Here’s a entertaining diversion in your surname family history research: HowManyofMe.com.

Lately I’ve been preoccupied in client work. And then there’s conference presentation prep. So of course I’m goofing around (yes, procrastinating) on a site called How Many of Me.

How Many of Me…and You

You can find out how many people share your name simply by entering your first and last name at HowManyofMe.com. Then have fun searching for ancestors’ names. (My own favorite ancestor name is William Butt Munch – just one of him!)  The data used on this site comes from the 2000 U.S. census.

how_many_of_meMy first name has more than a million hits, but my last name has only 3.029. Combine my first and last name and that brings that number down to only 10.

One of these ten women just moved to my very small town, which I thought was fun. Then I discovered we use the same labs and doctors. Yikes!

But How Many of Me is still a bit of fun.

Surname Rankings

If you want to know more about the ranking of your surname, visit How Popular is Your Last Name? at PBS.

Find out by entering your surname into a searchable database of more than 150,000 last names. Enter your last name in our Popularity Index database, and see its rank among the most common names in the United States, according to 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census data — the two years for which this data is available.

Data SourceU.S. Census Bureau. In 1995, the Census Bureau published a list of surnames occurring 100 times or more from the 1990 decimal census. The 1990 list contains 88,799 names. When the Bureau published the list following the 2000 census, the list contained 151,671 names. The next U.S. Census takes place in 2010.

What about me? According to the 2000 data, though the entire list of 151,671 surnames covers about 90 percent of the population, it accounts for only about 3 percent of surnames in the United States!

The 2000 census found over 6 million surnames total, the vast majority (about 65%) held by just one person. So don’t be discouraged if you’re not on the list. Ninety-seven percent of all surnames in the United States didn’t make the list.

How Many of Me

Fun, eh? But now it’s time to get back to some serious genealogy research! Good luck in all your searches.