Italy, Algeria, Spain… this site finds your origins with your surname

Have you always wondered what is the origin of your surname? The Geneanet site allows you to understand the evolution of your surname over the centuries. In a few clicks, you access a database with billions of free information.

Founded in 1996, the Ancestry group is today the world leader in genealogy. He has a database with billions of information, fed by the community, which allows you to trace the traces of his ancestors. Since 2020, it belongs to the Blackstone investment fund.

In France, the market leader is none other than This site has 4 million active members who have registered their family tree. This platform, accessible free of charge, makes it easy for everyone to trace the history of their surname. A single family name allows us to trace its origin back to the year 1500 and to understand how the population evolved.

How did your last name evolve?

A study carried out by Geneanet has highlighted a strong trend: the French are very interested in tracing their origins. No less than 7 out of 10 respondents said they wanted to know more about their roots. They are even 31% to say they are “very interested” in this. With immigration that has intensified in the last century, especially with globalization, understanding its origins has become important for millions of people.

Rather than going to town halls to trace your family tree, the first instinct should be to go on the Geneanet website and type your last name. Using community data and an OpenStreetMap map, Geneanet lets you see where most of the people with your last name are concentrated. A filter system allows you to see how the population has evolved over the centuries.

Russo: the surname of Italian origin

To understand the usefulness of the Geneanet service, the easiest way is to take an example. Below you will understand how the name “Russo” has evolved over the years. The first map shows the presence of families bearing the surname “Russo” in the world up to 1800. As you can see, this surname is concentrated in southern Italy. A slight presence in Europe is noted.

Last name Russo in 1800
The Russo surname until the year 1800 © Geneanet

It will then be necessary to wait for the 19th century to see the name being exported beyond the Italian borders. In the database between 1800 and 2023, we can thus discover that the family name is now found a lot in New York, France, Latin America and even in southern Australia in Sydney.

In all, some tens of thousands of people bear the name Russo and are registered on Geneanet. There are surnames which are counted in millions like the name Martin (7.7 million people), Bernard (4.2 million) or even Petit (3.95 million).

Last name Russo between 1800 and 2023
The Russo surname between 1800 and 2023 © Geneanet

A free website

If you are interested in knowing the origins of your surname – whether Arabic, European or otherwise – the Geneanet site gives you access to a gigantic database to learn more. This allows you to discover precisely the cities where the people who bear your surname live today. It also gives you visibility on already constructed family trees: perhaps you can join them and discover your ancestors in a few minutes.

Source: Journal du Geek by

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