A NEW website can now reveal where all your long lost relatives have been living and whether your surname is synonymous with Bolton. 

Developed by geographers at University College London, Named, generates a ‘heat map’ of the geographic concentrations of any surname in the UK. 

The website was formed as studies found on average surnames have not moved far in distance over the last 700 years.

It reveals where surnames are unusually popular. 

And the site can even identify areas where couples most probably met.

Give it a go and find out how Bolton your surname is 

Professor Paul Longley, who is leading the project, said: "The website is a quirky start of our research project which is looking into whether our surnames are linked to our geographical locations – something which has been long perceived.

"It is known that many names remain surprisingly concentrated in specific parts of the UK, and this project helps us extend our understanding of name geography to combinations of names too when we enter relationships."

The data used for the website comes from the Consumer Data Research Centre. 

Professor Longley added: "Most Anglo Saxon family names came into common usage between the 12th and 14th centuries, and were first coined in particular parts of the country.

"What is interesting is that most individuals do not move far from their ancestral family homes and so, 700 or more years later, most names can still be associated with particular localities.

"This doesn’t work for all names, however. The geography of many popular family names (like Smith or Brown) is much more evenly spread, although even popular names like Jones, Williams or Davies still have strong regional connotations.

"With all the current focus on population migration, it is remarkable to see that most individuals and families stay put throughout the generations.

"As a consequence it is interesting to reflect that names are still often strong indicators of kinship and regional identity."

We had a go with some famous names from Bolton including spinning mule inventor Samuel Crompton, radio DJ Sara Cox and comedian Peter Kay

Out of the three, Crompton came out as the surname most synonymous with Bolton. 

Readers have been enjoying trying out the tool, with Robin Fletcher saying: "Fletcher is very common in Bolton and Bury."

Another, with the surname Bradshaw said: "Apparently my hot spot was Leicestershire however my surname is Bradshaw and I thought I was a lot more local than the survey suggested, but very interesting."

Have a go yourself by clicking here and let us know your results by e mailing webdesk@nqnw.co.uk