AncestorNews: Surfing for Surnames
9/27/2009
Want to know more about your last name? Check out these Web sites.

Wouldn't it be great to find a Web site containing research on your surname? Maybe you can—here's how to track it down.

Cyndi's List alone lists more than 5,000 personal Web sites—almost all of them surname specific—however, you may not find the site in Cyndi's alphabetical listing. Her category called Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters lists personal pages in alphabetic order.

So, if someone has a Webb surname page, it will be in the W section. But, if the Webb page also covers research on surnames Benton, King, Jackson and Brewster, those names won't appear in the alphabetized surname list. What to do? Use the Search the Entire Site box located at the top of the page. The search results will return hits for your surname, regardless of which section of the site they're in.

A lesser-known resource for personal pages is RootsWeb. RootsWeb provides free Web space for anyone who wants a site. From the Registry of Web Sites page, surf down through the alphabetical list and see if anyone has created a page for your surname. If you're lucky, you'll find a site loaded with family treasures!

Last, FamilySearch has a search function on the site that will search only through surname, family association or surname association Web sites. From the home page, click Search, then Web sites, then Surname and Family Organizations.

How else can you find surname-specific Websites? Use your favorite search engine and enter keywords such as yoursurname +genealogy or yoursurname + family tree or yoursurname +history.

For more on finding surnames online:

GenForum
genforum.genealogy.com/surnames

US Surname Distribution
www.hamrick.com/names

All-Surnames Genealogy
all-surnames.com

RootsWeb Surname List
rsl.rootsweb.com

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