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Old 07-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #1851987  /  #1
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Default Scandinavian naming conventions

Anybody know anything about how names were passed on in the mid 19th century in Sweden and Norway? I know about the whole "son/dottr" thing, but would a woman change her name upon marriage to align with her husband's father?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #1852012  /  #2
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Women, under the old patronymic system, retained their patronymic surname after marriage. In the latter part of the 19th Century, the naming system evolved. Married women often took the patronymic of their husband. In addition, from a period from the 1870’s to 1923, children were occasionally assigned their father’s surname, rather than a conventional patronymic. In 1923, it was ordered by law that each family should have a single hereditary last name. Some families took a patronymic while others assumed a farm name. As a result, the surnames Helgesen and Diesen have equal likelihood of existing today.

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com.../0019page.html
Bit more.

http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/genealogy/naming.htm
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #1852035  /  #3
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yeah, been finding a lot that states that women didn't typically change their names. but the wedding of the people in question would have been during this transitional period in the mid-late 1800s when people were moving towards fixed last names. I'm pretty sure I have the right Swedish birth record, but our family history holds the maiden name for my great great grandmother was "Johnson" (which under patronymic rules would have been "Johannsdottr"), yet this record for my great grandfather lists her as "Petersdottr" (and her husband "Petersson", the origin of my grandfather's "Peterson"). So it seems she was an early adopter of name change to the husband's patronym, but wouldn't accept the "son" suffix.

Or I have the wrong birth record that just happens to have the right date, location, and names otherwise.
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Last edited by Bilirubin; 07-06-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #1852038  /  #4
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Or they were siblings and I've just discovered a horrible family secret I guess.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #1852047  /  #5
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I'm pretty sure I have the right Swedish birth record, but our family history holds the maiden name for my great great grandmother was "Johnson" (which under patronymic rules would have been "Johannsdottr"), yet this record for my great grandfather lists her as "Petersdottr" (and her husband "Petersson", the origin of my grandfather's "Peterson"). So it seems she was an early adopter of name change to the husband's patronym, but wouldn't accept the "son" suffix.
You're of Swedish stock? The dumb culture in Finland says I should hate you.

But I don't.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #1852056  /  #6
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Mostly Swedish, but with some Norwegian, German, Austrian, English, and French contributions as well. My maternal grandmother retained a smattering of Swedish language, and would make lefse, krumkakke, and other traditional food until she had her accident that stole much of her cognitive ability.

Been finding delving into the family history interesting insofar as it makes particular historical events a little more immediate, and I often head off to read up on them further as well. Last night I learned I had an ancestor at Valley Forge for the winters of 1777 and 1778, for example.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #1852067  /  #7
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yeah, been finding a lot that states that women didn't typically change their names. but the wedding of the people in question would have been during this transitional period in the mid-late 1800s when people were moving towards fixed last names. I'm pretty sure I have the right Swedish birth record, but our family history holds the maiden name for my great great grandmother was "Johnson" (which under patronymic rules would have been "Johannsdottr"), yet this record for my great grandfather lists her as "Petersdottr" (and her husband "Petersson", the origin of my grandfather's "Peterson"). So it seems she was an early adopter of name change to the husband's patronym, but wouldn't accept the "son" suffix.

Or I have the wrong birth record that just happens to have the right date, location, and names otherwise.
Or the record is just plain wrong. In 1956 when my mother needed a passport she discovered her birth certificate listed her father correctly but named a complete stranger as her mother. It took months and a bunch of notarized statements by all concerned to get the record corrected.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:36 PM   #1852069  /  #8
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that's a bit of a rude surprise
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #1852082  /  #9
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Yeah, seeing it was a home birth, kinda hard to sneak the other woman in and out of the house.

I might have a bit of Scandinavian DNA, but it would be via Scotland and in the pretty distant past.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:55 PM   #1852087  /  #10
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According to my step-grandfather, who moved to Canada from northern Scotland as a wee lad, fair-haired Scots are sometimes called "shipwrecked Swedes" by their darker neighbours.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #1852092  /  #11
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Yeah, seeing it was a home birth, kinda hard to sneak the other woman in and out of the house.

I might have a bit of Scandinavian DNA, but it would be via Scotland and in the pretty distant past.

Good luck with your search.
lol, my birthday on my driver's license is wrong. When I first applied for a California license, the clerk at the DMV really screwed up where her fingers were typing. I've gotten the date "corrected" several times since then, but every new license shows the old date.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #1852094  /  #12
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According to my step-grandfather, who moved to Canada from northern Scotland as a wee lad, fair-haired Scots are sometimes called "shipwrecked Swedes" by their darker neighbours.
Ha! Cute.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:07 PM   #1852100  /  #13
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Yeah, seeing it was a home birth, kinda hard to sneak the other woman in and out of the house.

I might have a bit of Scandinavian DNA, but it would be via Scotland and in the pretty distant past.

Good luck with your search.
lol, my birthday on my driver's license is wrong. When I first applied for a California license, the clerk at the DMV really screwed up where her fingers were typing. I've gotten the date "corrected" several times since then, but every new license shows the old date.
Yes, you have to be wary of records even now, and in the early twentieth century and before, well - mistakes were made.

And people hide things, in perpetuity sometimes.

I've a friend who has no idea who her grandfather was or where he came from, though she knew the man until she was in her thirties, when he died. Turns out he appeared, a complete stranger, in the community in his teens, was taken in by a local family, never told anyone who he was, and was simply given the family name.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:31 PM   #1852127  /  #14
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What a great story!
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:09 PM   #1852180  /  #15
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Last night I learned I had an ancestor at Valley Forge for the winters of 1777 and 1778, for example.
that's pretty cool
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #1852186  /  #16
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speaking of scandinavian names, according to that book i read ("sarum") and some apparent confirmation from googling around, the english surname "barnacle" does not have anything to do with those little sea animals that latch onto boats, etc. it is believed to have a nickname etymology, coming from a norse compound word, "bar-ni-kel", meaning "doesn't kill children". if it isn't immediately obvious why someone would have a norse-derived nickname with that meaning, you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly by thinking about the medieval history of norse people in england, or anywhere else outside of scandinavia.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:20 AM   #1852304  /  #17
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Yeah, seeing it was a home birth, kinda hard to sneak the other woman in and out of the house.

I might have a bit of Scandinavian DNA, but it would be via Scotland and in the pretty distant past.

Good luck with your search.
lol, my birthday on my driver's license is wrong. When I first applied for a California license, the clerk at the DMV really screwed up where her fingers were typing. I've gotten the date "corrected" several times since then, but every new license shows the old date.
Yes, you have to be wary of records even now, and in the early twentieth century and before, well - mistakes were made.

And people hide things, in perpetuity sometimes.

I've a friend who has no idea who her grandfather was or where he came from, though she knew the man until she was in her thirties, when he died. Turns out he appeared, a complete stranger, in the community in his teens, was taken in by a local family, never told anyone who he was, and was simply given the family name.
In a similar vein, apparently one of my grandfathers got away with just making up a new surname for himself, which is making it really difficult for the cousin who is trying to do genealogical research
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:24 AM   #1852313  /  #18
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Yeah, people could do stuff like that before massive databases existed. Does suck for genealogists though.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:31 AM   #1852327  /  #19
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I've been reading similar stories about how names were somewhat...flexible, at ports of entry. Explains a lot of "Swedish" family names in Minnesota/Wisconsin that are anything but however.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:55 AM   #1852351  /  #20
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Quote:
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yeah, been finding a lot that states that women didn't typically change their names. but the wedding of the people in question would have been during this transitional period in the mid-late 1800s when people were moving towards fixed last names. I'm pretty sure I have the right Swedish birth record, but our family history holds the maiden name for my great great grandmother was "Johnson" (which under patronymic rules would have been "Johannsdottr"), yet this record for my great grandfather lists her as "Petersdottr" (and her husband "Petersson", the origin of my grandfather's "Peterson"). So it seems she was an early adopter of name change to the husband's patronym, but wouldn't accept the "son" suffix.

Or I have the wrong birth record that just happens to have the right date, location, and names otherwise.
A bit of Googling turns up discussion where people make a number claims: 1. Name change during migration to US was common. 2. Surnames could be changed easily e.g. because the patronymic name didn't feel distinctive enough. 3. No single convention for taking the husband's name or not during that period; in some families women took their husbands names when they became widows. 4. Before 1901, children didn't get surnames until they moved from home.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:50 AM   #1852384  /  #21
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Yeah thanks got most of that. This particular question is pre emmigration. Be interested in more information on why you say "No single convention for taking the husband's name or not during that period" since most references I found said most of the time the name didn't change.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:03 AM   #1852390  /  #22
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I've been reading similar stories about how names were somewhat...flexible, at ports of entry. Explains a lot of "Swedish" family names in Minnesota/Wisconsin that are anything but however.
My godfather was given a surname by the people at Ellis Island. It's actually the name of the town he came from in Sicily.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:11 AM   #1852421  /  #23
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Names are a waste of time. WTF does raw Soylent Green want a name for? Barcodes are the thing. Uppity biscuits!
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:18 AM   #1852431  /  #24
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I will never get a barcode tattooed on my hand even if the government requires it, for it shall be the mark of the beast.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:23 AM   #1852437  /  #25
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I will never get a barcode tattooed on my hand even if the government requires it, for it shall be the mark of the beast.
Wot about nightclub tattoos Bart? If you don't like those either you will be depriving yourself of beaucoup hedonistic pussy!
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