In your family history research, the most popular item to know is more about your family name – the surname. Using the online site, ‘Forebears‘ you can learn a little bit more about a family name.
In the English-speaking world, three of the most common surnames are Smith, Jones and Williams. Using this site, they have placed the origins and meaning behind some 11 million surnames. Also over different decades it shows a map of where people with that surname lived.
The search is easy on ‘Forebears‘, just type in a name. Do it also with other spellings of the name if known. If you do not know of other spellings, use the most common spelling and many times any various spellings will be listed as you scroll down the page of that surname. For example, the surname of ‘Kershaw’ has ten other similar spellings.
It will also provide its ranking in the world and in different nations — ranking based on the number of people with that name. Provided is the approximate total number of people as of 2014 with that same last name in the world. For example, the surname of ‘Kershaw’ has presently 21,424 individuals with that surname.
On FamilyTree.com there is also a write-up on hundreds of surnames, so a good place to compare and add information to your family files.
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