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How Many of Me

How Many of MeHow Many of Me is an entertaining diversion in your surname family history research.

Lately I’ve been absorbed in client work and conference presentation prep. So of course I’m having a lot of fun procrastinating with a new (to me) site called How Many of Me.

You can find out how many people share your name by entering a simple first and last name at HowManyofMe.com. (Also works on other family names.) The data are based on the 2000 U.S. census.

My first name has more than a million hits, but my last name brings that number down to only 10. And one of these ten women just moved to my town, which I thought was fun until I realized we had the same doctor. But How Many of Me is still a bit of fun.

And 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.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”