Hunting for places where surnames are prevalent can provide and set of useful start locations from which to start a genealogical search. But before you start here are a couple of points worth considering…
- Remember most, if not all, surname search tools use current data. So you need to know whether a location has been through major population shifts since your family was ‘there’ (where ever that might be)? If like me, your family came from an area that was ethnically cleansed, a surname search may not be very useful.
- Consider whether your family surname may be mis-spelled using local standards versus original location standards. Does the name end in ‘y’ should it typically end in ‘i’? Have the ‘ei’ been reversed to ‘ie” to accommodate English from German? The permutations could be nearly endless.
Nonetheless, no matter the challenges, a surname search can help. If you have no other data from which to start a search, these tools can provide a thread of hope and place from which to begin.
A very complete list of surname search tools may be found on FamilySearch.