Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Surname Distributions!

Randy says:

Hey, genealogy fans – it’s Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music…), is:

1) Find out the geographical distribution of your surname – in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file – you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.

Here is the world-wide view for my name, which is Yearnd:


According to the map, this name exists only in the United States. Here is the USA distribution:


The stats are a little small in this, but it says: Arizona, 1.2 frequencies per million, and Illinois, .33 frequencies per million.


I know this name is infrequent, it seems that my g-grandfather and his family invented the spelling after they arrived in Michigan about 1870. Although I have found a few other occurrences in early records, they seem to be errors, or people with no connection. In one case, a family claiming German roots, as my ancestors did, resided in Wisconsin in 1860. Footnote members may see information on them, which I spot-lighted on Footnote. I have spent the majority of my adult life dreaming up possibilities for the original spelling of my name. Knowing what the name was is my key to finding any connection to Germany, or wherever the family originated. The key is still hidden.

Currently, There are exactly five living males with this surname, my two brothers, their two sons, and my cousin. There are eight females that I am aware of, my two brother’s wives, my cousin’s mother, my cousin’s wife, and two ex-wives of my brother, and my two nieces. That is 13 total people, and six of them live in the states found and highlighted by this profiler. The remaining seven people live in states which do not show up.

Based on my results, this is an interesting tool, but I wonder where the data comes from. I believe at least some of the missing individuals are “listed” in either in phone or city directories. I guess I would use care in quoting the results, since there is a pretty large error rate.