[APG Public List] Surname origins, was Re: California signature

Harold Henderson librarytraveler at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 20:28:43 MDT 2011

Tina --

The quick, cheap, and easy -- but hardly authoritative -- way is to run the
surname through the old Family Search or Rootsweb WorldConnect or some other
such listing and see where the holders of the surname tend to come from.

A somewhat better approach would be to visit the reference section of a good
library and find a reputable surname book. I use Hanks and Hodges' _A
Dictionary of Surnames_, but it rather let me down on my non-Anglo lines.

In any case some knowledge of geography and history will be needed, as the
"nationalities" we may think of often did not or do not have nations to go
with them, such as the Polish in the 19th century or Basques today.

I look forward to hearing others' approaches.


On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Tina Sansone <gtownma at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi. Someone has asked me if there is a place to find what Nationality a
> Surname is. Does anyone know of  reliable directions I can send her. Thank
> you in advance.
> Tina Sansone
> gtownma at yahoo.com

Harold Henderson
Research and Writing from NW Indiana
Professional genealogy in and around Chicago -- Rockford to Fort Wayne,
Muskegon to Indianapolis
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