Sunday, February 14, 2016

5 Online Surname Origin Resources Round II

5 Online Surname Origin Resources Round II

A year ago I shared my favorite surname research resources in this post. I continue to seek out resources to learn more about the origin of my family surnames. In this post I share five more resources and point out my favorite go to resource.

5 Online Surname Origin Resources Round II - In this post I share five more resources and point out my favorite go to resource.

Our surnames can provide hints or clues as to our family origins.

By using a surname distribution map you may be able to pinpoint an area to focus your research. This strategy could prove helpful when you are stuck on a family line and looking for that little kernel of inspiration or direction.

Surnames, originating in some countries, can even give you an idea of what an ancestor did for a living or where they fit into a family line, a patronymic name. You can discover more about a patronymic name here. All in all, I find surnames interesting and fun to learn about. 

 "Patronymic name: derived from the name of a father or ancestor."

5 more online surname origin resources to take a look at.


GeoGen German Surname Mapping Tool
  1. World Names Public Profiler: this tool allows you to perform a name search, area search or an ethnicity search. You will have to provide your email address, however, they explain the reason for that. This link is specific to family names in Great Britain.
  2. For those with German surnames, GeoGen Surname Mapping will be of interest to you. Also you will want to get lost in GeoGen Places and check out Geogen 4.0 for the cool, geek factor.
  3. FamilySearch Surname Distribution Maps: FamilySearch created a collection of worldwide as well as country specific surname distribution maps.This is a resource you will refer to again and again.
  4. Cyndi's List has curated an list of Surnames, Family Associations and Family Newsletters. This collection may contain the link you need to connect you to others researching the same or similar surname you are looking for.
  5. Google. Think of Google as your very own research assistant. Give that assistant the appropriate instructions and direction and see what can be found. Watch this video from Lisa Louise Cooke that was live streamed from RootsTech 2016 to learn how powerful Google can be.
The Internet Surname Database still remains my favorite resource when I begin researching a new surname. I like the ease of use, detailed surname descriptions as well as the underlying statistical information this site provides.

I would love to hear if you have any breakthroughs in your surname research from using these resources. Also, please share any additional resources you have. Visit my Surnames I Seek page to see if we have any ancestral surnames in common.

patronymic. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. February 13, 2016).