Surname Research

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Some sources available to show the meaning, origin and distribution of your surname are:

External Links

  2. has maps that show the geographic distribution of surnames from the United States census records, and surname distribution for England and Wales from the 1891 census and some history of surnames.
  3. United Kingdom and Ireland distribution mapping:
  4. Belgium distribution mapping:
  5. Great Britain distribution mapping:
  6. France distribution mapping:
  7. Italydistribution mapping:
  8. Scotland distribution mapping:
  9. United States distribution mapping:
  10. Walesdistribution mapping:

Compact Disc

The British 19th Century Surname Atlas, by Archer Software shows distribution maps for surnames and given names found in the 1881 census of England, Wales and Scotland. This program is available on the patron computers at the Family History Library.


Surnames In Genealogy: A New Approach by George Redmond

Surnames : their meanings and origins”  by Diane Snyder Ptak; 929.42 P959s ; (General guide to characteristics of surnames and sources for further reading, by country, with emphasis on Europe and North America.) Not currently on microfilm.

Searching for surnames: a practical guide to their meanings and origins”, by John Titford;  942 D4tj ;  (Contains entries for names with British Isles origins.) Not currently on microfilm.

Family origins”  compiled by Lillian Ramos Navarro Wold ; 980 D4w ;  (Translation from Spanish to English from the series of Hispanic surname origins published in 1994 on the Excelsior newspaper in the Culturales-Heráldica section. Each of the surname articles include a brief genealogy of some people carrying the surname published, most of them residing in California.) (Traducción al inglés de la publicación de la serie orígen de apellidos hispanos en la sección Culturales-Heráldica del diario Excelsior en el año 1994. Incluye índice de apellidos. Cada artículo de la serie incluye brevemente la genealogía de una persona que lleva el apellido y que vive en California.)  Not currently on microfilm.

"Welsh Surnames" by T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan

“German-American names”  by George F. Jones;  973 D4j 1995;  (Etymologies of German-American surnames, exploring their historical roots and meanings.) Not currently on microfilm.