Locate My Name is a website that can give you a bunch of genealogical statistics about your first or last name. The site purports to offer first name information only as a curiosity and not for any professional purposes.
The surname search feature, however, can be used by historians to find valuable data about how peoples migrated from one area to another and where they settled.
A simple search option allows you to choose which country’s data you want to see, and clicking on your desired country leads to a new page containing a treasure trove of data.
The website allows you to see the recorded and estimated occurrences of your surname in your selected countries, a few other countries, and in the entire world. The site also gives etymological information for certain surnames.
When searching in a country, the tool will allow you to see in which parts of the country the name is most prevalent in.
Further still, the site gives you a list of Internet domain names which seem connected to the surname you searched for and another list for sub-domains and blogs. The last bit of information you’ll get is a list of first names that are commonly paired with your surname.
An interesting genealogical fact is that lots of families remain in the same area for generations, which means that surnames often have regional connotations. Of course, some surnames e.g. Brown or Smith are more common and are spread out more evenly than others, but such names are the exception rather than the norm.
Surnames that are imported into countries are usually clustered in port cities or huge metropolises. Where they appear in rural areas, they show that immigrants settled in particular villages.
The site also has translated sections in several other languages such as French, Italian, and many others.
So if you’ve been wondering where your ancestors originated from, give Locate My Name a whirl, and you’ll gain a ton of information!