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Surdival One-Name Study

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What is the Surdival One-Name Study?

Many of us are curious about the origin of our surname, perhaps even more so when it is an unusual or rare one. Although the name Surdival and its variants are found in several English-speaking countries, it likely has its origins in the town of Sourdeval in Normandy. Richard de Sourdeval brought the name to England at the time of William the Conqueror, but how did the name find its way to County Mayo in Ireland in the late 18-th century? And did the North American Surdivals of the 19-th century originate from Ireland? The goal of this one-name study is to try and answer these and other questions about the Surdival name.

This study is registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies and a description of it can be found by viewing the Surdival Profile Page .

How Many Variants of Surdival Are There?

The variants of Surdival that have been officially registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies are:

•    Surdival •    Surdoval
•    Surdeval •    Surdevan
•    Surdeville

There are other variations as well, and although not registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies, the following are also being actively researched:

•    Surdovel •   Sirdefield
•    Surdivall •   Sirdifield
•   Sirdevan •   Serdifield
•   Serdiville

How Common is Surdival as a Surname?

Of approximately 270,000 surnames found at the time of the 2002 census of England and Wales, Surdival was ranked 203,151 with only 6 individuals sporting this moniker. There were 5 Surdivalls, 9 Surdevans, 10 Serdivilles, 39 Sirdifields, and 40 Sirdefields. To put this in perspective, the most common surname was Smith, and 652,563 individuals had this name, making Surdival and variants about 6,000 times less common!

To find out how common your ancestors’ surnames are today, visit the ONS List.

Are There Any Data Available?

As part of this one-name study, a database of all occurrences of the Surdival surname and its variants is being put together. At present, the database houses approximately 3,500 records from a variety of sources including parish records, civil registration, census enumerations, passenger lists, and earlier sources. The countries represented include Australia, Canada, Egypt, England, France, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, U.S.A., and Wales.

Why not get involved? Send us the earliest occurrence of your Surdival-variant surname and together we can piece together the puzzle.

Future plans for this website include publishing the data that are available for the period pre-1900. In the meantime, if you have questions, would like to donate data, or be put in touch with other Surdival researchers, send an e-mail message to

Coming Soon

Watch for Irish civil registration data on this website in the fall of 2008.