Goodbye Mr Chips as thousands of surnames disappear over last 100 years

Thousands of surnames have disappeared over the last 100 years with many more at risk of vanishing, according to family history website Ancestry.co.uk.

Here's the list of names which still exist, but are disappearing rapidly:

  • William
  • Cohen
  • Ashworth
  • Sutcliffe
  • Clegg
  • Butterworth
  • Crowther
  • Kershaw
  • Brook
  • Greenwood
So long Clegg... Just one of the names amongst those in danger Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

When surnames from 1901 were compared to modern records, a number of names had disappeared altogether, including:

  • Chips
  • Hatman
  • Rummage
  • Nithercott
  • Raynott
  • Temples
  • Jarsdel
  • Harred
  • Woodbead
Actor Sir Michael Redgrave with Petula Clark and actor Peter O'Toole, his co-stars in the musical film version of 'Goodbye, Mr Chips' Credit: PA/PA Archive

The website said many names had vanished due to immigrants "making them more British" to avoid spelling complications.

As a nation we've become more interested in where our names come from and what they mean.

To many, a name is more than just a label - surnames are often steeped in history and identity, so nowadays a rare surname is something to be treasured rather than changed.

– Miriam Silverman of Ancestry.co.uk