Alphabetize by Last Name

This web app can be used to sort a list of names by last name. Great for wedding invitations, lists of sponsors, individuals, family members or any other list where you need the full names in order but sorted by lastname. This tool is a little easier than sorting a list of names in Excel since, of course, you don't need to pay for Microsoft Excel and you don't need to use Google Sheets either!

There are a few important rules to alphabetizing names:

  1. The name of individuals are transposed when filed as follows: last name, first name or initial, then middle name or initial.
  2. Surnames which include prefixes such as D', Da, De, Del, De la, Della, Den, Des, Di, Du, El, Fitz, L', La, Las, Le, Les, Lo, Los, M', Mac, Mc, O', Saint, St., Ste., Te, Ten, Ter, Van, Van der, Von, etc.. are filed as one word in alphabetical order.
  3. When it is impossible to distinguish the first or last name, or if confusion lies in the arrangement of a name, it is filed as it is written with the last name as the first filing unit while creating a crossreference from the first name.
  4. Hyphenated and compound last names are treated as one unit. Ignore the hyphen and file the two words as one unit.
  5. Name of individuals are transposed when filed as follows: last name, first name or initial, then middle name or initial.
  6. All Abbreviations in names should be alphabetized as though they were spelled out..
  7. A business name is filed as written unless it is the name of an individual, in that case it should be transposed.
  8. When a business name is made up of two or more surnames, it is filed as written - with each name considered as a separate unit.
  9. A hyphenated name is filed as one unit.
  10. When letters are used together to form a name, each letter is considered as a separate unit.
  11. In general articles, conjunctions, and prepositions are not considered when filing.
  12. In geographic names where there is more than one word, each word is to be considered as a separate unit. Names with a prefix are considered as one unit.
  13. Institutions and organizations are filed under the significant word or location
  14. Names of governmental units are filed under the name of the location or political division by the significant word or title.
  15. When filing bank names, first file under the city and their location and then use the name of the bank as written.

Rules summarized from Dartmouth College:

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