Last month we made a post about a surname finder for the UK. Now, we can report, we've found one that gives you a portrait of your surname across the world.
The World Names Profiler allows you to plug in your surname and observe its geographical distribution. Once you type in a surname and hit search, you should get an image up like the below.
You'll also see a text representation of how the distribution breaks down, including the roots of the surname, the most common forenames associated with it, and the top regions and countries which the surname populates.
Simple enough, but the tool can do a little more than this. You can run an area search to discover not which locations are most common for your surname, but which surnames are most common for your location. You can also run an 'ethnicity search', to see where your particular country or region's population has spread out to over time.
It's an easy tool to try out, and a bit of fun to play around with. You might also be interested in a similar feature on MyHeritage.com, which displays not only a geographic distribution of your surname, but the number of users who share that surname on the site. It can be found here.
The World Names Profiler can be found here.
Search for your ancestors: