Saturday, September 29, 2012

Norwegian confusion!

For many centuries Norwegians had only one name -- their Christian, or first name, given the child when it was christened. The second name was the patronymic form -- that is, if a man's first name was Hans, his daughter was (firstname) Hansdatter and his son was (firstname) Hansson. In the 1870's legislation was passed which stated that women should use the masculine form for their patronymic. Therefore, Guri Johnsdatter became Guri Johnson.
Those who lived in rural areas also used a third name to indicate where they lived -- the farm name. When people moved from one farm to another, their last name became the name of the new farm. It wasn't until after 1900 that legislation mandated that people must take permanent family names. Some took the name of the farm while others took the patronymic.

This explains so much!  I have been attempting to unscramble my family history for years now and have always been confused about what I thought were the weird names that I keep coming across.  Now I have a place to start and can track down some of this information.  I guess I now have a project for the week!  I will now be able to link back to the fathers of these women that I am related to.
Johanna Andersdatter
Stina Cleasdatter
Britta Jonasdatter
Maria Nilsdatter
Karen Jonsdatter
Annica Svensdatter


Friday, September 28, 2012

This is currently the oldest picture I own!

I have been quite obsessed in my search for my family history.  My Grandfather unknowingly lit a spark inside of me for this quest of mine.  There are no other family members that share my quest and I am running out of time to get all of the information that I possibley can from the remaining members of his family.  There is so much information and I don't have any idea where to begin to organize it all!
I love old photos.  I am not even sure that I care who the people are in the photos.  However, I have become quite frustrated in my quest to identify people in all the old photos that I have been able to find.  There wasn't a whole lot of writing on the back of any of the photos that I have been able to obtain.  I am guilty of it too.  I just don't always have the time to write it all down. 
My children will be grateful to find that the majority of my collection of photos are now digital with tags on all that I can identify!  I can only hope to pass on a slight glimmer of genealogy obsession to my wonderful kids.  If not them I can hold out hope that my future grandchildren will find some love for the past!