Answering the riddle of where your family name (and those inimitable relatives) comes from is now just a click away thanks to genealogy website, Forebears.
Created using data from electoral rolls and telephone directories from 26 countries, the site was recently launched by geographers at University College London and offers insights into the origins of a surname, how common a surname is globally, and a country-by-country breakdown.
The site also offers a special couples function. If you enter two surnames, a heat map is generated showing a global location where you and your special someone would be most likely to meet.
Spoiler: it’s almost certainly not the local pub.
Users can also search names by areas and ethnicity.
Above: A global search of the surname Freedman. Source: Forebears.
Above: A global search of the surname Freedman, showing localised data in Australia. Source: Forebears.