Back when I was giving my live demonstrations of my favorite genealogical sites on the Internet, for fun (and to add a break to get everyone involved), I would go to this site called Hamrick's U.S. Surname Distribution based on the U.S. Census reports. This site is still online at http://www.hamrick.com/names/ . The site would show a sliding scale of color according to the number of your surname as compared to others and this would be shown on the U.S. state map with each state having the distribution color. If the colors were mostly blues in the map your surname is not a common one, while on the other end if the map was mostly red or orange, it was a common name.
I just learned of another site on Eastman's blog Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter This one is on PublicProfiler.org and shows some different data about surnames and their popularity. For example some of my ancestors were named FLATT not a very common name... in the world the frequency of the name was only 18.9 per million surnames. The neat thing is that of the top five cities with the largest concentration of Flatt's the one in the U.S. is Cookeville, Tennessee - which is the area where my Flatt's lived! Here is this surname site:
Check them out... you might learn something about your family!
- Compiled by JGWest