Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Find a Grave Entries?

This week it seems that Randy Seaver and I got wildly different results from his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:
1.  How many entries are there on Find A Grave for your exact current surname and for the birth surnames of your grandparents?  What about your spouse's grandparents' birth surnames?

2.  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in a Google Plus Stream post.

Okay, here's mine.

I also used the Find a Grave search page.  It isn't true that it shows only exact matches.  It uses what you type as "begins with."  So when I searched for "Sellar", which had 8,173 matching records, and then went to the last page (409), it ended with "Sullivan-Sellars" and "Trosper-Sellards."

I also did the searches that Randy posted.

They're just not quite what you would expect.

So the names I searched for and the results:

Sellers (my current and only surname):  33,656 names
Armstrong (my paternal grandfather's birth surname):  151,133 names
Gauntt (my paternal grandmother's birth surname):  1,107 names
Meckler (my maternal grandfather's birth surname):  413 names
Gordon (my maternal grandmother's birth surname):  139,183 names

And I have no spouse, so no spouse's grandparents' names to search for.

My paternal grandfather's name at birth was Armstrong because my great-grandmother was not married when she had him.  No father was listed on the birth certificate, merely the socially disapproving "OW" for "out of wedlock" on the line where the father's name would have appeared.  She married Mr. Sellers seven months later.  Mr. Sellers informally adopted my grandfather, and Grampa used the name Sellers for the rest of his life.  When my grandfather was 37, his mother had a formal amendment processed for his birth certificate, naming Mr. Sellers as his father.

Even though my maternal grandmother's birth surname was Gordon, that was not her father's birth name.  That was Gorodetsky, originally written in Cyrillic.  That has a grand total of 108 names in the Find a Grave database.

I don't know why Randy's results for Richmond stopped at 10,000.  When I searched, I got 34,347 names.


  1. So, my question is, are there any Gorodetskys to be found on Find a Grave?

  2. Sorry - I missed your last line where you said 108 found. Are you related to any of them?

  3. All of my known family members changed Gorodetsky to Gordon after immigrating, but it's possible that some of the people listed on Find a Grave are relatives I don't know about yet. I did discover that Gorodetsky isn't a horribly uncommon name, though. It just means "the person from Horodets."


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