Family Names in Genealogy


  • Below is a look at my family tree: 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and so on. It does’nt take long to accumulate a large number of family names that I am a direct descendant of:                                                                    .

  •  Next is a list of names that can be found in my direct ancestry going back to 1500, and these are only the ones I’ve been able to find: 

Aldworth, Allen, Barefield, Barr, Belfry, Benfield, Blachall, Coleborne, Cook, Cunningham, Fairie, Farnsworth, Findlay, Green, Hadham, Hambleton, Harris, Harwood, Hort, Hull, Keate, Kirkwood, Lannin, Lindsay, Link, Long, McQuhurtor, Meicklejohn, Mill, Mitchel, Monck, Murray, Newton, North, Parks, Phillips, Sherman, Shippon, Simms, Smith, Stephens, Stirling, Street, Stroud, Thatcher, Thompson, Wall, Walters, Webb, West, Westell, Whistler, Whiting, Wilcox

  • The chart on the left (click to enlarge), illustrates the exponential nature of this phenomenon.  Note that if I go back 450 years, I can “boast” over a million “parents”.
  • The chart on the right explains the terminology used to describe our more distant relatives.