Durham/Northumbria - Name shame

October 29, 2009

Irish names such as "Patrick" and "Bridget" almost died out among 19th-century immigrants to the UK owing to fears of discrimination, according to research from Durham and Northumbria universities. The study suggests that a fear of prejudice made immigrants from Ireland steer clear of their traditional names, a trend scholars say is seen today among immigrant communities around the world, such as Turkish people in Germany and Indians in Australia. The study reviewed 30,000 records and found that the number of Irish Catholic names fell dramatically among second-generation Irish in all 17 counties studied, while the frequency of English Protestant names increased.

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