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the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

Surnames covered in our DNA project:



plus any other variants


To view this site properly and access the spreadsheets and family tree charts, you will need Adobe Reader  installed on your computer - use the above link to download the latest FREE version of this application. If viewing on a mobile device, the standard view works best - though some of the images may be rotated, sorry I have not been able to overcome this problem.


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The current banner shows Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland - a county in the far north east of England, bordering Scotland.  This region is home to a number of Appleby lines - and our DNA project has confirmed genetic connections between several of these, which also match lines in Canada, USA and Ireland.

PLEASE NOTE: if you are viewing this site on an Apple device running IOS 13, you may experience problems with page layout, over-lapping text, etc.  Hopefully, Apple will resolve these issues very soon,

(Meanwhile, I suggest you switch to a PC!)

Distribution of APPLEBYs and APPLEBEEs

There has been little change over time of the proportion of the different variants of the surname - the figures shown on the table were taken from the census data on the Genealogist, and will not include entries where the surname was recorded (and/or transcribed) in different forms to those listed on the table.


It is important to remember that, especially in the early censuses, many people were illiterate and would not have known whether the census

census data from the Genealogist

enumerator was recording their surname correctly.  In many families we see a range of different spellings in different documents (sometimes within the same document!).


However, the geographical distribution of the main two versions of the surname depicted in the maps below, do show a shift over the period from 1841 to 1911  ... you can click on the thumbnails to open up larger images which include the number of individuals with each surname in every county:

appleby 1841 thumb
applebee 1841 thumb
applebee 1881 thumb
applebee 1911 thumb
appleby 1881 thumb
appleby 1911 thumb

APPLEBY  in 1841 census                APPLEBY in 1881 census               APPLEBY in 1911 census

APPLEBEE  in 1841 census            APPLEBEE in 1881 census             APPLEBEE in 1911 census

These distribution maps were run using The Genealogist mapping facility.  Please note that the scale showing density per county varies on each chart - please refer to the linked maps for full details of number of individuals in each county.  The figures do NOT include Applebys in Scotland.


Recent research indicates that early geographical concentrations of a surname frequently provide a good indication of the place of origin of that surname (source: 'Surnames, DNA & Family History', George Redmonds, Turi King and David Hey, Oxford University Press, 2011).  

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