Having had several tradesmen in the office these last ten days – whilst having two rooms newly decorated and carpeted – I have become a master at the role of hostess. ‘Coffee or tea?’….’Do you take milk and sugar?’ This made me wonder: how common are these as surnames?
I am an avid coffee drinker and this is by far, the most common surname – of the four – in the 1881 census, with an interesting distribution, the predominant county for Coffee, housing 96 of the 369 Coffees, being Lancashire (see left).
Tea – I have often said – is not so popular. Just 50 name bearers in 1881 (see right) but a far more concentrated distribution with over half of them living in Gloucestershire. [I have to say, wonderful piece of software, Surname Atlas…. do take a shufty at Steve Archer’s website for more information.]
Do you take milk with your tea or coffee? Well you wouldn’t be likely to find the name bearers in the same area! 84 people called Milk in 1881 and 69 of them lived in Norfolk, way away from the Teas and Coffees! (see left)…. and if you wanted sugar, well you can have it with coffee but not much else! (apart from milk down in Sussex but I cannot imagine that just sugar and milk together would be very pleasant!)
I wonder if there are any Coffee place names in Lancashire? Or Milk place names in Norfolk?
Interestingly, Reading has the most Coffees per 100,000 people with a 1 in 1500 chance of meeting someone called Coffee in the Registration District in 1881. Fascinating software to play around with!