In the three-volume Dictionary of American Family Names, edited by Patrick Hanks (Oxford University Press, 2003), some 1,300 entries have been labeled as either origin unidentified or origin uncertain. This is due in great part to the fact that the largely traditional methods of onomastic research that were utilized in this work are insufficient to pierce through the radical ‘Americanization'' of so many foreign surnames. The extensive phonological and orthographical modifications they have undergone can often render their etymology unrecoverable if one relies exclusively on matching their present forms with other known forms. However, with the recent proliferation of internet websites devoted to genealogy, it is now possible to accurately trace the history and development of almost any surname by taking advantage of the investigations a great many people have conducted in trying to discover their roots. The present study is in essence an attempt to demonstrate the vast potential of this seemingly untapped medium for achieving more rigorous and accurate anthroponymic research.