Before we analyze the data to comprehend its meaning, let’s do a bit more research to see if we can validate the existing data.
Let’s check in with the United States Census Bureau which has analyzed names by frequency of occurrence from the 1990 census.
When we search for Gines and then Guynes, the following values are produced:
GINES 0.001 74.431 13779
GUYNES 0.000 79.626 23782
The first number represents the frequency of occurrence of the name in the population sample. Thus, the name Gines was possessed by 0.001% of the population sample. The name Guynes was possessed by less than 0.001% of the population sample (and since the values are valid only to three decimal points, there is no significant per cent of the population sample with that name).
The second number represents the percentage of the population covered by the name and those occurring more frequently than the name. We can see that by the time we get to Gines on the list of most frequently occurring names, we will have covered 74.413% of the population sample. For Guynes, we will have covered close to 80% of the population.
The third number is the rank of the name in terms of frequency of occurrence in the population sample. From this we see that Gines ranks 13,779th in frequency; Guynes is the 23,782nd frequently occurring name.
For the methodology used by the Census Bureau, see here.
Keeping in mind that the census name frequency data is based on 1990 input, let’s do some more validation with different data and different methods.
A site called Dynastree came to my attention recently via Randy Seaver. It is a German-based concern which is attempting to compete in the social/family network arena. Dynastree has a name distribution tool.
About the name Gines, Dynastree says:
In the US there are 414 phone book entries with the surname Gines and approximately 1,491 persons with this name.
Thus, the surname Gines the 20532nd most frequent name in the US.
People with this surname live in 39 states. Most occurrences are in Utah: 103.
Other states with lots of occurrences are California (49), New York (32), Illinois (22), Florida (21), Idaho (16), Hawaii (16), Texas (15), Missouri (13), as well as Washington (11).
These data give Gines a higher place on the frequency ladder and generally comports with our observations about geographical distribution. Now, let’s filter out the non-African-American persons from the Dynastree data. Utah’s Gines population is largely LDS and white, as is Idaho’s. California’s is mainly Filipino. New York’s is primarily Puerto Rican. Florida’s Gineses are Hispanic. Hawaii’s are mostly Filipino. Texas is just about evenly split between Hispanic and African-American people with the Gines surname. So we have left Missouri, Illinois and we know from Ancestry.com that Louisiana and Mississippi historically have had large numbers of African-American people named Gines.
About Guynes, Dysnatree tells us:
In the US there are 399 phone book entries with the surname Guynes and approximately 1.437 persons with this name.
Thus, the surname Guynes the 21185th most frequent name in the US.
People with this surname live in 30 states. Most occurrences are in Texas: 182.
Other states with lots of occurrences are Mississippi (42), California (35), Louisiana (31), Arkansas (17), Oklahoma (13), Tennessee (9), Virginia (6), Colorado (5), as well as New Mexico (5).
These data are broadly consistent with our prior findings. We thus have potential overlapping populations of black Gines and black Guynes in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Concerning the Dynastree methodology, we should be mindful of what is said on the World Names Profiler site: telephone books are skewed in favor of male heads of households. Female cohabitants often are not listed and children usually are not listed.
So what conclusions can we draw? First, the obvious one: the name Gines is extremely rare. Second, from the patterns of distribution, people in particular clusters are most likely related in some fashion. This does not necessarily mean a blood kinship. Thus, for example, we can be fairly sure that a person named Gines living in Nevada is probably related to the LDS Gineses and probably not to the African-American Gineses who live in Louisiana. (N.b.: This, of course, is a broad generalization which simply is more often true than not true, but which is not a sure bet. My cousin Trudy Gines is an African-American who lives in Las Vegas).
Third conclusion: The name Guynes probably originated as a misspelling of the Gines name. There are several bits of data which support this theory; primarily is the fact that the name is not found anywhere except in the United States and it’s not known to be an American Indian name.
One point of this is to decide whether, when researching Gines, it would prove fruitful to research Guynes as well. The other thing is that these distribution patterns tell where searching may be most likely to pay off. These tools have to be used in connection with other information, such as census data, to get an historical perspective.
Here’s an historical view of the Gines surname in America:
The westward migration and growth of the LDS Church is reflected above, as well as movement of Filipinos to Hawaii.
I realize that these examples have lacked mathematical precision, but viewed intuitively, they suggest a connection between these surnames and among the people in the various clusters.
Gines surnamed individuals in Louisiana are almost all related to me; it’s likely that most of those in Mississippi also are related to me.
In another post, I’ll show a good example of how surname distribution helps track migration.
February 11, 2009 Wednesday at 9:58 pm