The following maps show the distribution of the four most common spellings of the surname in the federal censuses of 1840, 1880, and 1920. The were generated with a free utility at Ancestry.com; follow this link if you'd like to generate the same maps for other surnames.
Note that the number of families in the scale varies from map to map. The maps illustrate the general flow of the surname into the United States: the early families, concentrated in a few states; an influx of predominantly Irish families in the late 1840's and 1850's, many of whom settled in the cities; and the spread of the famine-era families into other states as they became prosperous, and the migration of Eastern European and Russian families at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
Copyright © 2009 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.