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La guerre de 1914-1918 et la disparition des noms de famille en France: un essai d'estimation à partir du modèle Galton-Watson

Pierre Darlu and Pascal Chareille

Population (french edition), 2020, vol. 75, issue 1, 101-131

Abstract: The possible reduction of the stock of surnames attributable to the World War I (1914-1918) in France has not yet be explored. The aim of this work is to propose an estimate of this phenomenon taking into account the number of surnames disappearing according to the random extinction model described by Galton and Watson, the distribution of the number of children per households, and the proportion of surnames carried by a given number of bearers. Estimates have been based on the Ministry of Defense's electronic file which includes French soldiers killed during the First World War and on the Surname file produced by the Insee. While the human losses attributable to the World War I are unevenly distributed throughout the territory, showing a higher number north of a La Rochelle-Mulhouse line, the surname losses show a different geographical pattern with the numerous extinctions in Pyrenees, Corsica and Brittany. The extinction of surnames actually represents only a small proportion of all the surnames of the Dead for France (1,4%). By department, this observation is at odds with the Galton-Watson model which predicts a larger proportion of extinction due to the constitution of the two files, and the formulated demographic hypotheses.

Keywords: First World War; France; surnames; Morts pour la France; Galton-Watson process (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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