Tag Archives: Surnames

5 Critical Rules for Recording Names in Your Family Tree

How to Correctly Document Names for Genealogy Purposes

How to Record Names for Genealogy and in Family Trees

Photo Credit: Maya83 Flickr via Compfight cc

The manner in which you record your ancestors’ information can make or break your family history research. In fact, if you don’t add names and surnames correctly to a family tree or genealogy chart, your family’s story can face inaccuracies. And this can be frustrating to others who are researching your family history! Just as there are certain genealogical standards when it comes to citing your sources correctly, there are some general rules you will want to keep in mind to ensure that your ancestors’ names are added to your family tree properly.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the following rules, so use these tips as guidelines for recording your genealogical data.

Continue reading

8 Free Surname Databases for Discovering Your Ancestors

Find Genealogy Records by Searching These Free Surname Databases

Free Surname Databases for GenealogyOne of your primary focuses as a genealogist or family historian should undoubtedly be searching for surnames. Concentrating on surname searches is one of the most important ways of connecting our ancestral dots in order to identify relatives.

While the origins of surnames can help you uncover clues about your heritage and even where your ancient ancestors may have lived, researching surnames can also help you discover long-lost family members to add to empty branches on your family tree.

The following surname databases can aid you during the surname search process — and they’re free to use!

Continue reading

5 Tips to Find the Origin of Your Last Name

Simple Ways to Discover the Origin of Your Surname

How to Find the Origin of Your Last Name - Surnames

Family surnames play an important role in your family’s history. This is especially true when it comes to discovering the origin of your last name. Knowing you surname origin can help you uncover more information about your ancient ancestors, including where they came from — which helps when you’re just starting your family history research journey.

Surnames have been in existence for many years — since the 13th century to be exact. These last names were given to distinguish two individuals with the same first name, and for tax purposes. But today, surnames offer many more benefits, especially to family history researchers. Knowing the origin of your family surname can help you identify where your ancestors lived, what they may have done for a living, their personalities and much more.  Of course, all of these factors are important in documenting your family’s story. So how do you find the origin of your surname?

The following tips will help you find the origin of your last name so you can add even more accurate family stories to your family tree.

Continue reading

10 Most Popular African-American Surnames

These Are Some of the Most Common Surnames in America – Is Yours One of Them?

10 Most Popular African-American Surnames

Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia via Compfight cc

If you’ve been researching your African-American family history, you’ve likely noticed that it comes with some challenges — especially when trying to find surnames! But while it can be more difficult to find African-American surname records prior to the Civil War, you can still search the United States census for surnames of your ancestors. In fact, we did some digging into the U.S. census ourselves to discover the most popular African-American surnames in America.

In honor of African-American History Month, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common African-American last names, and meanings. And who knows? You may be able to utilize this list of popular African-American surnames to discover some of your own long-lost ancestors!

Continue reading

Halloween Genealogy: Spooky Surname Meanings

The Meanings Behind These Halloween Surnames Are Sure to Give You a Startle

Halloween Genealogy - Spooky Surname MeaningsIf you’re like us, you’ve likely stumbled upon unique surnames in your genealogy research and thought, “That name can’t be real!” But whether you’re a genealogy veteran or new to the process, you’re apt to discover that these interesting surnames aren’t fictional, and can actually come with rather fascinating (and frightening!) stories to add to your family tree.

In addition to our Halloween-inspired research on truly frightening family stories and scary surnames, we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into the Crestleaf surname database in order to celebrate the spookiest time of year.

Continue reading

These States Have the Most Valentine’s Day Surnames

Is Yours One of them?

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Depending on your current relationship status, the season of courtly love can either conjure up warm and fuzzy feelings, or make you want to forget the day exists!
Continue reading

You Won’t Believe How Baby Names Have Changed Since the 1950s

Was Your Name One of Them?

Today, we’ve decided to take a break from surname research and surname-related blog posts to have some fun with baby names! The Social Security Administration has published lists of popular baby names between the years of 1880 and 2013 that you can access online. And you’ve guessed it — that sure is a whole lot of names to sift through! Of course, we’ve found it interesting and enjoyable to research these baby names to see how their popularity has changed from way back in the 1950s to present day.

Crestleaf You Won't Believe How Baby Names Have Changed

Photo Credit: thejbird via Compfight cc

Continue reading

Can You Guess Which State Names Are the Most Popular Surnames?


Photo Credit: c_ambler via Compfight cc

Surname research is a great aspect of genealogy, as it really allows you to discover some interesting stuff. There is always something different to investigate and, as always, it’s a fun process.

Today, we’re looking at state names and how they’ve translated to the world of surnames. It won’t shock you to learn the most popular state surname, but there are definitely some other surprises that we came across.

So, utilizing the Crestleaf surname database, here are the ten most popular state surnames: Continue reading