National Geographic : 2011 Feb
GEOGRAPHY Miller Brown Jones Anderson Williams Davis Wilson Thompson Martin Nelson Taylor Clark Moore Garcia White Martinez Thomas Lopez Baker Hall Young Peterson Allen Smith Johnson Wilson Miller Williams Martin Lopez Hernandez Taylor Thompson Rodriguez Thomas Perez Nelson Gonzalez Davis Martinez Anderson Brown Lee Garcia Jones Smith JohnsonNguyen Kim Ramirez Thomas Young Walker Harris Allen Baker Lewis Miller Brown Jones Williams Anderson Davis Martinez Wilson Thompson Nelson Martin Moore Taylor Clark White Garcia Smith Johnson Smith Johnson Anderson Miller Jones Brown Williams Davis Nelson Wilson Taylor Peterson Thompson Moore Hansen Clark Martin Hill Hall White Allen Jensen Walker Young Thomas Thomas Nelson Baker Harris Scott Young Jackson Johnson Smith Miller Brown Jones Williams Davis Anderson Moore Taylor White Clark Martin Smith Johnson Anderson Miller Brown Nelson Jones Williams Peterson Olson Davis Clark Allen Hanson Hill Moore White Taylor Larson Martin Thompson Wilson Lee Young Jensen Erickson Johnson Smith Anderson Miller Nelson Williams Jones Peterson Hansen Brown Meyer Davis Thompson Schmidt Wilson Olson Carlson WhiteMoore Martin Taylor Clark Jensen Petersen Christensen Smith Johnson Brown Miller Williams Jones Anderson Davis Wilson Martin Thomas Nelson White Moore Clark Thompson Taylor Lee Walker Jackson Harris Garcia Martinez Young Hall Martinez Garcia Smith Johnson Lopez Miller Jones Brown Williams Davis Wilson Rodriguez Romero Gonzales Chavez Trujillo Montoya Sanchez Vigil Lucero Baca Ortiz Gallegos Salazar Sandoval Johnson Anderson Olson Nelson Miller Larson Peterson Smith Thompson Schmidt Carlson Lee Brown Martin Hansen Williams Hanson Erickson Berg Jacobson Klein Jensen Keller Haugen Fischer Miller Wilson Taylor Thompson Thomas Jackson Harris Walker Allen Hall Lewis Hill Baker Davis Johnson Jones Brown Peterson Lee Thomas Baker Walker Allen Young Wright Hall Miller Brown Anderson Jones Williams TaylorMartin Moore Clark White Davis Wilson Nelson Thompson Smith Johnson Anderson Johnson Smith Olson Larson Peterson Miller Nelson Brown Thompson Jones Hansen Davis Schmidt Williams Hoffman Wilson Lee Meyer Weber Fischer Hofer Jensen Erickson Hanson Williams Jones Garcia Rodriguez Martinez Hernandez Wilson Miller Moore Lopez Johnson Smith Perez Martin Brown Gonzalez Walker Hill Garza Gonzales Ramirez Davis Miller Williams Thompson Wilson Clark Thomas Allen Young Wright Adams Jensen Christensen Larsen Olsen Nielsen Smith Johnson Anderson Jones Nelson Taylor Brown Peterson Hansen Davis Wilson Thompson Peterson Taylor Martin Clark Moore LeeWhite Olson Thomas Harris Young Allen Baker Hall Jones Williams Nelson Anderson Miller Brown Smith Johnson Smith Johnson Miller Brown Anderson Jones Williams Davis Wilson Nelson Taylor Clark Moore Martin Thompson Peterson Thomas Martinez White Walker Baker Wright Allen Roberts Harris What's in a Surname? A new view of the United States based on the distribution of common last names shows centuries of history and echoes some of America's great immigration sagas. To compile this data, geographers at University College London used phone directories to find the predominant surnames in each state. Software then identified the probable provenances of the 181 names that emerged. Many of these names came from Great Britain, reflecting the long head start the British had over many other settlers. The low diversity of names in parts of the British Isles also had an impact. Williams, for example, was a common name among Welsh immigrants---and is still among the top names in many American states. But that's not the only factor. Slaves often took their owners' names, so about one in five Americans now named Smith are African American. In addition, many newcomers' names were anglicized to ease assimilation. The map's scale matters too. "If we did a map of New York like this," says project member James Cheshire, "the diversity would be phenomenal"---a testament to that city's role as a once-and-present gateway to America. ---A. R. Williams A World of Names The geographers behind this map have created a website that lets visitors find hot spots for surnames around the globe: www.worldnames .publicprofiler.org. Spanish Areas near the U.S. -Mexico border show a significant Latin American presence.