Thursday, October 12, 2017

Top 10 Surnames

Family Tree Maker is the program I use to organize my genealogy information. Using this program I can print out various reports on the data I input. The information below came from the Surname Report, sorted by surname count.

                                    Total   Male    Female            Earliest           Most Recent
ALFORD                           377     221     154                 1645               1995

RITTER                            350     210     139                 1710               1967

BRUMFIELD                      348     198     150                 1720               1954

FORTENBERRY                  334     194     138                 1772               1979

SMITH                              243     121     121                 1756               1993

WOLF                              199      113     85                   1694               1911

BROWN                           154      87       64                   1730               2011

ELLZEY                           117      66       51                   1796               1980

MARK                              100      58       42                   1812               1979

OTT                                  95      56       38                   1666               1919

Note: The number of males + females does not always = total. There are many infants or children who died young and no first name or sex was recorded.

It is interesting that the common surnames Brown & Smith are not #1 & #2 on this list. It is precisely because they are so common that it makes it harder to claim an individual. If I find Adolphus Ott in rural LA in the mid 1850s I can be confident he is mine because that is an unusual name. But it is much harder to find the correct John Brown at the same time and place because there are many with that name.

Follow the links connected to each Surname to my website for more information on each family.

All of these surnames are on my father's side of the family tree. My mother's family is much smaller.

What are your Top Surnames?

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  1. Colleen, I never used this report feature of my RootsMagic 7 before. Because of you, now I know how it works! And I learned that the top 2 surnames in my husband's tree are: WOOD (duh), 183 instances, earliest being 1551; and LARIMER, 155 instances, earliest 1719. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Great. Glad you find ti fund to do. 1551 for WOOD is amazing!

  2. What an interesting report. I will try this. However, I suspect my top two will not be the families I am most interested in.


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