What’s in a Name?

Look what your editrix found for you. A nifty website telling you where people with your name live, and how many you are. Vice explains (hopefully better than they build computers):

Ever wonder where people with your last name end up? Forebears is a website started in 2012 that’s dedicated to mapping out mentions of some 11 million surnames, and it’ll allow you to further cull them from newspaper mentions, genealogical record sites, and a host of other historical sources from paid sources. It even lists the most popular surnames by country, highlight how many times the last name’s occurred in countries, and list off various permutations and spellings of the last name that may have also appeared.

There’s also information on what the last name means, in which country you’ll find the highest concentration and incidences of people with that last name, and so on. In other words, this is a Wikipedia or a highly expanded Wolfram Alpha for last names.

Of course curious kitten me investigated my own RL surname …

Hm, rather obscure.

The surname Gätjen is obviously indigenous exclusively to Germany, while hubby’s last name, Baden, is listed in Germany and the United States. But Forbears errs when they say the meaning of our names isn’t listed. A Gätjen was the guy who put the iron rings around wine and beer barrels, a specialized smith. And hubby’s name also goes back to the medieval occupation of a Bader, a person who gives hot bathes against many ailments, a primitive medic. Or it can also be that one of his ancestors stemmed from the southern German province of Baden.

Anyway, kinda cool pastime when you’re bored … or looking for shit to blog. 😉 LOL


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