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Where the Cohens Are

A U.S. map by surname

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The U.S. northeast.(National Geographic)

Great time suck: National Geographic has a map of the United States denoting where certain surnames predominate, as well as where those names originate. And while, as you’d expect, Smith is number one, and Williams is everywhere (it’s Welsh, apparently), and the British blues are dotted also with orange Northern European, red Hispanic, and purple East Asian names—and, yup, the Boston area is still home to Murphys and O’Briens and Kellys, in bright green—the most predominant surname in a part of the East Coast that sure looks a lot like New York City is, yes, “Cohen.” It is gray—its origination is “other.”

What’s In A Surname? [National Geographic]

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Bruckner says:


That is a fun map but you are misreading the key. The surnames are just the 25 most popular surnames by state (which is why the Texas surnames are so spread out and there are a huge number of Hispanic names in central NY). Also, it isn’t perfectly clear that the Cohen names is in NY. It could easily be from NJ.


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Where the Cohens Are

A U.S. map by surname

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