The following news release was written by dynastree.com staff.
See my comments and direct links to the Foreign language sites at the end of the news release.
Hamburg, August 11, 2009 – The family network dynastree.com features maps for showing the distribution of one’s surname for eight countries at the moment. Such maps are not only available for the US, and Canada, but also for Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Versions for the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Argentina will follow soon.
The free map service, which shows the absolute and relative distribution of surnames for the respective countries, is based on data from telephone books and address databases. One can very easily and quickly get an overview of the geographical distribution and origin of one’s own surname. The name of interest only has to be entered into a search field to view the corresponding map. Statistics about the number of persons with the same name are shown for single counties or regions. The relative display of the distribution also factors in the distortion caused by metropolitan areas.
These maps are a helpful service and very popular among the users, it is especially used to narrow down research of one’s own family history to single regions.
The results can be used to research the origin of a name, and to find further trails of the family’s history. If the name searched for is not limited to one country, the user is notified and can also use the international maps for displaying the name’s distribution there. This is useful to track down ancestors or relatives if the family emigrated from a country decades or centuries ago. The name “Jackson” for instance is found only about 1,000 times, while there are about 640,000 entries in the US. It is therefore on the 18th rank of the most frequent surnames in the US.
The surname distribution maps can also be integrated into blogs created with WordPress, dynastree.com offers such a widget. It only takes some minutes to let the visitors of one’s blog access the maps. The widget also automatically recognizes the visitors’ language settings and shows the corresponding map in the right language.
Profile of dynastree.com
According to experts, dynastree.com and its international language versions have been among the fastest growing social networks worldwide in the last two years. By now, more than nine million families have created their tree at dynastree.com, and more than 15.000 new family trees are added each day. The venture capital corporations Neuhaus Partners and Hasso Plattner (co-founder of SAP) Ventures recognized the young start-up’s potential early and support dynastree.com as investors.
Dynastree.com was founded by the experienced internet entrepreneurs Daniel Grözinger and Sven Schmidt. They have already founded and maintained several internet projects since studying together, such as getgo.de (an online ticketing service), and the FIFA Soccer World Cup Ticketing Center (responsible for managing the ticketing for the FIFA Soccer World Cup in Germany in 2006).
I did a USA search on the surname of Meitzler – with the results found at: http://www.dynastree.com/maps/detail/meitzler.html The data is based on phone directory entries. I noted that no Meitzlers were listed for Utah, although I know of at least 8 of us living here, in 3 households. However, we all use cellphones – or Comcast cable phone services, thus not showing up in the typical “phone directories.” I was offered the Surname Distribution Maps for the USA upon logout. Previous to that I couldn’t find them. Because the website is currently set up to automatically default to the user’s language, there isn’t a simple system within the site to go to one of the foreign sites currently posted. However, the direct links are as follows:
- Austria: http://www.verwandt.at/karten/
- Canada: http://www.dynastree.ca/maps
- France: http://www.familleunie.fr/cartes
- Germany: http://www.verwandt.de/karten/
- Spain: http://www.miparentela.com/mapas
- Switzerland: http://www.verwandt.ch/karten/
Thanks to Nils Schnelle for getting me the direct website addresses for the above sites. Note that the initial news release stated that Surname Distribution Maps for the UK were also available. This was a mistake. They aren’t posted at the site at this time.