For all my writer friends out there, National Geographic has answered our prayers with an interactive map of the the U.S. showing the most common surnames (family names) in each geographic area. What’s even better, by noting the size and color of the font you can tell how common the name is and the nationality of origin.
Why is this helpful? Well, suppose you want to write a tale about a cross-country trip and the people your protagonist meets along the way? You can print this map out, trace out your route, and suddenly you have a good sense of the names and nationalities of the areas your characters will visit.
Click here to see the map at National Geographic.
So did your surname make it on the map?