I WOULD like to thank all of those readers who have responded to my earlier letters on surnames and their origins.

People wrote in asking about unusual surnames — sometimes not always their own.

‘Blood’ could denote an ancestor who was a medieval bloodletter.

The rare ‘Barkis’ means worker at the barkhouse or tannery — somebody who tanned the hides of animals.

‘Pickwick’ could derive from the place in Wiltshire, so called, and Charles Dickens was a friend of coachbuilder Moses Pickwick, which name he used in his novel ‘The Pickwick Papers’. Dickens chose really rare names for certain characters — ‘Dombey’ and ‘Snodgrass’ are real but Chuzzlewit is a fiction.

Readers wishing to know more about the origin of their surnames can write to me at: 96, Genoa Court, Andover, SP10 5JD, and I will do my best to help them.

Richard J Kidd, Andover