I’ve had a growing suspicion, the more I learn, that essentially the entirety of one side of my wife’s family moved to the U.S. just before World War I. Every last one of them.
Here’s one more bit of evidence. This is a site that maps locations of surnames. I’ve typed in just about every last name of someone with European ancestry that I can think of, and her grandfather’s last name is the only one that shows … nothing … in Europe.
Take a look:
Now here’s mine, showing a definite origin in southeastern Norway:
You can actually tunnel down a bit. The most common location for her grandfather’s surname is … the suburb of Buffalo where most of her relatives still live. In the whole world, the only cluster of people with that name are in that one place.