Geographers at University College London used phone directories to find the predominant surnames in each state. Software then identified the probable provenances of the 181 names that emerged. (Zoom in, here.)

Many of these names came from Great Britain, reflecting the long head start the British had over many other settlers. Also, slaves often took their owners' names, so about one in five Americans now named Smith are African American.

Do you spot your last name on the map?

National Geographic website
via [psfk]
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  • Very cool! The racial demographics are particularly insightful.
  • That's awesome! I'm a little sad that my name wasn't on there though. It just means it's unique! haha
  • Different way to look at the US, very cool.
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