Do you have anyone in your family who meticulously documents your family tree?

I do!

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In my family, it's my mom who is our unofficial family genealogist. Most days you can catch her at her desk looking up records on or watching the PBS favorite Finding Your Roots.

I'm grateful to know so much about my family's origins, but she certainly likes to talk my ear off about people I've never seen and will never meet-- or I didn't even know had existed!

However, I must admit it is pretty cool to have access to so much historical information at your fingertips. I can pull up my entire DNA profile from my smartphone! How cool is that?

Well, even cooler is the map put together of the most common last names for each state. Any guesses? Which do you think is the most popular surname in The Mitten?

Actually, these last names so common that they are not only the most common names in Michigan, but also: Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Alaska!

Of the over 10 million residents that live in Michigan, the most common last names in our state according to are:

Smith, Johnson, and Williams

If you're "lucky" enough to be on this list then I'm sure you already aware of just how common your last name truly is.


What about West Michigan?

Having grown up here in West Michigan, a community rooted in Dutch heritage, I'm used to hearing things like "Holland", "Van" or "Vander", and "Meijer". I'd be curious to see some definitive statistics on the most common Dutch last names in the area.

According to information from a 2014 census Visser, DeBoer, Deyoung, Vandenburg, Mulder, VanDyke, Dykstra, and DeVries were once considered the top 8 common Dutch last names in the Grand Rapids area.

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