I always thought “Davies” was more likely Welsh.
Yes, I immediately thought of:
Jefferson Davis. President of the Confederate States of America.
Robertson Davies. Canadian novelist.
Bill Davis. Premier of Ontario 1971-1985.
Admittedly, “Davis” seems a more common spelling in North America, but “Davies” doesn’t seem particularly exotic either. A lot of surnames have variant spellings.
How about Windsor?
EDIT: on second thoughts maybe not so typical.
I thought of that, but according to Wikipedia, Cornwall had a lot of emigration. I can’t think of any region that didn’t, at one time or another. The aristocratic surnames may not have travelled, but they’re not common in the UK either. Not sure there is any answer.
Shows what I know then! But of course, why wouldn’t there be emigration - Cornwall’s never been affluent, so the push/pull factors would work just as well there as anywhere else.
I thought the same as you, but it’s true that it was and is a poor area. There might be names that are less common in eg the US or Australia due to timing of emigration, but only common in the UK is a taller order.
There was a James Bond movie with Roger Moore where he used the false name “St. John-Smythe”, which is so British that when you say it, you faintly hear the Eton boating song in the distance.
The writers of Spinal Tap already did the job for you: St. Hubbins, Tufnel, Smalls.
Interesting point, jtur88– maybe I’m looking for the most common aristocratic English names?
Churchill’s not a bad shout then (he was the nephew of a Duke after all).
Their mining skills were much in demand across the empire/New World.
It just occurred to me that Holmes and Hood have immense association with England.
Like someone once said, if you’d spent the ‘90s pitching a book idea where the protagonist is a Brit named Benedict Cumberbatch, folks would’ve patiently explained that, see, there’s such a thing as being a bit too on the nose…