8 May 2012

How many of us are there, do you think?

I have been applying my mind to trying to calculate how many people there are living who are using our surname. How is that to be estimated? As far as I know, unless someone can tell me differently, we are only talking about populations in England and Australia and just one family in Canada (which I understand numbers 8).     

Starting with this country, I have a database of births registered from the middle of 1837 to 2011. That totals 904. Of course many of those are no longer with us. I reckon that, of those born as Swinfields, about 229 males and 126 females (who have not married and changed their surname) are still alive. To that we have to add, at my calculation, 106 living women who have “married into the family” and still bear the surname. That makes an English population of approximately 461.

For the English Swinfields, I have also been trying to produce a list of as many current addresses as possible so that we know who lives where and with whom! To date, the commercially-available indexes to current electoral registers combined with the online telephone directories through BT.com have produced names and addresses for 195 adults. In addition, there are 106 children, aged 17 and less, who are too young to be registered voters. That accounts for 201 of the population of 461. We know where about 43.6% of them are living. By the way, there may be as many as 38 of them who are aged 80 or more. The oldest man is, as far as I can ascertain, Eric Swinfield of Leicester who was born in 1920. 

How many would come to our family reunion do you suppose? I am still hoping to arrange one for this Autumn.   

I did recently highlight the amazing statistic that jumped out at me as I was doing this calculation. Of those 114, who were born in the years from 1973 to 1993, as few as 12% have formally married from 1990 to 2009. Marriage is rapidly going out of fashion amongst the younger Swinfields!

The Australian Swinfields are far more difficult for me to count from this far away. They would all appear to be natives of the state of New South Wales unless you can tell me otherwise. The online registration indexes are only accessible only for births to 1909, marriages to only 1956 and deaths to as late as 1977. None of those in the birth indexes will still be alive.

How many Swinfields are there living in Australia to add to our total population? Just send me the names and addresses of youself and your living relatives and I will compile the list. Looking forward to receiving your input very soon.

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