There are 607,735 people named Murphy in the world and most of them live in the United States. With fascinating illustrated snapshots like this it’s no wonder that the genealogy gathering site, Forebears, has gone viral.

The site aims to unlock the history of your surname, trace its origin and also show, via these interactive heat maps, where in the world your name is most popular.

It even refines its search by country so you can take a closer look at where you name is popular. Here, for example is a map showing where in Ireland the name Murphy is most popular.

By using the 2014 and 1901 census’ the site also shows the top most popular names and how they rank, side by side. This give an amazing glimpse at how little the names in Ireland changed over more than 100 years.

Here’s the top ten from 2014:

The website was launched in 2012 and aims to map out mentions of 11 millions surnames in newspaper mentions, genealogical record sites and other sources. Its purpose of the website is to aggregate all the loose information from multiple records sites into one index.

Some of the mentions it comes up with are brilliant. For example under a page specifically dedicated to Ireland it quotes the section “Natures of the People” from the 1671 book “A Geographical Description of the World” by George Meriton.

The Irish are described thusly:

“The People of this Countrey are generally strong, and nimble of Body; haughty of heart; careless of their lives; patient of cold and hunger; implacable in enmity; constant in love; light of belief; and greedy of glory. In a word, if they be bad, you shall hardly find worse; and if good, you shall no where find better.(sic)”

For more amazing information visit