APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-07 > 1216718198
From: "Liv Marit Haakenstad" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Norwegian naming patterns
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 11:16:38 +0200
I will try to explaine some of this here:
1. Up to 1830-1840 this was used many places in Norway you should name the
first four children after:
A. Father's father
B. Father's mother
c. Mother's father
D. Mother's mother
This depended on where the farm came from - mother's or father's side of the
If a child died, they gave the next child the same name, until one of the
grew up. If the husband or the wife died, and the spouse remarried, the
tradition was to name the first child after the deceased spouse. After that
they used names from great grandparents.
2. From 1830-1840 they used similar names, but most of them followed this
So if the grandfather called Anders, the child could be called Andreas.
3. Some new name came, and they started using mens name on women. Theese
names often ended with "ine", like Hans became Hansine, Martin bacame
Martine or Peter to Petrine.
Because of many variasions and strange names, Norway got a Law in 1923.
After that they standardize the way of writing names.
4. The name usually had tree parts - first name, father's or mother's name
and the farms name. The farms name was their address. Some children had
their mother's name with sen/son (son) or datter/dotter (daughter) after,
like Annesen or Annedatter, but most children got their father's name, like
Jonsen or Jonsdatter. But this was the name it was written - they said it
another way. They talked about Hans, son of Ole at Berg (the farm).
5. Dobbel first name was unusual before 1800, except maybe nobles (I have to
check this) and workers from Germany, England etc. Norway had foreign
workers in glass factories, mines etc. I know the glass factories, because
it was one where I grew up (Biri Glass Factory 1762-1880). The workers where
had their own society, rules, court, store etc., and was not mixed with the
locales before 1820 or later. I have seen that the dobbel first name often
was kept, but the last name was replaces with Hansen or Larsen, when the
girls started marring Norwegian men. The foreign workers also had their
traditions, and used names after grandparents.
My sources is Stoa and Sandberg (2007): Våre røtter, and Mykland (2005):
Håndbok for brukere av statsarkivene.
And some of course from my own experience the last (mostly) 30 years.
You really need a book in Norwegian genealogy soon!
Liv Marit Haakenstad
Norwegian genealogist and author (of two genealogy books)
Fra: [mailto:] På vegne av
Ida Skarson McCormick
Sendt: 21. juli 2008 18:23
Emne: Re: [APG] Norwegian naming patterns
Could it be that you are working in a part of Norway that had a number of
Germans and/or English in it who intermarry and dilute the Norwegian
Are you looking at variant name spellings? Are you considering that only
the first sound of the name is all that is needed? Especially after
immigration into the new country.
Are you looking at the exceptions and nuances as stated by Per Seland in his
article? (See my previous message under the thread "1700's naming of
Are you considering the gender crossover of names from grandmother to
grandson or grandfather to granddaughter or deceased brother to newborn
The naming pattern is much more complex than most people suppose. Here's a
brief example from the mid-1800s in the Trøndelag:
The father Ole Sivertsen was previously married; the mother Anna Olsdatter
was not. They had 4 sons:
1. Ole (named for his father, not a grandfather, because he was born 2
months before the parents married) 2. Sivert (named for his paternal
grandfather) 3. Hans (named for ?) 4. Ole (named for the maternal
Both children named Ole lived to adulthood, called the equivalent of "Middle
Ole" and "Little Ole." Hans presents an interesting problem but also
potential clues to the identity of the elusive first wife and possible
children of the father Ole in other parishes where father Ole lived. A
break in the usual naming pattern like this is significant; it is up to the
researcher to determine what that significance is. Hans may be a male
version of the deceased first wife's name. Hans may represent the name of a
deceased child from the possible first family. Use of the name Sivert
suggests a possible deceased half-brother. These are my working hypotheses.
Throw in multiple changes of farm names and living in 4 parishes (3
counties) to make it interesting. <g>
Because of the complexities, statistical analysis is going to prove
difficult to say the least. (See my previous message.)
--Ida Skarson McCormick, , Seattle
At 08:22 AM 7/21/2008, Helen S. Ullmann wrote:
>Like Kirsten, I tend to be very sceptical about naming patterns.
>Elizabeth's analysis is very helpful. I too would like to see some
>But as for Norwegians, I've failed to see any consistent pattern of
>naming after grandparents. I believe there was a custom (superstition?)
>that it was not appropriate to repeat the name of a living person.
>Since grandparents would often be living when first, second, third,
>fourth children were born, their names might not occur until later
>children were born. I've just looked through a bunch of my old norsk
>family group sheets and just don't see any pattern at all. The
>grandparents' names often do occur, but they are not often given to first
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|Re: [APG] Norwegian naming patterns by "Liv Marit Haakenstad" <>|