USC. Instituto da Lingua Galega

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How to search for a surname

  1. Do not type accents in your searches. The data provided by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística omits them. So for example, a search for CASAS will yield results covering both Casas and Cásas.

  2. 2. To search for compound surnames, type an underline character (_) between elements. For example, to find Fernández Da Ponte, type FERNANDEZ_DA_PONTE. The same rule applies to names starting with a preposition such as DA_PONTE.

  3. Asterisks and question marks may be used as wildcards in searches. An asterisk stands for any series of characters at the beginning or end of a string, e.g. a search for <PERE*> will return surnames that begin with PER- (such as PERE, PEREA, PEREDA, PEREZ, etc.). A question mark stands for a single character: a search for <SANCHE?> returns names of seven characters that begin with SANCHE- (e.g. SANCHEL, SANCHES, SANCHEZ).

  4. 4. Remember that a surname may have various spellings. Only names spelt exactly as in the census will be returned. Castilianized forms, and those spelt with or without an <h>, or with either a <b> or a <v> e.g. TEIXEIRO/TEIJEIRO, AIRA/AYRA, ERMIDA/HERMIDA, RIBEIRA /RIVEIRA) are counted as different names. To view all results for TEIXEIRO, TEIJEIRO and TEIGEIRO together, doing a search on TEI?EIRO will cause all these to be plotted together of these on one map. At the bottom-left, it will say “Surnames like TEI?EIRO″.

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The home page

This site´s home page gives general information about the GSM project and team. A panel on the right displays the following data:

Search results

The following information is returned upon searching for a surname:

This is followed by a table with details about the location of the surname in question for each council district:

By default, the data are sorted in decreasing order by the number in the Percent column. This order can be changed to alphabetical order by district or province, or absolute numerical order, by clicking on the arrows in the column headings.


The map shows the geographical distribution of the surname according to the search results, superimposed on a map of Galicia’s 315 council districts. Density of the surnames by district is conveyed through a colour scale. This scale groups densities into six categories at the most, ranging from white (no registered records for the surname in the district in question) to maroon (districts where the highest percentages are recorded). A key indicates the percentage corresponding to each colour. The method used for data classification is called Natural Breaks. This classification method is based on the Jenks' Natural Breaks algorithm that minimizes the variation between each class and display naturalgroupings inherent in the data.

The map comes with two tools (located inside the map box) which can be used to move the image, amplify and reduce it, and add layers for provinces and regions. Click on a district and its name will be displayed together with the corresponding numerical data. The map and the table of statistics for the current search can be saved or printed in PDF file format.

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