13 May 2010

How Many of Us?

The U.S. Census Bureau has published a list of all the 151,671 names on the 2000 census and ranked them according to commonality.  I thought it would be interesting to look up the surnames that make up the lower branches on my family tree.  Here they are ranked --
  1. Walker - 28th
  2. Gibson - 119th
  3. Mack - 441st
  4. Frank - 454th
  5. Needham - 3,074th
  6. Chesley - 10,779th (tied)
  7. Derfler - 87,348th
  8. Surpluss - 110,523rd (tied)
  9. Molfino - (not listed)*
  10. Casattas - (not listed)
The "Casattas" results were not surprising.  Our research says it was a made up name for one family line, and the last remaining person with that surname is my wife's aunt, who is a nun!  The surname will die with her passing.  The "Molfino" results surprised me, but perhaps there are residents of Italy still using it.  I will have to check. 

"Walker" remains common, but just a couple decades ago it was in the top twenty.  However with the recent high number of immigrants from Mexico and Asia, it has been overtaken by such names as "Garcia," "Lopez," Hernandez," "Lee," and others.

My wife is 1/4 Casattas, and 1/4 Molfino.  I am only a newbie in genealogy, but my limited experience is that this is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, just like the commonality of "Walker" is not necessarily good or bad.  The less common surnames are often easier to research, but the more common surnames often lead to others who are researching the same family and with whom you can share notes.

To the best of my knowledge I am the only one researching Casattas, and possibly Molfino, and possibly even Surpluss!  Believe me, I welcome anyone who can show me differently!

email me at amiable160 [at sign] gmail dot com

* -- White Pages shows at least ninety-six individuals currently with the surname "Molfino" in the U.S.

© 2010, Copyright Kevin W. Walker

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