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Questions tagged [surnames]

For questions about the use, distribution, origin and etymology of surnames, also known as family names or last names.

12
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

My ancestor Mary Ann Harper is frustratingly elusive as mentioned here. However, Harper is a surname that would lend itself to different spellings in censuses, birth records and the like — ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Correct spelling of Polish surname Dziubenofska?

My Polish grandmothers last name was Dziubenofska, but I know that's not how it is spelt! I'm looking for the proper spelling. Can you help find it for me? She came over to Ellis Island and they ...
11
votes
1answer
553 views

Finding orphaned grandfather's original surname?

I'm trying to find my Grandfather's original name. He changed it when he became 18, back in 1941. He was an orphan and never told anyone what it was before he changed it. My dad always said Bair was ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Name Changes in New York City during 1830s?

Are there records for people who changed their names in New York City (NYC) in the 1830's? My ancestor was from France and changed his name after arriving in NYC in the 1830's.
7
votes
2answers
476 views

What is somebody's “real” surname from a set of possible spelling variants?

How do you decide what is somebody's "real" surname? Is there some hierarchy of data sources that you follow or do you just go by preponderance of usage? I'm talking about spelling variants -- not ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

What records document how African Americans received their Surname in early New York state?

My understanding is that pre-American revolution New York state had free blacks and slaves, then during the war both sides offered freedom to those that fought. Eventually, in 1799 slavery was ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

What can be gleaned statistically from Surname occurence in Population?

Is there a calculation or test to determine if the occurrence of a surname in a population in a specific geographical area is statistically significant or just a random distribution? For example, in ...
3
votes
1answer
447 views

How rare/common is a surname in the US Social Security Death Index?

I would like to know the 'rank' of how common or rare a surname is in the SSDI. For example: Smith is the most common name with 1234567 entries and Sparrell is the 12345th most common name with 123 ...
7
votes
4answers
266 views

Finding records prior to 1838 for Malone, Franklin County, NY or St. Lawrence County, NY?

How or where does one find records prior to 1838 for Franklin & St. Lawrence County, NY? Hiram Wheeler Barlow (28 Sep 1820-27 Aug 1876) and his ancestry (parents). It is believed he was born ...
6
votes
0answers
170 views

Finding surname distributions for names in Poland before WW2?

Gen-evolu allows us to see the distribution of family names in Germany both in modern times and during the peak of the third Reich in WW2, before Germany was affected with the ethnic cleansing of its ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Is name Angloher derived from Anglii from northern Germany?

Is the name Angloher tied to the Anglii from northern Germany? Would this mean that the name would then be a derivative of a Herr of Anglii? Or Angels?
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Looking for information on Trude Schneider, a member of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, Nazi youth league for girls

Trude Schneider was a member of the BDM. My father served in WWII and somehow ended up with her photo album which details her summer in 1940 youth camp, some of that time near Nuremberg. I would love ...
3
votes
2answers
699 views

Finding original Polish surname of 19th Century immigrant to United States?

My great, great grandfather's American name was Steve Voiten. I know his Polish given name was Stanislaw, but our family records say Woytinkewicz as a last name. I can't find any evidence of that ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the spelling of this hand written name?

The 31 Dec 1814 marriage of Moses Ragan and Miss Polly Walker in Nelson, Kentucky, United States shown here states: Know all men by these presents, that we Moses Ragan & Charles Walker are held ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Finding original spelling of Polish name Vazuka which was anglicized on arrival to US? [duplicate]

My last name is Vazuka, but it is polish and was anglicized upon arrival to the US. How do you spell it in Polish? How do you pronounce Vazuka in Polish?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the meaning and origin of the German last name Naicker?

The last name Naicker occurs in Germany, possibly in the 19th Century. What is the origin, history and meaning of this name?
1
vote
2answers
150 views

Spelling of surname Kowesnki/Kowenski

Grandmother's maiden name is listed as Kowesnki. I have not been able to find any such surname. Do you have any idea on the correct spelling?