Bodmin Moor surname research

Are you a Jory, a Keast, a Rawlings, a Williams, or have any of over 500 surnames commonly found locally?  Jodie Lampert would love to hear from you!  She will be coming down to Bodmin Moor this September, launching her research into how families and communities across the moor have been affected by the communication links and/or isolation that living on the moor has presented over the last five centuries.

Jodie explains her research…

Cornwall is known for its geographical isolation compared to the rest of England, and is a place that has its own unique historical and cultural past. Many people there have been known to claim links to the pre-historic people who resided in the area since approximately 12,000 years ago, and certainly before Cornwall became part of the Anglo-Saxon empire in the 900s AD. Bodmin Moor, which creates a natural border between Devon and Cornwall, is a unique landscape feature that may have contributed to the sense of isolation that Cornwall experienced, and possibly even sought, from the rest of England.

I am a University of Leicester PhD student researching the male ancestry and surname history of the parishes surrounding Bodmin Moor. I am interested in families with specific surnames that have lived in the parishes surrounding the moor since the 1500s up until today. Part of my thesis will be to uncover how Bodmin Moor affected the communities surrounding it, in terms of isolation and communication links, as well as with communities in the rest of Cornwall and Devon.

In March 2015 a study was completed at Oxford University (‘The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population’ by Leslie, Winney et al., 2015) which showed a distinct difference in the genomes between the people of Cornwall and the people of Devon. The difference was clearly delineated at the natural and county boundaries of the Tamar River and Bodmin Moor. My project will follow up on these results to see if these full-genome differences are also replicated in the Y-chromosome ancestries of the men of Bodmin Moor in relation to a general sample of Cornish men as well as males from Devon.

I will be visiting the area in September and I am looking for male volunteers with specific surnames and whose grandparents were born in the parishes surrounding the Moor, to provide a saliva sample so I can study the Y-chromosome variation of this part of Cornwall.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a scientific and historical study of a unique part of Cornwall, so if you’re interested in participating or for further details and the list of surnames, please see my webpage  or contact Jodie Lampert at jel27@le.ac.uk. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

Jodie will be down here in Cornwall on 26-29 September 2016, and will continue to need more local male volunteers (with the specific surnames)  for at least the next few months (and can send the saliva kit through the post) so please get in touch!

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