Rare Surnames

And my mother’s maiden name, which obviously I’m not going to give out here, :smiley: doesn’t appear on any of those lists at all. Even an alternative spelling of it says there are only 212 people in the US with that name.

I used The Official White Pages, which was the first hit when I Googled “white pages”.

The Mongabay site doesn’t have my last name at all and the white pages list 58 people. I did solve a mysterious problem though: someone hijacked my e-mail address and filled out a bunch of online subscriptions with my e-mail address. I found her name, address (and enough to guess her e-mail address) in my search and I may send her a blistering letter.

On the other hand, when wandering through those “background check” websites, I found myself listed in towns where other relatives have lived but I never have. Makes you doubt their authenticity.

I was surprised to find that John Doe is actually a name, and more common than people would expect. So, looking up names in the national white pages that are punchlines to jokes, I’m amazed to find a lot of them are also real.

There really are a few Seymour Butts, although I doubt any of them wrote, “Under the Bleachers.”
I did find a Claude Balls, of “Tiger’s Revenge” fame. Not to mention Harry Balls.
Yes, I even found the author of “50 Yards to the Outhouse,” Willie Makeit.
As well as the book’s illustrator, Betty Dont.

Kinda makes one long for the “old days” before the internet when it was easier to dismiss such stories.

My cousins’ name is in there. And it’s only my cousins listed.

I have a colleague with this name, but he spells it Hittler. I can’t imagine the amount of crap he’s had to deal with in his life, and he’s in his early 40s, so relatively young.

There are supposedly 1473 people in the US with my surname, which I find surprising. I thought it’d be rarer than that.

Three still-living people were born w/ my maiden name - my Dad, his sister and my brother. Rest are dead or married or bro’s 2 ex-wives.
My married name is essentially the Johnson of Poland so that search would be moot.

Wznick did not show up, i only know of 6 people with it, all in the same household.

My name is tied for 41,925th. Apparently there are 488 of us, which is about 478 more than I was aware of.

I tried that one too. Entered my last name, and the only person that popped up with that last name was me.

I knew my name was rare, but I thought it would be a little less rare. There are 267 of us, tied for 68,782nd. While my family is white, the vast majority of people with our surname are black and live in the Atlanta area. Always makes me wonder…

I know how you feel, I think. As best I can tell, and I have yet to locate the exception, the most famous person I know of with my surname is black. According to the page covering such matters, the name is held by about 75% whites and a smattering of non-black non-whites, but roughly 20% black.

I keep looking through the credits for movies and TV shows for anybody with our name and even expecting to see a sports figure once in a while with the name. Thus far, only one I can identify. The “sports figure” thing is one I pay special attention to, since it’s been my impression that a vast majority of players’ surnames are nearly unique in my experience. Almost every team has at least one player whose name I had never heard of before. I bet we could have fun with that in another thread. Anybody?

I just tried this, and it found exactly 100 people in the US and Canada with my surname. But as I said in my previous message it is certain that only a few of them are related to me.

My surname has ~1700 people with it in the US, which puts it just outside the top 15,000 surnames.

For some reason, I thought it was more popular than that…

(I did a quick search, and it’s in the top 200 in France, though.)

A few months ago there was a *60 Minutes *segment producer lady with the last name Gesundheit.

I looked up my last name on whitepages.com, and got 39 results back. Here’s what’s funny - my mom is in the list, my brother, his wife, and my wife… but not me!

Only 60 with my last name on whitepages.com. Many of them are clearly the same person listed twice. Most of them I’m certain are related to me. A few might not be. My families’ name only started 3 generations ago. When my great grandparents moved to Canada they had their Hungarian name changed to a common French word that sort of sounded like it. I’ve no clue how the original name was spelled so I can’t search on that.

My last name is about the 4900th most popular in the country, with about 6500 occurrences. That said, other variations of my last name are considerably more common, with a couple in the top 1000.

My surname had 161 occurences in the 2000 US Census.

Some of the comments thus far have caused me to rethink/update my opinions on how surnames come into existence out of thin air by way of respellings, legal changings, and other deliberate abandonment of a previous, possibly foreign, name or spelling. There are also convincing examples of how some names just go away (through similar means) with a great example being Hitler!

The thread has helped my understanding in that regard.

Also, I’m getting the impression that if we were all to revert to our actual names there would be a good number of “uniquely named” individuals to replace the uniqueness of some screen names.