I was thinking today about how easy it seems for a last name to die out. Consider this, My Great Grandfather Thomas Geoghan came to the US about 1869. You would think that in the 4-5 succesive generations, there would be many people bearing the Geoghan last name. However, the number of male children bearing the Geoghan last name in his direct line is shockingly low. My brother has 2 sons to carry on the last name. I have a male Geoghan cousin but am not sure if he has any sons. So right now, there are only 2 Geoghans to carry on the last name to the next generation to my knowledge. I find this shocking. I think Thomas would too! It’s a matter of not enough male children being born in each generation and those that are, only have daughters or no children at all in most cases. Could our line have died out if my brother had not had my nephews? something to think about. That wouldn’t happen you say but my Grandfather Geoghan married Elizbeth Kranz. in the Kranz family line, there are NO male Kranz’s left so the name had died out completely.
My mothers family seems to fair a little better. My maternal grandmother was a Weber. The Webers liked big families. I have a great Uncle that had 14 kids! The Wells family is not a big in our line as one would think. We run high in girls. My grandfather Elliott Wells was one of 9 children, 6 of them were males. 2 of the 6 didn’t have any children at all. 3 of the 6 only had daughters so that leaves only 1 out of the 9 children passed on the family name to the next generation. Go back one generation and of the 5 children in my Great Grandfather Wells family and my Great Grandfather was the only one to pass on the Wells family name. Go back another generation and my Great Great Grandfather was the only one to carry on the Wells family name to the next generation. He did have one brother who had a son but he died without issue. You have to go back to my great great great grandfather to have a lot of Wells sons born.
I read an article that said that the only reason the population of the US showed as increasing was because of the immigration of spanish speaking folk. That on our own, the population of the US is really on the decline. As as family, you have to have at least 3 children for the population to not be in decline and most families I know today are only have one or two kids. When you consider how my family names are in the decrease, this population decrease seems a little more ominous.
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