As you have been collecting data for your Surname Study, have you ever come across individuals from the Independent faith, and wondered about the church?
Independents arose from the faith group known as Brownists (after Robert Browne). They believed that church and state should be totally separate - and that each congregation should be independent and able to choose their own ministers. Independents later became Congregationalists: a famous Independent was Oliver Cromwell. But when the monarchy was reinstated, all kinds of restraints were put on this religion - which was a 'nonconformist' one in that it was not the Church of England. In 1972, three quarters of the congregations merged with Presybterians to form the United Reformed Church - but there are still Congregationalists in the UK.
Congregationalism flourished in other countries, too, notably the New England part of the United States of America.
© Ros Haywood
School of Surnames
Next week's letter is 'J'. Has anybody got any interesting snippets that marry up J with surname studies? If so, please send them to Ros Haywood at sos [at] surname-society.org
letter I courtesy of openclipart.org