Local News

What’s in a name?

Richard Kidd - Surnames Andover Radio
What's in a name? Richard Kidd

There are a number of names that seem to be peculiar, or perhaps very prevalent in Andover.

The chances are you probably know a Smith, a Jones or a Stevenson. Tasker, Bulpitt and Latter all appear in local records dating back many years. But where do these names come from?

Starting on Saturday morning, 95.9FM Andover Radio is inviting you to have their resident Onomastic Expert (that’s someone who studies names, by the way) Mr Richard Kidd to research your surname.

Mr Kidd, a former Andover town councillor says, “I have been interested in names since I studied at Ottershaw School in Surrey in the 1970s.

“Masters at the School had written papers on the subject and I started my own studies. I have been published in the Andover Advertiser many times when a name fascinates me, or I find somthing interesting about the name.”

Mr Kidd will uncover details about a different name each week and if you have a name common to Andover, or an unusual surname, he would like to hear from you.

“Surnames were introduced between 1066 and 1200”, says Mr Kidd. “They really were purely for taxation purposes. The King needed to know a way to differentiate between which John or William owed him money from the village.”

Occupations like Fletcher, Baker and Cooper as well as place names and nicknames all make-up today’s most used surnames.

To ask Mr Kidd to research your surname, please email studio@loveandover.com.

“What’s in a name” with Richard Kidd can be heard every day on 95.9FM Andover Radio, starting Saturday morning at 9.30am.


About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.