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25 January 2014

Was Their Last Name Fixed?

There are regions of Europe where last names were not passed from father to child. In some regions, particularly Scandanavia and parts of northern Germany, children were given a last name (a patronym) that was based upon their father's name. Some men who went in the Swedish miltary had "military" last names. And in some regions, the family's last name "went" with the farm on which they lived.

Usually in the United States, last names passed from father to child. But that's not always true when one crosses the pond.

1 comment:

  1. Actual examples in my tree: (Eric - Genedocs Founder)

    1. Edlund in the United States was a name used only during military service in Sweden by sons of Swen with actual name Swenson or Swanson when they came to the U.S.

    2. In Norway the Farm Name mentioned here was Hjodlo with a slash through the first "o" which means geologic shelf in Norwegian. The farm rests on just such a shelf near Odda in the Hardanger region, but the name was changed to Hjelle, Jelle, and even appears on some emigration records as Gjelle.

    3. Nielsen in Denmark sometimes changed to Nelson but others kept the original spelling both typically coming from a father named Niels at some point.