Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Surname distribution in the United States

I came across a delightful mapping tool on the web today. It is a simple mash-up of surname data from the Census Bureau and white pages telephone directories on the one hand, and a map of the 50 states on the other. It's a lot of fun and rather informative to look at how certain last names have "traveled through time" across the United States.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

A common Amish (Pennsylvania Dutch) name, like Yoder:

A surname with strong ties to the Mormon faith, such as Larsen:

The predominantly Hispanic surnames of Gomez:

...and of Sanchez:

Or, there is Olson, a common Scandinavian surname popularly found in the northern plains:

It's interesting to note the wide distribution of the Vietnamese name Nguyen, but the only significant record begins in 1990:

Many thanks to the Hamrick Software company for devising this useful tool. (Hamrick's primary product is photo scanning software, so if you're in the market for that, check them out.)

Tags: , , , ,


At 6:27 PM, February 16, 2007, Anonymous GMI Blog said...

This is a great find. There are limitless research possiblities with that tool. It is also interesting checking up on your own name.

At 10:43 PM, February 28, 2007, Anonymous Movie blog said...

What is the data based on? Census data? When was the last census taken? 2001?

At 10:44 PM, February 28, 2007, Anonymous Movie review website said...

Sort of cool, if it's accurate.

At 6:00 PM, August 20, 2007, Anonymous Hot Karl said...

I think I just inoculated.


Post a Comment

<< Home