9 Last Names on the Brink of Extinction

My Heritage

Is your last name Miracle, Tumbler or Villan? If so, you’re a dying breed! Just be happy you’re not a Bread or Spinster, otherwise you’d be presumed extinct!


Unusual names have lingered for centuries, but did you know that they can become extinct? Any last name with under 200 “bearers” is endangered, and we’ve found some which are even extinct. Do you have a rare last name on the verge of extinction? Or is your last name extremely common? Build a family tree on MyHeritage and discover relatives with your last name you never knew existed. –


Last names with less than 20 bearers:

  • Sallow
  • Fernsby
  • Villin (Villan)
  • Miracle  – Someone please save the name “Miracle” from extinction
  • Dankworth
  • Relish
  • MacQuoid
  • Loughty
  • Birdwhistle
  • Berrycloth
  • Tumbler

Endangered last names with under 200 bearers:

  • Ajax
  • Edevane
  • Gastrell
  • Slora

Last names presumed extinct since 2011:

  • Bread
  • MacCaa
  • Spinster
  • Pussett, Puscat and Pussmaid
  • Bythesea and Bytheseashore

So, why are so many names becoming extinct? Names linked to uncommon professions or geographic places are dying out slowly unlike the more popular Smith and Baker. Also, many last names were wiped out during war when young men died in battle taking with them their distinctive last names of the villages and hamlets they came from.

Many of these were British names which, just like people, have migrated across the shores to America or Australasia, which means the names have moved to a new home. Other last names, like those from Eastern Europe, have become anglicized and popular in Britain taking over the traditional British names.

Do you have an endangered last name? What would you do to save it from becoming extinct?

Start your family tree on MyHeritage for free. Find out what strange names you have in your family!  – Click Here 


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