The five most common last names in America are Smith, Williams, Brown, Johnson and Jones.

You won't find any of those last names listed as one of the most distinctive last names in Illinois. According to Chicagoist "you’ll find that the five most distinctive last names in Illinois—that is, those that occur most often compared to the nation as a whole—are all of Scandinavian or German descent."

To figure this all out, Simon Knowz used something called the Social Security Death Master File. Which was described as "a death verification tool, but a fraction of a percent of the individuals are added erroneously while still alive. 80% of these are people who were born 1930 or earlier."

Simon Knowz went a few layers deeper than Mental Floss did, which ended up giving readers the top distinctive last name in each state.

Mental Floss

Here are the five most distinctive last names in Illinois:

  1. Carlson
  2. Schultz
  3. Meyer
  4. Larson
  5. Becker

While you're here, these are the most distinctive last names in Wisconsin:

  1. Schultz
  2. Olson
  3. Hanson
  4. Schmidt
  5. Larson

Larson and Schultz are both distinctive and apparently common last names at least when shared between Illinois and Wisconsin.

[H/T Chicagoist]