A major new research project led by the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol) is set to create the largest ever database of the UK's family surnames. The database, which will contain the meanings and origins of up to 150,000 UK surnames, is to be made publicly available and will be of enormous interest to home genealogists, family historians, and anyone interested in learning more about their family name.

The research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with a grant worth in total £834,350. The project will be carried out with the technical collaboration of the Faculty of Informatics at Masaryk University, Brno, in the Czech Republic.

The project will begin in April 2010 and will last four years. It is planned to have the database available online for public consultation from 2014.

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