save the file as a Text (Tab Delimited) file or as a CSV file. This file can then be uploaded for analysis, using the form on the Aggregated Distribution File Upload page.  Some spreadsheets will enclose fields in double quotes (").  That's OK - the upload process strips any double quotes from the file being uploaded.  If you are entering a title, it should be placed in cell A1, according to the rules specified above.

The table below shows the Chapman Codes and the full names of the counties of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Chapman    Chapman 
Code  County Code  County
ABDAberdeenshire   NBLNorthumberland
AGYAnglesey   OKIOrkney
ALDAlderney    OXFOxfordshire
ANSAngus/Forfarshire   PEEPeeblesshire/Tweeddale
ARLArgyllshire   PEMPembrokeshire
AYRAyrshire   PERPerthshire
BANBanffshire   RADRadnorshire
BDFBedfordshire   RFWRenfrewshire
BRKBerkshire   ROCRoss & Cromarty
BEWBerwickshire   ROXRoxburghshire
BREBreconshire/Brecknockshire   RUTRutland
BKMBuckinghamshire   SRKSark
BUTBute   SELSelkirkshire
CAECaernarvonshire   SHIShetland/Zetland
CAICaithness   SALShropshire
CAMCambridgeshire   SOMSomerset
CGNCardiganshire   STSStaffordshire
CMNCarmarthenshire   STIStirlingshire
CHIChannel Islands   SFKSuffolk
CHSCheshire   SRYSurrey
CLKClackmannanshire   SSXSussex
CONCornwall   SUTSutherland
CULCumberland   WARWarwickshire
DENDenbighshire   WLNWest Lothian/Linlithgowshire
DBYDerbyshire   WESWestmorland
DEVDevon   WIGWigtownshire/West Galloway
DORDorset   WILWiltshire
DFSDumfriesshire   WORWorcestershire
DNBDunbartonshire/Dumbartonshire   YKSYorkshire
DURDurham   ANTAntrim
ELNEast Lothian/Haddingtonshire   ARMArmagh
MORElginshire/Moray   CARCarlow
ESSEssex   CAVCavan
FIFFife   CLAClare
FLNFlintshire   CORCork
GLAGlamorganshire   LDYDerry/Londonderry
GLSGloucestershire   DONDonegal
GSYGuernsey inc. Herm & Jethou   DOWDown
HAMHampshire   DUBDublin
HEFHerefordshire   FERFermanagh
HRTHertfordshire   GALGalway
HUNHuntingdonshire   KERKerry
IOMIsle of Man   KIDKildare
INVInverness-shire   KIKKilkenny
JSYJersey   LEXLaois/Leix/Queens
KENKent   LETLeitrim
KCDKincardineshire/Mearns   LIMLimerick
KRSKinross-shire   LONLongford
KKDKirkcudbrightshire   LOULouth
LKSLanarkshire   MAYMayo
LANLancashire   MEAMeath
LEILeicestershire   MOGMonaghan
LINLincolnshire   OFFOffaly/Kings
MDXMiddlesex   ROSRoscommon
MERMerionethshire   SLISligo
MLNMidlothian/Edinburghshire   TIPTipperary
MGYMontgomeryshire   TYRTyrone
MONMonmouthshire   WATWaterford
NAINairnshire   WEMWestmeath
NTHNorthamptonshire   WEXWexford
NFKNorfolk   WICWicklow

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