Individuals can determine the nationality of a last name by using online genealogy sites or genealogy forums and discussion boards. Other options include utilizing a local library or city public record databases for physical documentation concerning the history of a person's family, including nationality. There are also many books in the genealogy section of the library that provide ideas and options for researching ethnicity and family histories.
There are many genealogy websites that charge a fee for individuals to research their family history. Some of these sites explain the meaning and history of a person's first and last names, and they typically provide general facts about the history of particular surnames. The sites also allow users to research the history of specific family members, including marriages, divorces, birth and death certificates, and other public records such as military service. Some sites provide online courses that detail techniques for understanding the research of genealogy.
There are also many paid services for researching the nationality of a name. Company agents gather information on the person's behalf for a fee. Researching independently through libraries and city records is generally free unless the person wishes to print the documentation. Many genealogy books guide researchers toward alternative methods of finding information about nationality and history without spending too much money on a website or a professional service.