Faulder Family Genealogy

21 December, 2010

Research Note: Google Ngrams

(This post is more in the nature of a genealogy diary entry or research note discussing a potential line of interesting research.)

Google in their attempt to “capture all information”, have been digitalising huge numbers of mainly out of copyright books (more than 5.2 million).  Now they have introduced a tool to try and analyse this corpus of data: Google NGrams.  This allows you to graph by date of publication the occurrence of a word (or even selection of words).

So for a genealogist, the logical thing to do is ego-surf – stick your own surname in the tool and see what comes out.

Google Ngram for 'Faulder'

Google Ngram for 'Faulder'

Going to the actual data, you can search for the specific occurrences, to try and find an explanation for this graph.  Unfortunately the vertical axis is the percentage of books published in that year that have been digitalised, rather than the number of books in the corpus.  I suspect therefore that the peaks around 1800 may be misleadingly high due to the comparatively low number of books published around 1800 that have been digitalised.  However the activities of the publisher Robert Faulder may mean that this is a genuine indication.

Occurrences of the surname will not of course indicate mentions of members of our direct family but may give some clues for further research.

Some of the occurrences in the period 1795-1811.

Some of the occurrences in the period 1812-1954:

Voyage in the Spectre Shallop – on Hallowmass eve in the Solway area between Cumberland and Galloway.

    “And I,” said the third old man, “would have thought it the Mermaid of Richard Faulder – but,” added he, in a lowered tone, “the Mermaid has not been heard of, nor seen for many months; and the Faulders are a doomed race: – his bonny brig and he are in the bottom of the sea;”
  • References to William Paley’s negotiations with his publisher Robert Faulder
  • David S Faulder “one of the pioneers of Gage County when, in 1878, he settled on a farm in Hanover township” in History of Gage County, Nebraska. (No known connection!)
  • Thomas Jefferson Faulder FRCS (half-cousin) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • John Harvey Faulder (cousin), County Agriculture Officer: Cumberland
  • Various Faulders who have either gone to court or been taken to court!

Some of the occurrences in the period  since 1954:

  • Joseph Stanley Faulder, – executed in Texas, a Canadian citizen he was denied consular access for 17 years – and that is just the beginning of the tale. (No known connection, although he is believed to have been the son of Joseph Faulder of Millom, Cumberland.)
  • Liane Faulder, Journalist and Author in Edmonton, Canada
  • Carolyn Faulder (cousin in law), Author
  • Cherie Faulder (No known connection), Author (with Carol Graham) of “Leaving Home” – a guide to doing just that.
  • Sarah Faulder (cousin), Lawyer, (quoted for instance in Billboard, May 2005 when Chief Executive of the Music Publishers Association)
  • Dominic Faulder (cousin), Journalist (quoted in books about Asia plus a reference to the Great Atlantic Air Race)
  • Various Faulders who have either gone to court or been taken to court!

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