Finch Surname DNA Project

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Our goal is to discover, identify and connect all Finch families anywhere in the world.

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In America the geographic or ethnic/cultural origins of the Finch surname is usually associated with England and Ireland and is found anywhere in the world people of those origins ventured.

The Dictionary of American Surnames offers the following information about the Finch surname:

English: nickname from Middle English finch ‘finch’ (Old English finc). In the Middle Ages this bird had a reputation for stupidity. It may perhaps also in part represent a metonymic occupational name for someone who caught finches and sold them as songsters or for the cooking pot. The surname is found in all parts of Britain but is most common in Lancashire.

The same onomastic dictionary suggests looking at the surname Fink which says Fink is German, Slovenian, English, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a lively and cheerful person, or, in the case of the Jewish name, an ornamental name, from a Germanic word meaning ‘finch’ (see Finch). As a Slovenian surname, it may also be a translation into German of the Slovenian surname Šinkovec (from an old spelling of šcinkovec or šcinkavec ‘finch’).

The Dictionary above gives no information about the meaning or origins of the surname Fincher. It does have a note about the ending, -er which it indicates it likely is an occupation ending. So, a Fincher probably had something to do with Finches as indicated in the Finch surname definition above.

The Internet website says the Finch surname is ethnically 98.66% English or unknown as well as .35% Irish, .07 Scottish, .16% Welsh and .05% Jewish. Likewise it states the surname Fincher is as entrenched in the British Isles as is Finch. compares the geographical distribution of the Finch surname internationally as:
Total Rate/Million of GB
Great Britain 13502 or n/a
N. Ireland 64.23 or 18.40% of GB
Republic Ireland 2.85% or .80% of GB
Austrailia 259.26 or 74.30% of GB
New Zealand 170.71 or 48.90% of GB
United States 211.45 or 60.60% of GB
Canada 151.41 or 43.40% of GB

Using electoral polls in Great Britain and telephone directories in the US British Surnames found the most Finches listed in 1881 in Colchester and in 1998 in Wigan. In Austrailia the most populous area was the Northern territory, in New Zealand, Otago, and in the United States, North Carolina.

To view the British Surnames website and for a map showing the distribution in the British Isles in 1881 and 1998 go to

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