Locate My Name – a Distribution of Names Across Regions

Want to find where people having your last name are found?

Locate My Name is a web site that promises to help you find distribution of names across countries and regions. The site mainly focuses on surnames, because more people with the same surname in a place, means something: either those people are in the region since long ago and the name originates from there or nearby, or members of the same family for some reason relocated there. The Locate My Name website is mainly used for finding origins of names, curiosity, entertainment and genealogy research.

Data from many countries is available, including: Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and more.

The statistics are very reliable for some countries but not so good for others, primarily because of the quality of public records varies from one country to another. The information about surnames is derived from electoral rolls, birth records, census, and similar publicly-available information. There is good data about: the USA, Canada, and many European countries. However, there is poor to no data about: China, Iran, India and most of the African countries.

The searches are quick and easy. A search for my own surname displays the following results:

CA = 1392
NY = 873
MI = 866
FL = 774
WA = 670
TX = 652
MN = 531
MA = 517
IL = 447
PA = 360

I had no idea the Eastman name was so popular in California!

I also found it interesting that the Locate My Name site also lists web sites that have the surname in the URL, such as: http://bankofeastman.com.

You can find this and more at the Locate My Name web site at: http://www.locatemyname.com.

15 Comments

Interesting……..where did you find the listing for the business?

Liked by 1 person

I thought your Eastmans were mainly in Maine .. ?
The site doesn’t seem to have Ireland included.
And they need to fix it to handle apostrophe O’.

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I just tried “Sanborn”, originated in New Hampshire, Sanbornton NH named for them, dozens that I know of there, and in Maine. Results 0 for both states. So I guess I’d say, interesting, but use with caution.

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Hmm … Based on surnames that I’m familiar with, I’m not too sure about the accuracy of Locate My Name’s results for the UK. As it only reports numbers, and seemingly only by major cities, the largest numbers repeatedly appear in the largest cities – which would broadly be expected. Often what is of more interest to family historians where an unusually high concentration of a name as compared to the local population: for this I find http://named.publicprofiler.org/ gives results that more closely match my experience in looking for records.
For example my personal experience of my own surname (Lynn) is that it’s not particularly common in Hampshire, where I formerly lived, nor in the Bristol area, yet it is very common in the north east of England throughout Newcastle, Sunderland and the surrounding areas. Phone book entries are half a dozen in the south, half a page in the north-east. Yet Locate My Name lists 77 occurrences for Bristol and only 62 for Sunderland, and no mention of Newcastle at all (in fact, I’ve yet to find Newcastle listed at all – maybe Locate My Name is grouping the whole Tyne and Wear region under Sunderland?). The map from Named seems to more accurately reflect my experience in where the name appears. Other names that I’ve tried show similar differences: I appreciate they’ve used different sources for their data, but the results could be misleading.

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All the names on my mother’s side came up rare. No wonder I’m having so much “fun”!

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Very few of our surnames will have originated in the USA. I am unable to get this site to show anything for the British Isles, where all my ancestors originated, so it is pretty worthless to me.

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Luther milton Strasburg July 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm

not impressed. my surname of Strasburg in Wisconsin did not come in with the top ten USA states. Heck there are more Strasburg families in Eau Claire County, WI than what the 10th place state shows.

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My name is shown with TX in 1st place, double 2nd place CA. IL is in 6th and WA in 9th. If I spell it without the second “g,” NC is in 1st place, CA in 3rd, and IL in 9th. Interesting because the original immigrant, traced as far back as 1750, was in both SC and NC, and spelled it Wagner. He’s a brick wall and we don’t know where he’s from. His son spelled it both Wagner and Waggoner, served in the Rev. War in SC, moved to NC, then to IL, where his 12 children and their large families made a large contingent. A book written by family in the 1920s shows they spread all over the country, spelling it all three ways. The largest contingent was in TX at that time. I didn’t even bother with Wagner. So the site followed the migration of my family, sort of. There are, of course, other Waggoner families unrelated to us.

My Norwegian ancestors all either had “generic” names like Hansen, or, like my grandfather, changed it to Harrison, a UK name, which shows a weird distribution for a Scandinavian.

Doris

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Do you know where the data comes from that they use on this site. I was expecting to find some explanation – for example is it from historic records and if so which ones or from modern day records? But unless I missed this, there was nothing at all which makes me question how reliable this can be?

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My complaint is that the numbers are mapped as raw data, rather than as percentages of total population. Using raw data gives a false impression of density — OF COURSE it appears that California has a lot of Eastmans; California has a LOT of people, a lot more than Maine. But, if the number in Maine were mapped as a percentage of the total population of Maine, and as a percentage of the total population of California, the distributions might appear to be a lot more indicative of (founding) centers of distribution of names, at least in the U.S. My own maiden name should appear very dense in North Carolina and Missouri instead of Texas and California, but again, it’s the total populations that are throwing the appearance off. This website has a good idea, but the execution needs some work.

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It didn’t find my family’s last name. It said “none”.

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Not worth much. I know of seven people in Wisconsin with my surname,

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