Monday, December 22, 2003


The up-to-date copy of this post will be maintained here:

Surname Navigator: - SUPER way to do a quick surname survey

Another - ExpertGenealogy Websearch Wizard:

NEW! Linkpendium's Surnames - Web sites, obituaries, biographies, and other material specific to a surname:

UK Office of National Statistics database of surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Man, September 2002:, also UK, 2001: You can leave messages on this site.

Namnsökning. Hur många heter...? - Statistik från SCB (Swedish Surnames & Forenames):
   Sök=search, efternamn=last name, förnamn=first name, båda könen=both sexes, kvinna=woman, man=man

You can use some of the general sites where you can search for surname distribution to pin down villages /communes for further study, if you are researching a relatively rare surname. Some of these sites for France are Notrefamille: (1890), GeoPatronyme: (1891-1915, 1916-1940, 1941-1965, & 1966-1990), and GeneaNet: (European GEDCOMS). The French Telephone Directories: or will do the same thing for surnames existing today.

World Telephone Listings:

All of Europe -

For US surnames, try Search the USGenWeb Archives:
   State by State:

Surname Research Directories - England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Channel Isles:

Search most of the world - LDS FamilySearch:
   Largest collection of patron submitted and record extracted BMD data available anywhere in the Ancestral File, IGI, & LDS Pedigree File, plus the LDS Vital Record Index (some available only on inexpensive CDs). The 1880 US, 1881 English & Canadian census indexes can be searched there also.

Also, various Rootsweb searches can be found here: It may also be useful to search the archives of the Surnames list, although it is currently not working, because it was so busy and so structured, and mirrored the Surnames newsgroup: And don't forget the Rootsweb Surname List (RSL):

A fun search -- see how popular your surname (or forename) is in the 1990 US Census:

US Surname Distribution over time:

Changing Immigrant Names (INS):

Search for (or add) your Female Ancestor:

For derivations of surnames, try
   Derivations of forenames:
   Surname Meanings:
   Surname Meanings & Origins:

Also see Kate Monk's Onomastikon (Dictionary of Names):

Weaselhead, Devil and Drunkard: Surnames Originating As Insults - interesting tour of surnames we would now find insulting, profane, or puzzling:

Places to search for your surnames (GEDCOMs) -

WorldConnect at Rootsweb: (one can also upload and/or search from; however, there are fewer options for customization on the Anc side. Common database.) Worldconnect/AWT Submitter Surname Search: - Thanks, Randy!

Tribalpages: (one can password the files, or leave them public)

Pedigree Resource File (LDS):

Genealogy For You: ($24 a year, uses TNG - see Bible Family for display)

GeneaNet (lots of European GEDCOMs, uses GeneWeb):

Dave Wilks' free Gedcom server:


Family Tree (family tree descriptions, surnames):

Family History Books - BYU has scanned in 4000+ and put them online:

How easy is it for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him, and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles. - Washington Irving, 1783-1859