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    Web tool traces emigration flows by name

    By Noreen Bowden | November 19, 2008

    A fascinating tool that can be used to help trace the Irish diaspora is now available online. The World Names Profiler allows searches by name, ethnicity, and area.

    The database holds data for 300 million people in 26 countries, representing a total population of 1 billion people with 8 million unique surnames.  The data is derived from publically available telephone directories or national electoral registers sourced between 2000 and 2005.

    It’s great fun to type in Irish names and see them popping up in places like Argentina and India. (There was, of course extensive Irish migration to Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and there were also a substantial number of Irish who moved to India during colonial times.)

    The site is a project of University College London, and organiers say they think the data provides a unique insight into world migration flows.

    Visit the World Names Profiler.

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