How unique are you?

March 13, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

How unique are you? Or, rather, how unique is your name? I have a rather unusual name. I was wondering whether any other person has my first and last name. I visited a site called “White Pages” and found out that there seems to be only one other person in the United States who shares both my first and last name.  There are more than 9,000 people with a first name spelled “Erich.”

Image by Devulderj at Dreamstime.com (with permission)

Image by Devulderj at Dreamstime.com (with permission) and last name.

If you’d like to find out how unique (or common) your name is, as well as the states where your namesake(s) live, visit White Pages and click on the “Name Facts” link (located over the field for “City, State or Zip.” Hint: If you leave that field black, you’ll retrieve information for the entire United States. If you enter a state in that box, you see only information for that state.

I found out that there are at least 870 people in the U.S. named “George Washington.”  There seems to be only one person named “Barack Obama.”  There are more than 20,000 people named “John Smith.”  There are more than 500,000 people with the last name of “Martin.”  There is one person in the U.S. with the first name “Sardine.”   More than 90 people have a first name of “Music.”  More than 700,000 people have the first name of “Jose.” The most popular male and female names in the U.S. are “John” and “Mary.”

The site indicates that it gets its information from a variety of sources:

This is what it sounds like: information that’s available to the public. It includes addresses, street names, cities, states and ZIP codes. Other examples of publicly available information include published phone directories and information published on the Internet, such as publicly available social network profiles.

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Category: Whimsy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    White pages show two people with names like mine. But not me! I don't have a land line in my name.

    But <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=dan+klarmann&quot; target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Googling my name yields mostly pages that I've written on. Plus many sites where someone else was apparently using my name (even linking back to this site). I wonder how that works out for them?

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Watch out Dan! Someone may have swiped your identity! They could use any land line number they want and never have to worry about someone reaching you by mistake.

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    My wife has a more common name. Unfortunately, she regularly gets calls from collection agencies looking for one of her name-alikes. Maybe we should swap names on the land line.

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    My real name (Niklaus Pfirsig is a "handle" I've used since the BBS days when the web was not widely available) is surprisingly more common than I expected.

    There are 4 in the Nashville area, two of whom I've met. One is a wealthy inventor and businessman, one is an auto mechanic, one is an elderly retiree and one is me.

    To add to this, several years ago I went to the DMV to renew my driver's license and was informed that, due to a new program where the states were sharing data, that I could not renew my license because the state of Michigan had revoked my license for numerous DUI arrests.

    I found this odd because I had never been to Michigan, and avoid alcohol for medical reasons. A bit of research and several calls to the Michigan DMV, and I discovered that the guy in Michigan had the same full name and birthdate as me. It was not a case of identity theft, but a case of synchronicity. Apparently we had both been named after a pop singer from the late 50's who could be described as a one-hit wonder.

    Anyway, Googling for my real name returns about 5000 entries, most referring to the wealthy guy, with a preacher somewhere as a close second.

    Googling for "Niklaus Pfirsg", returns close to 10,000 entries, and most (if not all) of them refer to me.

  5. rachel locke says:

    what really blows me away – and maybe its solely due to my naivete (sp?) – is that not only do they know where i live and what my phone number is, but how OLD (or young) i am! But somehow, and this actually makes me feel better, they seemed to have missed the mark a bit on the spouse – i'm sure he'd find it funny to learn that he is GK Locke.

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