People interested in their family history can now find where their relatives have spread around the world by using a public website which maps surnames: PublicProfiler Worldnames

A team of geographers from University College, London, have used data from electoral rolls and telephone directories to map the distribution of 10.8 million different last names.

The information, which covers a billion people in 26 countries, shows amateur researchers just where different names originated and where families have scattered around the world through migration.

The online maps also have information on which of 6.5 million forenames are most closely associated with different surnames and lists the top regions and cities for the presence of each last name.

The study, presented at the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference, was based on research on the distribution of 25,000 Anglo-Saxon surnames in the UK.

Source: The Press Association