It’s Saturday, and geneaholics know that means Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This geneaweek, Randy Seaver has challenged us to do the following:
1) Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.
2) Tell us which GMP you’re using and how you did this task.
3) Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries. If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5! Or 10!
Not being one who seems to follow these directions very well, I went a little further. Below are the top 21 surnames ranked by the number of times they appear in my Legacy database. The surname summary report can be found in Reports>All Reports>Surname Summary. I saved the report as a .csv file (an option within Legacy), opened it with Excel, and then sorted the columns by number of appearances.
Technically, Mowery is the second most common name in my database. As you can see, Maurer is also in the top 20 and is a variation of Mowery. Added together they equal 166, so there are only 20 unique surnames listed here. Of those twenty, it is interesting to note that four of them are not in my direct line: Guiler, Cleary, Danford, and Peters. All told, there are 1015 surnames in my database, not counting 274 people for whom there is a given name, but the surname is not known.
As I looked it over, I realized an actual use for this sort of report. It shows which families have been neglected in collateral census work. All of the top spots are occupied by those families where I have done extensive – 3 or more generations of fairly complete census work - for all individuals. Looks like I need to get busy!