How would you feel if someone told you that your surname would soon be extinct? A new video explores this idea, asserting that most family names may soon go into oblivion.
When two people marry, one of them often takes on their partner’s last name, which means their original last name disappears. This way, a surname may be wiped out completely once its last bearer dies without passing it on.
According to the Daily Mail, around 200,000 surnames have been lost in England and Wales since 1901. There are several endangered surnames today, such as Pober and Mirren. These endangered surnames can be found on sites such as ancestry.com and myheritage.com. If your surname has less than 50 carriers at present, consider it endangered.
There’s another question we must ask ourselves: is it possible that all of us will eventually end up with the same last name if names keep dying out?
In China, some 12,000 surnames have been recorded historically. However, just over 3,000 are currently used. Li, Wang and Zhang are the most common of these, accounting for more than 7% of the population.
But while the less common names will die out on a large scale, the more common ones may be so widespread that human beings may go extinct before these surnames die out.
Unless, of course, we end up with the sci-fi scenario of just one surname, in which case its use will become redundant.