In most other places, the Brayboy name appears predominantly among African-Americans, but in Kentucky people named Braboy (only one Y) are almost all white. Another way unusual surnames can provide research clues is when they become unusual first or middle names. These include Homes of Family Names in Great Britain by Henry Brougham Guppy (Kessinger Publishing), Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames with Special American Instances by Charles Wareing Bardsley (Clearfield Co.), A Dictionary of British Surnames by P.H. Unusual surnames can help solve passenger-list puzzles, too. You can work backward, too, and investigate whether an unusual first or middle name might be a clue to a missing maiden name. Understanding and Applying Your DNA Test Results, Family Tree Templates and Relationship Charts, How to Find Your Ancestor’s US Military Records, Preserving Old Photos of Your Family History, Surnames: Family Search Tips and Surname Origins, Surnames: Family Search Tips and Surname Origins Free eBook, Your Searchable Guide to Female Ancestor Nicknames, Where Did Your Last Name Come From? Likely the one on the same manifest as Ezra Libzewicz, who owned the grocery store around the corner in their new home in America. Having an unusual last name, like Fryxell, means a lifetime of enduring mispronunciations and spelling it out (“That’s F as in Frank, R, Y, X—yes, really, X … ”). A version of this article appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine. Still have questions? The same family has a Nisba Uptegrove Stowe (apparently they had a fondness for oddball first names, too), whose paternal grandmother was Amy Uptegrove. Keep in mind the possibility that a family’s unusual surname was changed at some point. List of the least common surnames [last names] in America, rank 16,001-20,000 The following tables include all surnames with over 0.001% frequency in the US population during the 1990 census. according to professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak. Gone are the days of leafing through the phone book, these days you can find surname inspiration online. Your art here? Such connections often skipped a generation: The grandmother of Oglesby Ashley Lowe, Sr., was Jerusha Oglesby. In Europe, Smolenyak found the Boreanaz surname traces to a long-ago immigration of Slovenes from the vicinity of Borjana into the border region of Italy. I think those are cute names for girls! You're free to use names on this site to name anything in any of your own works, assuming they aren't already trademarked by others of course.All background images part of the generators are part of the public domain and thus free to be used by anybody, with the exception of user submitted backgrounds, images part of existing, copyrighted works, and the pet name generator images. The good news is that if and when you discover the original, less-common surname, your ancestors will stand out from the crowd and be easier to search for. Name is the first gift that parents give to their child. Most settled in County Limerick and County Wexford with the assistance of English landlords who, like the refugees, were Protestants. Click here to find out more! You might have to get creative, thinking hard about what part of an unusual name is least likely to get screwed up. One-name studies attempt to research all occurrences of a surname, sometimes restricted to one geographic area. Unique names may also cross gender boundaries, with many unique names used for both baby girls and baby boys. If you find three Samuel Smiths in the same general part of the country, each with a daughter Sarah, the one who got a land grant adjoining Ezekiel Flizbisket—on the same day!—is likely your man, given that Sarah married Ezekiel’s son a few years later. : Episode 141, Becoming a Professional Genealogist – An Interview with Diana Elder (AG) and Nicole Dyer: Episode 140. You might learn this from connections on this side of the Atlantic or even, jumping backwards to go forwards, from researching your ancestral village across the ocean. To tell the soldiers apart, they got “army names” for the duration of their service. But an oddball surname has its advantages, too. Wilson (Routledge) and A History of British Surnames by R.A. McKinley (Routledge). But a name is never enough because characters also need a surname. But if you prefer less generic names, a few simple changes to a generic name will make it original and stand out. Which of the countless passengers named Ira Berg is your great-grandfather? Simply click again to get And an unusual last name—your own, or anywhere in your family tree—can be a valuable genealogy tool. Here are some ideas for last names:-----Last Name #1 : Callahan. At Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, for example, while ? Genealogy blogger Craig Manson, for example, has investigated the unusual surname Brayboy in his family tree, said to derive from “Braveboy.” He found that the surname is concentrated in just a few states—North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky. Because these names are so prone to errors, asking for only exact matches increases your risk of missing out on useful results. Copeland: This has to be a unique surnames turned first names on the list. When the ex-soldier and his brother, my great-grandfather Gustaf, came to America in 1876, they kept Sven’s army name and became John and Gustav Fryxell. Visit the website to see if there’s a study for your oddball surname or to launch one. Search for those names on family history websites and in genealogical records, but remember to closely analyze any finds you make, rather than assuming a surname was uncommon back in your ancestor’s time and therefore that any person you find with that name is part of your family tree. Passenger lists and naturalization records are good sources for immigrants’ original names. On the newer, second site (RollForFantasy.com), Wait, there's even more! The table below includes last names ranked 16,001-20,000 in America. The fact that there were fewer than 200 Fryxells (mine and that other family) in the 2000 US census almost makes up for a lifetime of having my name butchered by everyone from gym teachers to receptionists. It also makes searching databases on FamilySearch.org or Ancestry.com a snap, with hardly any false hits. By. More common than choosing an unusual last name in America, of course, is “Americanizing” the surname on arrival here. This friendly and playful name, meaning ‘barrel maker’, is currently in the 77th spot. Get unlimited access to premium articles. How to Research Surnames, Decipher the Meaning Behind a Danish Surname. What do you think of these names for twin boys? A website and data may already exist for your surname—search for the name plus “surname DNA project”—or you can start your own. Even though the “changed at Ellis Island” explanation is a myth, many people did simplify or Anglicize their names after arriving in their new country. Even a moderately unusual surname, like the Lundeens who married the Fryxells, could trip you up: I’d run into nothing but brick walls until my aunt casually mentioned, “Oh, didn’t you know they changed it? You already know to check spelling variations of your ancestral names, but the more unusual the name the more likely it is to be misspelled or mis-transcribed. 10 new random names. Let’s say one of your Smith cousins back when married a Clement Flizbisket. Take it from me: Sometimes people just can’t believe it could possibly be spelled F-r-y-x-e-l-l. We’ve seen Fryzell, Frynell, Frytell, even Purcell. Where could such a first name have come from? Your Polish Zapatoczny family might have become the slightly less unusual Zepp, or Barankierowczek became simply Brown. What are good names for all girl triplets ? According to the Guild of One-Name Studies, “a study may concentrate on aspects such as the geographical distribution of the name and the changes in that distribution over the centuries, or may attempt to reconstruct the genealogy of as many lines as possible bearing the name. A search of the MyHeritage Family Trees database finds more than 93,000 hits for Bythesea and similar spellings, for example. Because your Y-DNA (or your father’s or brother’s, if you’re a woman) generally has been passed down along with your surname over time, Y-DNA testing is ideal for identifying the genetic relationship—or lack thereof—among families bearing the same surname. Here are a few strategies to help you uncover research clues. Typically used with cousins, neighbors and associates who migrated with your ancestors (in a “cluster”), the strategy works even better when such folks have surnames that stand out. Suppose you’ve been tracing your Eckstrom line backward through city directories—and then, one year, they’re AWOL. 0. 62843. Oglesby is a moderately unusual surname (more than 43,000 hits in MyHeritage’s Family Trees search), so the odds that these individuals bearing that name and living in the right place are related is pretty high. Some references can help locate the geographic roots of your surnames, especially in Great Britain. These names are the heritage of about 3,000 refugees from the Palatine region of today’s Germany, who fled a French invasion in the early 1700s. We'll collated over 180,000 surnames using census data, fiction and even prison records. The surnames are kept rather generic, which is mainly because surnames are heavily dependent on the culture and history of the language it belongs to. There are over 38.000 different name combinations available in this generator, some of which are a little silly, that's the nature of a random generator, but you're bound to find plenty of useful names. If it helps their names are Melodia and Jenna. The Oglesby surname in my mother’s family, for example, popped up in the given names of Oglesby Ashley Lowe (senior and junior) and Thomas Oglesby Rosser. Don't like the names? Surnames that are presumed to have gone “extinct” since 2011, according to the same source, include: Surprisingly, some of these were also once relatively common names. Get answers by asking now. Use our Genealogy Workbooks dedicated to these record types. In the case of Fryxell, the Fry and ell pieces seem to survive mangling the best, so a search for Fry?ell can be effective. More common than choosing an unusual last name in America, of course, is “Americanizing” the surname on arrival here. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for family surnames, especially maiden names from the wife’s family or the husband’s mother’s family that would otherwise vanish, to be used as first or middle names for children.