PublicProfiler.org displays a map of the world and then invites you to enter your surname or any other surname of interest. It then displays the popularity of that name around the world.
I was surprised to find that my own surname is more popular in Canada (measured as a percentage of the entire population) than it is in the United States. I know it is a popular name in Canada, but never realized just how popular it is until PublicProfiler.org provided the numbers. It is also a very popular name in the State of Maine (which I expected) and is also found in England, Australia, New Zealand, and even a handful of people with the same surname are found in Spain. The web site also reports that the fourth most common forename of all people named Eastman is Richard. Hey! That's my name.
Even better, the PublicProfiler.org web site reports that the people of my surname most commonly originated from England (which is correct) and there it is most commonly found in Bristol (which I didn't know). Again, these are not hard facts about your ancestors but the web site can provide clues about probabilities.
PublicProfiler.org also provides:
- An Area Search that displays the most common surnames and forenames for any geographic arrea in its database
- An Ethnicity Search that shows the distribution of various ethnic groups around the world
You can find PublicProfiler.org at http://www.publicprofiler.org/worldnames
My thanks to Frank Henderson for telling me about this site.