Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

Tonight's challenge from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings asks us to dive a little deeper into our genealogy software - by counting surnames. Randy asks us to determine how many surnames we have in our database, how we accomplish this, which surname has the most entries, and optionally, giving a top-5 or top-10 list.

My primary software is Reunion (v.9.0c). I found this feature pretty quickly. Under the "List" menu, click "Last names", then "All people". The result was a list in alphabetical order, but I was able to do a descending sort by clicking on the "usage" column. The result was the table below, which is also my top ten.


The results list not only a count by surname, but also the number of living people, as well as the earliest and latest dates for each. The earliest dates are probably correct based on what I've entered, but the other two numbers are questionable. The numbers for living people are probably correct given my data entry, but since I'm a bit lax at keeping up with living family members, probably not a true reflection of living people in my lines with these surnames. The latest date baffles me a bit - mainly because the top 4 entries all have the same latest date, which is today. I didn't make any updates in the software today, so I'm not sure where this date is coming from.

I could not find an easy way to count first names used. I've done a similar report in the past, though, by exporting my data as a text file and then doing further analyses, but found no feature native to Reunion to do this.

Reunion does have some interesting statistical snapshots, largely various age reports broken out by gender: