Canada is a multicultural country that has people of many different backgrounds living within its borders. One thing you might not know about our Canadian culture is how diverse surnames are in Canada. We have more than 1,00 last names in use, and some of them may surprise you! In this blog post we will take a look at 7 surprising facts about Canadian last names that the media hasn’t told us yet.
* Canadians have more than 100 different last names. How many of these are you aware of?
* The number one most popular Canadian surname is Smith, which accounts for about 16% of the total population.
* Last year, there were over 100 million searches on Canada’s largest search engine (Google) for “Canadian surnames.” This was up from only 33 million a decade ago! People seem to be very curious when it comes to learning some interesting facts about our cultures and traditions. These statistics show that people are taking an interest in their heritage lately. That being said, we can’t help but wonder if they’re looking because they want their name changed.. or not 😉 Moving right along..
“The top three surnames in Canada are Smith, Brown and Jones,”
* In Quebec (the only province where French is the sole official language), about one-fifth of all families have a surname that’s not English or French.
* The most common surnames by country, according to statistics from Ancestry.com include: China – Wong; England – Smith; France – Dubois; Germany – Schmidt ; Ireland- O’Connor and Wales-Jones.
* Canadian first names can be traced back to ancient languages such as Gaelic, Icelandic Norsemen, Latin, Greek and Germanic influences. They also come from Indian languages like Punjabi or Persian with traditional Aboriginal words being incorporated over time too! For example “Canada” is derived from the Iroquoian word meaning “village” or “settlement”.
* For many immigrants, last names are adopted by their children when they come to Canada. This is because it’s sometimes difficult for parents to choose a new surname that doesn’t offend others in their culture. The most common ethnicities recognized under this practice include Chinese, Italian and Filipino background families who take on surnames like Chang, Rossi or Santos respectively.
* In some cultures across Canada (like those of Scottish origin), family members may adopt titles such as McPherson-Macdonald rather than using just one name! It’s also not uncommon for people with Irish heritage to have multiple first names too like John Francis Patrick.
* Anglicized versions of Chinese names were pretty popular in the 19th century, especially among people who had family members living abroad. For example, a gentleman with the surname Huang (meaning “yellow”) would be known as John Smith or Robert Brown if he moved to Canada from China.
* There are plenty of Austrians and Polish immigrants that also adopted this naming convention during their time here too! They might go by Thomas Bergmann instead of Tomasz Wojciechowski for instance.
* English-speaking Canadians often adopt last names like Davies which can either have Welsh origin or Scottish roots. Some families will even choose an entirely different spelling such as Davis while others opt out altogether just adding initials on at the
-Only about 20% of Canadians have a single last name.
-In the 1800’s, most people only had one last name (due to less economic mobility).
-The media has been pushing for hyphenated names because it makes our country seem more diverse.
-When women take their husband’s surname upon marriage in Canada, they are required to sign an affidavit confirming that she is not changing her identity and all legal rights remain with her birth family. Once this form is signed there can be no going back on the decision -not even if you divorce your spouse or become widowed! This means that any assets you own will pass down through your birth family line instead of passing onto your children as per tradition.
-The Canadian government has been trying to discourage the use of hyphenated last names by issuing new guidelines for immigration documentation.
-In Quebec, married couples are not required to take a common surname because the provincial law requires them only to make sure they have one name each and that it’s written on their marriage certificate.
-A woman who takes her husband’s surname in Canada does not lose any property rights or legal identity, but if she assumes his nationality then she will be prevented from ever returning home -even as an innocent citizen! If you don’t like your country much (aside from its welfare programs), there is no good reason this should happen..unless you’re going through with an international adoption!
The most popular last name in Canada is Smith.
In fact, there are more people with the surname Smith than any other. The second most common Canadian last name? Brown!
Makes for a lot of “Browns” and “Smiths.” Apparently, Canadians do not like to have unique surnames – which leaves them open to some unfortunate combinations. For example: If you were born on July 20th 1988 your full legal name would be John Doe Jr.. It’s been said that if every person who has the same first initial shared their full names it would take up over 500 pages on Wikipedia! In 199, Bob Jones was running against Jane Lee for city councilor in Edmonton when he found out she had exactly the same name as him. He was forced to run for city councilor under the surname ‘Jones-with’.
In Quebec, unlike with English Canada, a person’s last name is passed on from the father. This can lead some interesting results! For example: if someone has a son and they choose to use their mother’s maiden name instead of their husband/fathers’ birthname then that child will bear his or her mothers’ last name without any paternal history at all – which means no axing out those unsightly family trees!
The top 20 Canadian surnames are mostly variations of Smith (such as Smyth), Brown (Broun) and Johnson (Jonson). These three names account for over 70% of all the surnames in Canada!
A common last name, such as Smith, can have a lot of variations. For example: Smyth (in Ottawa), Smit (in Quebec) and Smeeth (around Toronto).
Surprising Fact #11 – In 1885 Joseph Elkotay was elected to Parliament under his Mohawk name ‘Kahkewaquonaby’ which means “Gone Across” in English. He had previously been using the surname La Flesche but changed it when he converted to Christianity from Catholicism after an experience at George Couple’s mission school on Lac Ste Anne Reserve near St Albert. This is one of only two times that an aboriginal person has served directly in the House of Fact #01: A Canadian’s last name is more than just a family name. Although many Canadians are known for their last names, what people don’t know is that it takes centuries before the surnames become common and accepted as part of our society today. In fact, there was even an article in “The Globe and Mail” which said that one out of three Canadians have a surname that no other person shares! (Read More) Fact #02: Last names can change by marriage to show Heritage or Culture. In Canada, we’re used to seeing hyphenated last names like Smith-Jones after someone gets married because they share both heritage but this wasn’t always the case. It became popular in