Search blogger Tara Calishain points to a new feature (she’s guessing it can be called a “name mining” function) on the website whitepages.com. It allows you to sort their database to discover statistical information about specific first or last names — or both. For example, here’s some information from the whitepages.com database about the people in Tennessee with the first name Rex. Tara thinks it may help someone doing genealogical research, but suspects it likely will be more of a “timesink” tool for most people. I can think of another usage: for soon-to-be parents considering names for a child and wondering how many other people “out there” have the same name.
Here’s some timesinking on my part: A map of the distribution of people with the first name “Rex” across the U.S. I can’t believe it, but there are 26,693 of us (the 448th most popular first name, right between “Clara” and “Tonya”). As you can see — as I’ve always suspected — there are more Rexes in Texas than anywhere else.
Later: And I just remembered: Each March, the Texas population of Rexes grows by two.