Casefile Clues

30 May 2014

How Common Are Your Names?

How unusual are your names? I always knew many of my immediate surnames were not overly common, but now I have some evidence--at least when my names are compared to other names in the United States.

Using the database search form at "How Popular is Your Name" on the "Sweetest Sound" on PBS.org, I determined the popularity ranking of the surnames of my four great-grandparents.


  • Neill-3651
  • Rampley-34381
  • Trautvetter-99676
  • Sargent-1190
  • Ufkes-110472
  • Janssen-3100
  • Habben-40720
  • Goldenstein-43095
Of course some unusual names are difficult to research and some common names are easier to research. The frequency of a surname is only one factor in whether or not an ancestor is a research challenge.
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