Archiver > DANISH-ROOTS > 2005-01 > 1106620417

From: <>
Subject: Re: [Danish-Roots] Some translation help please
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:33:43 -0500

Hi Kathleen,

It's not unusual for Danes to have kind of changeable surnames. Usually they are from a place, but they are often from an occupation, so I wonder if you had a coppersmith long ago. If you look at www.krabsen.dk (click on the little Canadian flag if you want English), click on Stednavne, and then click on Stednavne again, then in the blank for "søg efter/search for ", put Kobber, and you'll find a bunch of place names with Kobber. I didn't see anything that looked immediately promising. ALso, you need to realize that sometimes people used names of farms where they were just employees. And the names often changed partway through life if they moved, or got a different job.

I have wrestled with the word boelsmand before, and the best explanation I got is that it's the man of the dwelling. Boel means dwelling. So I think it's just someone who is the owner of that dwelling. There were different ways of having the right to your land, at different times, and I'm not sure how they changed over time. It may mean, especially since the word Bonde is there, and this is in the late 1700s, that he is the man who is entitled to that land, but doesn't really own it. He might have a contract with the actual owner. That's about the time that peasants began to own their own land, but I think that this entry might be meaning that he was in bound to the manor owner. They also had to provide soldiers when called upon, and men of the right age for the military were required to stay in one place, and be registered, all the time so they could be called up. Bonde can mean just peasant, but I'm betting that here it doesn't.

"Hans forældres" means his parents. I remember that they were sort of elderly, but I think that this is right. I was thinking the mother would have been about 40 when the boy was born, but they may have older siblings somewhere. I'm not surprised that they said "his" even when there was the sister there, because the census usually lists those relationships there in relationship to the head of the household. I am at class right now, reading email while the teacher lectures, so can't get to my good dictionary, but I am pretty sure that ligaledes has to do with ownership, which is kind of a murky issue at this time, since the laws were changing. I have seen it used for the woman who inherited the farm, even though her husband was listed as head of the house. Paula
On Jan 24, 2005, at 4:10 PM, Kathleen &/or Denis O'Flaherty wrote:

thx very much-just to restate this bit though
"Christen Pedersen, 80, Gift, Hans Forældre, ligeledes [Bonde og
Else Mortensdatter, 68, Gift, Hans Forældre, "
Hans(his?)foraeldre ---parent?
we have this strange forename that at one time seemed to be interchangeable
with the surname
it directly translates in English at the element copper
Hvae you ever heard of it?
I think all my forebears had it back to the 1600s anyway and the last of our
line that came to Canada was my mothers brother
Charles Kobber Gilmore and his son Ronald Kobber who died as a young boy.

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