Isaac Taylor and Addy Bink
10 hours ago
According to a new study, there’s a good chance this man’s last name is Smith. (Getty)
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Do you think you have a popular last name? A new study found that most Americans have one in six last names, almost regardless of where they live.
In the study, Ancestry.com reviewed phone book records from across the country to determine the top three most popular surnames in each state. The company found that Smith is by far the most common.
Smallmouth bass caught in Lake Erie breaks record
In fact, Smith didn’t make the top three surnames in only five states: California, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
Smith was an occupational name meaning a worker specializing in metal like a blacksmith or farrier due to his English and Scottish roots, Ancestry explains. As of 2004, the average life expectancy of people with the Smith surname was 73 years old, compared to the national average of 74 years.
Other popular surnames included Johnson, Miller, Jones, Williams, and Anderson.
Regionally, Ancestry found a handful of differences. For example, Andersons are more common in the Northwest — states like Washington, Idaho, Utah, and in the Dakotas — than anywhere else in the country.
Miller is most common in the Midwest and Appalachian Mountains — Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kansas — while Garcia is popular in southwestern states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.
Missing in Ohio: remains of Koby Roush found
The interactive map below shows the most common surnames in each state, according to Ancestry:
Hawaii was the only state where the surnames Lee, Wong, and Kim were most popular. California also had two names — Hernandez and Lopez — that no other state had in the top three.
These names were among the most common in only one state:
Chavez: New Mexico
Olson: North Dakota
You can see Ancestry’s full report here, as well as the meaning and origin of many common surnames.