Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!

4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in Google Plus Stream post.

NOTE:  If you can't figure out how to do this in your GMP, use the Help button and search for "count persons" then follow directions.  

Here's mine:

I'm going to use RootsMagic 5 because that's where I'm doing my current additions, deletions and editing and is my most up-to-date collection.  In RootsMagic 5, go to Reports, then Lists and scroll down to "Surname Statistics List."  I then chose "Frequency of Surnames" from the list presented.

That took about 20 seconds and I have a 124 page list!  I didn't count every one of them - there are 124 pages with 47 names per page, plus the last page has 19.  That's a grand total of 5,847 surnames in my database with 41,274 persons.  The top 10 are, with birth date ranges:

*  SEAVER - 4,167 persons, from 1608 to 2011
*  BUCK - 652 persons, from 1585 to 1965
*  SMITH - 618 persons, from 1526 to 2005
*  VAUX - 508 persons, from 1620 to 2006
*  FITZ RANDOLPH - 498 persons, from 1565 to 1884

*  DILL - 420 persons, from 1645 to 1993
*  RICHMAN - 345 persons, from 1622 to 1985
*  NEWTON - 317 persons, from 1690 to 1997
*  CHAMPLIN - 305 persons, from 1618 to 1903
*  CULVER - 270 persons from 1650 to 1981

I have 161 Mary's without a surname, and 144 Elizabeth's without a surname, and 205 persons without any name at all (there's a blank line for this one!).

Of course, if I added up all the persons without a surname, my LNU's are probably the biggest group on the list.


I didn't see a way to get a count on first names - can anyone figure this out in RootsMagic 5, or in another program?  

10 comments:

Martin said...

My database (Reunion for the mac) is much smaller than yours. I have only 1894 distinct surnames of which the #1 is Pinkham (393). Smith comes in as my number 6th surname.

Martin said...

I should also point out that computer software takes the surnames as spelled uniquely, so that my Hollicks and Holics (same family) are not added together.

Jenny Lanctot said...

Here's my entry for tonight: http://aremyrootsshowing.blogspot.com/2012/03/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-how-many.html

Carole said...

What is GMP?

Sara Greenleaf said...

Another fun challenge! My post is here, also using Reunion: http://bit.ly/z4nKN7

Celia said...

Okay, Randy - here's mine... using RM4 (have to update soon):
1272 individual surnames: #1 KUHN 477, 1696-2007; #2 GRAVES 319, 1605-1986; #3 BEEBE 150, 1641-1876; #4 BUELL 116, 1605-1911; #5 TERWILLIGER 112,1686-2005; #6 GRISWOLD 93, 1574-1910; #7 PETTYGROVE/PETTIGREW 90, 1669-2002; #8 TREAT 85, 1584-1981; #9 HUDSON 51, 1588-1899; #10 MORGAN 39, 1659-1815... and on we go. My father's ancestors only go back 3 generations! So much research to do.

Lisa Suzanne Gorrell said...

My database is Legacy. Legacy listed the surnames in alphabetical order, not frequency.

I have 1237 surnames (including no surname). #1 is no surname at 277. Next is WELCH with 170, LOVELESS with 167, NILSEN-NILSSON-NIELSON-NILSDOTTER combination at 138, LANCASTER at 127, COOR at 126.

I would have more NILSEN and LUNDQUIST names if the families had not used patronymic names.

Ros said...

I also am using Legacy. I have 607 unique surnames (I went to the Help menu, then General Information), but to find out which ones are used the most, I printed-to-pdf a Surname Summary from the Reports menu. To my horror, HAYWOOD (my own surname) didn't even make it into the top 10!
Edgcombe - 227
Elliott - 185
Murch - 157
Ball - 154
Damerell - 136
No surname - 88
Blagdon - 84
Bovett - 73
Buckingham - 68
Norrington - 56

S├ębastien said...

I use Legacy.
At this point, I'm at 49551 individuals in the Comeau database and the most popular surnames are (top 5):

Comeau 14447 (1596-2012)
Comeaux 3083 (1744-2012)
Coombs 1263 (1661-1948)
No surname 1253 (1754-2011)
Leblanc 611 (1734-2011)

Karen said...

On FTM (2011), this simple to do. The navigation is Publish > Person Reports > Surname Report. I made sure that including All Individuals and sort by Surname Count were checked. The report lists total count, counts by gender, earliest year and most recent year.

The list is actually sorted by Surname Count of those with both a given and a surname. Then, by count of those with only one name--either given or surname. So those with only a given name or only a surname are mixed together. It does not tell me how many or which have no surname.

Not on the report, is a count of surnames--which makes sense since many with only a given name are included. I calculated the lines on the report at 1341. (5150 people)

Here are my top 12:
Bailey - 181 (1795-1997)
Spracklen - 95 (1814-1972)
Mack - 85 (1653-1969)
Fuller - 84 (1548-1740)
Wiley - 74 (1734-1947)
Obenland - 66 (1842-1947)
Osborn - 65 (1730-1945)
Trotter - 53 (1717-1916)
Eason - 52 (1782-1960)
Endicott - 51 (1661-1931)
Ricks - 51 (1744-1974)
Holloway - 50 (1686-1866)

Interesting that my mother's maiden name, Bailey has nearly 2x my father's name, Spracklen. 2 reasons: Variants of Spracklen are more prolific in my data base than Bailey, and I have 2 Bailey lines. My maternal grandmother was a Bailey both before and after she married.