Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From Bayern to Carroll

I've had some fun recently with a fascinating website called The World Names Profiler. With this site, you can type in your last name, and the Profiler tells you the population density of people with your name all over the world.

So, for example, I entered my last name, and first I saw this chart. "FPM" means frequency per million, so in the country with the highest density of my last name, Germany, 29.76 of every million people have that last name. In terms of regions/states, Bayern, Germany (also known as Bavaria) has a whopping 154.05 per million of my "relatives." You might also notice that Iowa has the second highest concentration. More on that below.

The site also provide maps with population density shown by colors. Germany and Austria are the hotbeds of my name, though even there the population is pretty slim.

In the United States, my name follows pretty standard patterns of German immigrant migration. My own ancestors went to Wisconsin, obviously a well-known German stomping ground. But as you can see, Iowa stands out as the darkest. Now remember that this does not mean the highest number of people with my name, but rather the highest concentration.

So there might be only a few people with my name in the sparsely populated Carroll County in Iowa, but nonetheless, that county has the highest concentration in the world of people with my name.

And I guess I'm included in the light green of Chicagoland.

Anyway, check it out.


At 10:46 AM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...

So, not surprisingly, Ireland has the highest concentration of Stauntons. Runner-up: Australia--who knew?!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger scott w posited...

I am scared to try Williams.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger scott w posited...

The results are in; Bible belt USA.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Tom posited...

Who knew; Weizenegger has basically zero frequency anywhere, except for southern germany and austria...

46 fpm in Dornbirn, Austria.

Oh, and high frequency in Crow Wing County, MN.

Top Forenames:

At 10:17 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

That high-frequency in Crow Wing is a little weird isn't it? To know that your little family represents one of the highest densities of Weizeneggers?

I was showing this site to a few of my students, one of whom said that was pretty sure that his name was just made up. And it turns out that the only places on the map were his county in Illinois and his cousins' home county in California.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Tom posited...

A friend of mine used to live in Chicago, and when his family moved to Minnesota, they decided it would be a good time to change their last name from Wurm. So they let the oldest daughter choose the name. She liked "Little House on the Prarie," and so now my friend is named after Laura Ingalls Wilder.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Vinnie-Senza posited...

Spagnuolo; 110.69 in Italy and 497.93 in Campania (which is the region my family is from).

Funny part; Vincenzo was number four on the top forenames.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...

Our landlords are named Spagnuolo. Apparently they own quite a bit of real estate here in Lansing, MI and a restaurant. Relatives, perhaps?

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Vinnie-Senza posited...

Not that I'm aware of.... the Spagnuolo family is all in California.


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