What are some good surname origin databases?


Quick Answer

Ancestry.com, the Internet Surname Database and FamilySearch are three sites with extensive resources pertaining to surnames. It is possible to find the original meaning of a surname, its present distribution throughout the United States, and sometimes the name's place of origin.

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Full Answer

Ancestry.com gives the meaning and history of a name, where those bearing that name have lived in the United States and United Kingdom, the average life expectancy of people with a certain name, military service records and a great deal more.

The Internet Surname Database provides much of the same information, but it can also trace the origin of the name behind the name, following a standard Anglo-Saxon surname back through its Indo-European roots to note variants found in ancient Greece and Rome.

FamilySearch relies upon user submitted genealogical information to help users reconstruct their own histories, including the histories of possible forebears and the locations of present-day kinsmen.

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