Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- How Many Surnames in Your Database?

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

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) 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!!  Or 20!!!

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 (Genealogy Management Program), use the Help button and search for "count persons" then follow directions.  

Here's mine:

I'm going to use RootsMagic 6 because that's where I'm doing my current additions, deletions and editing and is my most up-to-date collection.  In RootsMagic 6, 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 153 page list!  I didn't count every one of them - there are 153 pages with 39 names per page.  That's a grand total of 5,967 surnames in my database with 42,720 persons.  The top 20 are, with birth date ranges:

*  SEAVER - 4,490 persons, from 1608 to 2011
*  BUCK - 742 persons, from 1577 to 1997

*  SMITH - 672 persons, from 1526 to 2013
*  FITZ RANDOLPH - 477 persons, from 1565 to 1884
* VAUX - 465 persons, from 1620 to 2006

*  DILL - 440 persons, from 1629 to 1996

*  [unknown] - 383 persons, from 787 to 2011
*  NEWTON - 319 persons, from 1600 to 2008*  RICHMAN - 304 persons, from 1622 to 1985
*  CHAMPLIN - 302 persons, from 1618 to 1917

*  CULVER - 270 persomns, from 1700 to 2010
*  BRESEE - 254 persons, from 1650 to 1900
*  BROWN - 223 persons, from 1580 to 1978
*  SEVER - 209 persons, from 1673 to 2003

*  CARRINGER - 198 persons, from 1758 to 2013

*  HAWKINS - 196 persons, from 1570 to 1975
*  McKNEW - 187 persons, from 1640 to 2007
*  SOVEREIGN - 175 persons, from 1742 to 1936
*  CLARK - 170 persons, from 1561 to 2008
*  FLETCHER - 162 persons, from 1592 to 1902

I have 128 Mary's without a surname, and 107 Elizabeth's without a surname, 43 with the surname OLSDTR, and 44 with UNKNOWN for a surname. 

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 6, or in another program?  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


GeneGinny said...

Love these easy ones, Randy. Thank you for making me look at this.

Unknown said...

I have to say this is my first SNGF post, Randy. I enjoyed this one because it was eye-opening on some problems in my database!

Unknown said...

Easy to do in Reunion, a Mac only program. Just open Reunion, click on reports in the sidebar, then choose a Report called "Last Names". I'm new, only have 99 people entered with 30 surnames. Number of surnames appears at top of the report. I have 30 Winns. 30 seconds because I'd never done it before.
Terri Works

Unknown said...

Family Tree Maker 2012. Publish > Person Reports > Surname Report. Less than 15 seconds. I have 9,470 surnames, 4,875 are male; 4,541 female. Sorted by surname count: most is CHRISTMAS (458 individuals, 226 male, 228 female). This is my first SNGF as well. What a great exercise!

Anonymous said...

Using Gramps is a report in Dashboard / Gramplets of top 10 surnames.... I have 917 Surnames with 4931 individuals ... This is in my basic direct line tree .. I have 38 trees total in Gramps. Top 5 surnames ....Midkiff, Cockram, McConnell, Hiatt, Allen

Elizabeth said...

FTM 2008 gives the person abs surname count on the plan page. I have 1,537 surnames with my O'Donnell's at 384 and Hubbard's at 380. Then we drop to Boyle at 89 and Murphy at 69. John is the most common given name with 226 followed by Mary with 204.

Unknown said...

I use Legacy Family Tree. There is an icon for statistics. I have 31657 individuals. I have 5018 unique Surnames: 1. Lumbra 2. Johnson 3. Tyrrell 4. Whitney 5. Lowell 6. Smith 7. Wilson 8. Couture 9. Larose 10. Robtoy. I also have 14967 unique given names: 1. Joseph 2. Mary 3. John 4. Marie 5. Pierre 6. (Male) 7. Jean-Baptiste 8. Charles 9. William 10. Louis

Candy said...

Using Family Tree Maker I have 4095 surnames (some showing are actually women without surnames.) The top 5 are: Van Kersen, Seaman, Ferris, Ashley, and Thompson.

Alan Hanson said...

Family Tree Maker 2011. Publish > Person Reports > Surname Report. I have 4371 surnames, I have 11,245 males; 10,249 female. Sorted by surname count: most is Dew (2,250 individuals, 1204 male, 1045 female). The next top four surnames are Rippentrop (284), Smith (185), Hanson (148) and Conaway (135).

Carol K said...

Also RootsMagic 6, I have 853 surnames, the top 20 are:
Pearson, Elwell, Upson, Clukies, Wright, Johnson, Yaryan, Kuse, Blakeslee/Blakesley, Jenkins, Calvin, Bronson, Wilson, Cook, Smith, Enke, James, Horne, Furnas, Sankey. Quite an eyeopener I was surprised at some of the top 20.

Sandy Scott said...

I have 1133 surnames. Most is Shortridge with 265 from 1630 to 2013. Next is Coffin with 170 from 1561 to 2008. LNUs 131 from 1625 to 1991, followed by Freienmuth with 83 from 1637 to 2005.

Anonymous said...

I use Ancestry family tree soft ware and i remember Fitz-Randolphs and Randolphs in my family tree

Shannon Thomas said...

Posted mine a little late but you can find it at


Rhosyncoch said...

This was an interesting post to undertake, thanks.
How Many Surnames in your database?