One of the things that interests people who carry out One-Name Studies is the potential size of their growing database. Another way of looking at it is to ask the question "How many Pluckroses and Plucks have there ever been?".

There have been several articles in the Journal of One-Name Studies in recent years and a method of calculating this number has been proposed. The calculation is based on data taken from "The Population History of England" by Wrigley and Schofield, pub. Cambridge 1989, which covers the period 1541 to 1871, and the UK General Register Office (GRO) data from 1811 to 1991. This information makes it possible to calculate a link between the number of births per annum and the total population in any year.

A table has been produced which allows the total number to be calculated either from the number of births in a given year, or from the total population with the relevant surname in any year.

Using the data from the 1881 census, which records 146 Pluckroses and 384 Plucks, we arrive at a figure of 1022 Pluckroses and 2688 Plucks. In round numbers we are looking at a total of 3700 individuals. This is the total number of individuals born since significant records began and is valid for England and Wales.

There is another way of doing this calculation, which is based on the Office of National Statistics database of surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Man in September 2002. This comes up with a total of 810 Plucks and 301 Pluckroses alive today. The names rank in order of frequency at numbers 7830 and 15,508 respectively (Smith and Jones are at numbers 1 and 2). Using these figures the number of occurrences since parish records began in the 16th century works out at 1134 Pluckroses and 2835 Plucks, which compares well with the numbers in the previous paragraph.

If you want to check the frequency of occurrence of your own surname **click here** to make your own search. While at this site, have a look at the additional query options which allow you to investigate the most common names on the database.

One thing that can be said with certainty is that, while not on the verge of extinction, Plucks and Pluckroses are rare, perhaps they could even be described as an exotic species.