In 2012, I was scrambling to come up with a Mother's Day gift for Mom. Don't ask me why; she was the easiest person to shop for on the planet. But I wanted something different.

So I subscribed to Mom never had a computer, so she was never online. And she loved it. We had the best time sifting through the past and learning what other members of our family--unbeknownst to us--had discovered and posted on our family tree.


We also learned a lot about our names--history and frequency of occurrence were very fascinating. Mom was a "Topmiller," and that name is far more common in these parts than you might think. My great-uncle was the mayor of Greenville for many years, so there are still Topmillers in Muhlenberg County.

But it's not among the most common surnames in the United States. Far from it, in fact. "Topmiller" ranks 103,493rd; there are only 161 Topmillers in the U.S. "Spencer" fares a lot better. It comes in at No. 189. As for the origins, that's always been a tall task with regard to "Topmiller." I only find "guesses" on the family history page at Ancestry.

"Spencer," on the other hand, derives from Middle English. says:

The word described a man who was in charge of purchasing and distribution of all food and provisions within a royal or noble household.  It was a position of some importance and usually only lesser in status to the steward. The word was probably introduced into England by the Norman French after the Conquest of 1066.


Well, how's this for a segue? Since it seems I am a "provider," how about I PROVIDE you with the 40 most common last names in Kentucky? breaks it down state by state and nationally, of course.

So, let's see what's most common in the Commonwealth.

The 25 Most Common Last Names in Kentucky RANKED breaks down the most common last names nationwide and state by state. Here are the top 25 most common surnames in Kentucky.

30 Kentucky Companies with the Most Employees breaks down the top employers in each of the 50 states--one through 100. Here are the top 30 that are headquartered in Kentucky. (By the way, the highest-ranking Owensboro company is Owensboro Health Regional Hospital...just outside the top 30 at No. 38.)

The Smallest Kentucky Towns Based on the Latest Census

With the 2020 census completed, let's take a look at the 15 smallest towns in Kentucky.

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