One of the best things about the internet—for those of us obsessed with names and history—is that there are a bunch of tools out there for tracing the popularity of your name. Here are three of my favorites.

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Fair warning: two of the three of these are US-centric.

The Popularity of First Names From 1900 On

The good ol’ Social Security Administration has a bunch of tools for baby name popularity. It lets you pick from when you want to start tracking your name, but it only has the top 1,000 names from each year. Which means that, after 2006, I am shit out of luck. (You can see a screenshot of the tool above.)

What Your Name Would Be If You Were Born Today

Time used the Social Security Administration data to create a tool that tracks the popularity of names across decades, matching those names with similarly ranked options from other eras. My particular spelling was the 305th most popular name for girls when I was born, so the Time site tells me what the 305th most popular name is every decade from 1890 to the 2010s. I’m liking my 1910s name of Marvel, by the way.

How Many People Share Your Last Name

Using all the usual suspects—census, death certificates, etc.—Forebears.io lets you find out how many people out there share your last name and which countries they are concentrated in.

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So go forth and tell us your results.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.