I think that I might of heard of it. I'd say that your dad is right. It's probably not as common in other areas of the US.
Now, if you want boring last names, come where I live. I go to camp in New England ever summer, and I think that it is kind of interesting to look at the list of all of the campers and see their names. Some of them have the coolest last names. There are a lot of people Italian, Jewish and eastern European descent there.