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The coefficients of relationship and the Euclidean distances between 17 Venezuelan counties were estimated based on the frequency distribution of surnames obtained from the 1984 Venezuelan register of electors. In general, the coefficients of relationship between counties within the same state were higher than those between counties from different states. Euclidean distances exhibited the opposite relationship. Spearman’s correlation coefficients for 136 pairs of counties were estimated between geographic and Euclidean distances (r = 0.41), geographic distance and coefficient of relationship (r = —0.44) and between Euclidean distance and coefficient of relationship (r = —0.48). The effect of partial geographic isolation on the frequency distribution of surnames is shown in the State of Falcón, where an isthmus separates two counties of the peninsula from two others on the mainland, and in M6rida, where the Venezuelan Andes separates three counties from the rest of the country. Our results suggest that Euclidean distances are less influenced by common surnames than the coefficients of relationship. They also indicate that in Venezuela a high proportion of the population has remained sedentary until recently, and this gives rise to the focal distribution of some surnames.