How Do You Find the Country Origin of Your Last Name?

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To find the country of origin of your surname, go to and click on the link to the Site Map at the bottom of the page. Click on the link Surname Meanings, and enter your last name in the search field on the next page. Click Search.

On the next page, Ancestry displays a family history that includes a Family Origins link about halfway down the page. Click this link, and the site returns a list of countries where the name originated and the number of records in the Ancestry database. Click on each country shown to see individual names.

To find more detailed information on Ancestry, click the Immigration link to view an aggregate graph that shows when the most people with your surname arrived in the United States. Next to this is a link to view all immigration records, including the full names, travel dates, current residences and, sometimes, the countries where listed individuals were born. Ancestry provides all of this information at no charge; to see documents and other details, you must subscribe to the site and pay a fee.

Another place to find free information about the origin of a surname is the Internet Surname Database. Enter your last name on the home page, and click Search. The site returns the name’s meaning, history and origin. Links to other websites that contain information about the surname are offered as well.