No Foolin'

Well, it's April Fool's Day, when it's customary to come up with some sort of wacky blog redesign or a post that varies 180 degrees from what you actually believe, just to put people on. I could do some paean about Big Brother's visit to Airstrip One, and parrot the lines from the Ministry of Truth about how things are going so swimmingly here in Oceania. But you know, I'm just not feeling it.

So I'll give you an interesting link instead. I found this the other day rather serendipitously:

Map Your Name

It's a site that allows you to enter family or given names, and then shows you maps for the United States, Europe and Australia broken down by the frequency with which the name occurs in the population. My family name is most common in Delaware (!), followed by areas in the South. This is not surprising, since beginning in the 1700s, my ancestors moved from Virginia to North Carolina, then to Georgia, Alabama and Texas. It would not be surprising at all if some of the people in those states were my distant relatives. The British map showed that the highest frequency for my name was in Dorchester, followed by other areas along the south and southeast coast.

The European map is particularly cool, since it is broken down into much smaller regions than the U.S. map, which only goes down to the state level.