Geographical Distribution of Burnell Births
1500 - 1949

The data from 1500 - 1850 is extracted from parish records in the Family Search online database - mainly from the International Genealogical Index. The database covers many parishes, but there are gaps, particularly in the early years where records have been lost or destroyed or were not accessible.

Since the spelling of the name was variable during this period, the data also includes births recorded as Burnel, Burnil, Burnill and Burnhill. Other less common spellling variants have been omitted.

The data for 1850 - 1949 is taken from the BMD indexes for England, Wales and Scotland and is of better quality. No spelling variants have been included on the basis that the spelling had become settled by this time. There is no Irish data for this period, but the number of Burnells in Ireland is extremely small.

The charts show absolute numbers of births.  Since some counties had much larger populations than others, you would expect the number of Burnell births to be correspondingly higher in these counties. This is particularly true for Yorkshire and London. Most of the Burnell births in Yorkshire are in the comparatively small area of the West Riding, but the data did not allow a breakdown by Riding.

There is clear evidence of clustering in particular counties or parts of counties. The extent of clustering can be seen most clearly by comparing Burnell births with total births for each county. In 1700-1750 the top counties for Burnell births were:

Devonshire: 33 Burnells per 100,000 births
Buckinghamshire: 31.7 
Gloucestershire: 27
Somerset: 23.2
Warwickshire 22.9
Yorkshire: 18

In 1800 - 1850 the top counties were:
Buckinghamshire: 36.3 Burnells per 100,000 births
Somerset:  33.7
Devonshire: 33.4
Gloucestershire: 14.6
Yorkshire: 12.4
London: 10.5

It should be noted that births do not equate with population. Due to high infant mortality, many of the infants whose births are recorded here would not have reached adulthood.

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See distribution of Burnells in 2012

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