Surname and One Place Studies: do they marry?

As this study has developed there have been a number of surnames which have recurred over time and whose bearers have had profound influence on the place. These have fallen into two main groups:

Firstly, there are families who seem to have a pretty constant presence in the area and whose members have exerted influence over time. The Bridge/Briggs family weaves its way through the study from being one of the earliest residents on deforestation in 1507 to having members interred in Sion graveyard in 1858 and on to today. Howarth/Haworth is another contender as are Ormerod and Ashworth.

There are also a number of surnames which are particularly associated with the wider Rossendale area - the Rossendale Family History and Heraldry Society list a number including Ormerod (again!), Taylor, Rothwell, Pickup, Duckworth, Tattersall, Trickett, Whittaker and of course Ashworth.

A third aspect is the range and relative frequency of surnames in a point of time and how they change over time. What is the relative proportion of Ashworths to Ormerods in, say, 1841 and 1911? Does that differ from their distributions in C17 on deforestation?

So I have decided to dip my toe into the world of surname studies and how they relate to one-place studies. I have no intention of undertaking a traditional 'all instances, worldwide' type of study as the distribution of Ashworths or trend in BMDs of Ormerods elsewhere doesn't appeal. Instead I hope, over time, to look at three areas:

Firstly the Bridge name in Deadwenclough, the old administrative area which includes Springhill. I have chosen Bridge because of their presence in the early court rolls and Deadwenclough because that is the area to which these rolls refer.

Secondly, and this may be brave (for which read,stupid) I want to try and get my head round the local Ashworth families and their influence on the area. It is often said that there is an Ashworth under every stone round here and that when the local FH society is contacted for help with Ashworths they advise choosing another name. This will not be finished soon (for which read, ever).

Thirdly, to look at relative frequency of names in the area at two distinct parts of time. This is still to be fleshed out but will probably involve comparison with records, probably from a variety of sources, in the first half of C17 with those at a C19 point, possibly the 1841 census. Migration studies would be interesting to look at too but might be tricky.

To this end I have registered the first two with the Surname Society and enrolled on the Pharos One-Name Studies course for a crash course to get up to speed with this new way of looking at data. I won't be GOONS-registering them as the focus is on one-place rather than one-name studies - Briggs/Bridge is already registered anyway.