Brit traditional surnames like Footheads and Pauncefoots becoming extinct
Many British traditional surnames, some of which date back to the Domesday Book - a record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086, are dying out.
Names such as Mackmain, Bythewood, Foothead and Pauncefoot are among those believed to have become extinct in Britain, and researchers believe thousands more have vanished, while others are on the brink of extinction, used by just a handful of individuals.
The extinct surnames have been identified by members of the Guild of One-Name Studies, a group that investigates the origins and heritage of names.
"There is a continual process by which some names thrive and some don't. The inheritance of surnames is purely random," the Telegraph quoted Debbie Kennett, from the guild, as saying.
"Some die out and some increase exponentially. At the same time we have many more being introduced, including new hybrid, hyphenated names," she said.
An analysis by Kennett in her new book, 'The Surnames Handbook,' has put the number of names now used in Britain and Ireland at up to half a million, half of which have been introduced in the past century because of immigration, the publication reported.
The figures have been estimated from studying analyses of the electoral register and other sources. The exact number of the extinct surnames is not known, as no comprehensive database of Britain's surnames exists.