Most Popular Names

October 8, 2007 | 38 comments
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Can you guess the ten most common last names in America? (Link via A Soft Answer). You can check your guesses at this link. My first ten guesses got six right answers. (I missed #3, 6, 7, and 8; my incorrect guesses came in at #13, 14, 15, and 23.)

Can you do better?

38 Responses to Most Popular Names

  1. Julie M. Smith on October 8, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Ha. I win. I’m the most popular. I knew I married well.

  2. Ardis Parshall on October 8, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    I come in at No. 12,702. Can anybody (legitimately) log a higher number than that?

  3. Curtis DeGraw on October 8, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    14,674 – Now that Arids is in second place, can anyone knock her even farther from the top?

  4. Curtis DeGraw on October 8, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    My wife is at 16,619 (Malan). Now Ardis is third of four. Sorry, Ardis.

  5. Ardis Parshall on October 8, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Nyah, Curtis! (See my recent remark on the Elder Eyring thread about winning. /;-)/ )

  6. Adam Greenwood on October 8, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    No.

  7. Karl on October 8, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    My wife’s maiden name, Kjose, doesn’t even make the list, somewhere greater than 55,000.

  8. Dan on October 8, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I got y’all beat. My daughter’s name is not even in their database! Ha! Beat that!

  9. John Scherer on October 8, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    My wife’s surname, Kishel, is off of the charts- that surprised me.

    I’m higher than I thought at 2515

  10. Dan on October 8, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    I don’t think that that website is that accurate. Try this one instead. The website you link to has my name (Daniel) like 300 some odd. My daughter’s name (Ava) is currently ranked 5th in the nation for girls.

  11. Kaimi Wenger on October 8, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Dan,

    Re-read the first sentence of the post.

  12. spencer on October 8, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I missed 8 and 10 in my first 10 tries. I finally did figure the top ten in 14 tries. My misses were 16, 18, 35, and 37.

    My own last name was #9.

  13. Tony on October 8, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Woo Hoo! I’m number 30530 ! In your face 30529!!!

  14. Steve Jones on October 8, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    My last name comes in @ #4 but my wife’s maiden name Bartschi is not on the list.

  15. Tanya Sue on October 8, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    My last name is not in the database of the 55,000 most common last names!!!!

  16. Meli on October 8, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    I went from #6 to off the list. Any wonder why I changed my name when I got married.

    It’s so much nicer to publish under easy to pronounce but not on the list, then #6, I’ve gotten the wrong transcripts and know several people with my whole maiden name.

  17. Markie on October 8, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    My maiden name isn’t in the top 55,000, but my current surname is 63. Big reason I changed my name (everyone can pronounce my married name and noone mistakes it for a curse word).

  18. Keyser Soze on October 8, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    I am disappointed that I am not at the top of the list.

  19. Adam Prince on October 8, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I’m #666…lucky me.

  20. Dan on October 8, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    whoops my bad.

    In any case, my last name is not in that database.

  21. makakona on October 8, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    very cool! my husband’s last name is 1089, but my maiden name doesn’t rank. two of my dad’s gggaunts (who married into the family) decided that their last name sounded like the name of a dog and so they changed the name around, making up a new name. they’d be dismayed to know that their efforts were fruitless and the name still carries the same stigma. it’s handy, though, because anyone with that name is a relative! i kept my maiden name, but also took my husband’s name. much easier to pronounce and more difficult to make fun of!

  22. makakona on October 8, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    oh, and i only came up with five, which ranked 1, 2, 4, 6, and 22.

  23. Sarah on October 8, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Parker and Allen are both pretty high up, which always makes me laugh because there are only four (that I can find) Parker-Allens on the internet. Other than that, none of my family surnames are anything special, and most of my guesses were in the top 20 — but that wasn’t hard, since I only picked four names other than Parker and Allen before tiring of the process.

    For those who don’t feel like repeatedly guessing and tracking their results in order to determine a top ten, behold the cheater’s solution. I always feel so silly when I look at it — I never remember that Lopez is less common than Garcia (in fact, I usually get to eleven or twelve less-common Hispanic names before I remember Garcia.)

  24. makakona on October 8, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    ah, garcia! i went through loads of names and didn’t even think of garcia!

  25. annegb on October 8, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    My maiden name is Joyal, ringing in at 15,585. Now Ardis is four of five.

    Ardis. Did you ever get that phone card I sent you? And why haven’t I heard from you?

  26. Susan M on October 8, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    My married name isn’t in the database, but I already know that it’s very rare. Anyone you meet with it will be related to my husband.

    My maiden name came in at 6,968.

  27. Marjorie Conder on October 8, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Conder is 12, 421 and my maiden name in 1328.
    However my one and only daugher’s married name is 42, 878

  28. Tanya Spackman on October 8, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Spackman is 22,960. It’s a lovely number.

  29. McCoy on October 8, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    my daughter easily wins all: fernandes-hansen. yes the hyphen is included, the embassy (damascus, syria) where she was born said she could not have two last names, so we had to pick one, the other, or both hyphenated, we choose the hyphen. so she should be the only one in the US, i would guess.

  30. Kevin Barney on October 8, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    I’m a little surprised that Barney is 2151. Most people think of it as a given name, but it is obviously also a common enough surname as well.

  31. Kevin Barney on October 8, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Of course, Barney has been my family name for just a little over a century. It used to be the Danish Stockfisch, which doesn’t appear in the database.

  32. Ray on October 8, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Kevin, when I think of Barney as a first name, I see purple and get almost psychotic.

  33. BrianJ on October 8, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    “Christensen/son” were not in the top 55,000. That raises some doubts….

  34. Seraphine on October 9, 2007 at 12:46 am

    I guessed 6 of the top 10 (along with making 3 wrong guesses–36, 63, and 268), and then I couldn’t come up with anything I thought might be one of the top four I was missing.

    My last name is pretty high up. 100-something, but I’ve forgotten now.

  35. Clair on October 9, 2007 at 1:03 am

    Regional distribution of surnames over time:

    http://www.hamrick.com/names

    Check out Romney. Can anyone find a more “Utah” name?

  36. tracy m on October 9, 2007 at 2:26 am

    When I got married, I went from # 5 to # 11,645. Hmmm.

  37. D. Fletcher on October 9, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Fletcher is #317, neither the glory of the Celestial Smiths nor in outer darkness like the Eyrings. Just right for ministering angels.

    :)

  38. Sean on October 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    My last name, Elcock, is number 51,684. If there are 55,000 total names in the database, that’s about as high as you can get without going over!