Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Surnames in Your Family Tree Database?

Somehow, Saturday has arrived once again. This year seems to be flying by! It’s time once again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver.

This week’s challenge is quite straightforward and can be easily answered:

1) Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you’re using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!!  Or 20!!!

I’m still using RootsMagic 7, so I went to Reports>Surname Statistics List. 43 pages of surnames opened up and there are 45 names per page. Multiplying this out, there were 1890 names on 42 pages plus 19 more names on page 43 for a total of 1909 surnames.

Next, I manually scanned the list and compiled the following surname numbers:

Adams – 156
Coleman – 114
Carlisle – 94
Haskell – 93
Stewart/Stuart – 92 (same family but different branches spelled differently)
Smith – 88
Tarbox – 83
Hicks – 78
Molin – 77
Green – 76
Coffin – 74
Bucknam – 73
Burt – 68
Lakin – 67
Wilson – 65
Parker – 63
Scerbak – 61
Patorai – 60
Millett – 57
Wheeler – 51

Of this list, Adams, Carlisle, Haskell, Stewart/Stuart, Smith, Tarbox, Hicks, Green, Bucknam, Lakin, Wilson, Parker and Wheeler are from my maternal grandfather’s line.

Coleman, Molin, Coffin, and Burt are from my maternal grandmother’s line.

Scerbak and Patorai are from my paternal grandmother’s line.

There are no names representing my paternal grandfather’s line in this list.

One note – I chose to skip a couple of surnames because they were not my direct line.

Given the my paternal line is Rusyn from Slovakia and the records only extend back to the early 1800s, I am a bit surprised that Scerbak and Patorai made it into the Top 20 list.

This is a fun way to look at surnames with a different eye. Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.


2 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Surnames in Your Family Tree Database?”

  1. I discovered the surnames that made the list are ones who had large families that I followed down in time. Perhaps your Rusyn families were large?

  2. It’s definitely a cool exercise – like you, I’m surprised your Eastern European names ranked so high given the difficulties we face researching in that area…I wasn’t so lucky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.