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  •  Does everyone have the "-son", "-dottir" names? (4+ / 0-)
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    Nulwee, kyril, dewtx, NonnyO

    I think I read (many years ago when I was thinking of emigrating) that to become a citizen you need to take a traditional last name which consists of your father's first name followed by "son" or "dottir".  True?

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:45:01 AM PST

    •  No, you don't have to... (5+ / 0-)
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      kyril, sfbob, nightsweat, dewtx, cpresley

      and in fact, many Icelanders don't have a patronymic, although most do.  Some have a surname instead of a patronymic or in addition to it - one famous example being the aforementioned Halldór Laxness.  :)  Another good example would be our previous prime minister, Geir Haarde (who - to loop back to the immigrants topic elsewhere in the thread - is the son of an immigrant).  

      •  But this is a recent change (1+ / 0-)
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        Until the mid-1990s, if you wanted to become an Icelandic citizen, you did have to take an Icelandic name--in particular a name that could be declined in Icelandic.  See the work of the scholar Kendra Willson.

        Laxness had a patronymic, but was permitted to adopt the name of the river near his beloved home, I believe.

        There is still a naming committee that approves names of children.  There has been recent discussion of it in the press, I think....

        •  Heh, it's far from just Laxness. (0+ / 0-)

          And he chose that name, but he could have picked anything.  But for just another prominent example, our last prime minister was Geir Haarde (who is the son of a Norwegian immigrant).

        •  And even native born girls today still have to (0+ / 0-)

 that. Just ask poor Blaer.

          Personally, I think any group or government agency that is that obsessed with declensions should...

          ....wait for it...


          "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

          by DarthMeow504 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:21:21 AM PST

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    •  The patronymic naming system... (2+ / 0-)
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      Orinoco, elfling

      ... is still in use in Iceland and the Faroe Islands today, yes.

      NB: a patronym and a surname are two entirely different things.

      As Rei indicated, some use other names, too, but they all have patronymic names.

      Patronymic names were in use in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark until the late-19th / early 20th century when each of those countries went to a single inherited surname.  [Father's first name followed by -sen / datter in Norway & Denmark, and sson / dotter in Sweden].  Iceland being a country settled by Vikings, they followed the same patronymic naming system - and still use it.

      I do genealogy research in all three Scandinavian countries, and the patronymic naming system is great for finding women.  They kept their own names their entire lives.  [Why would a woman change her patronym to her husband's patronym?  His father was not her father, after all.]  The farm names were tacked on as a kind of address, or to distinguish between two or more people of the same name, and if a person (or couple/family) moved to a different farm with a different name, then the farm name changed.  If a new immigrant from one of those countries did not use their own or their father's patronym, they often chose as a surname one of the farm names they lived at in the old country.  Some opted for new American surnames entirely on a whim (I did research on one Norwegian family that did that, but at least they all knew the original patronym).

      There are also matronyms (mother's first name followed by sen/datter, sson/dotter), but they aren't used that often and I've not run across that yet in my genealogy research.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:45:04 PM PST

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      •  There is also occupation (1+ / 0-)
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        iirc the phone book lists names and occupation, so people can distinguish between Jon Jonson carpenter and Jon Jonson fisherman.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:39:59 AM PST

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        •  True... but occupation surnames... (3+ / 0-)
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          elfling, Orinoco, terjeanderson

          ... are not used as often in the Scandinavian countries.  Mostly it's farm/location names.

          England, which had a huge influx of Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlers, has many, many occupation surnames.  [The name England is a contraction of Angle Land.]  I have several from different parts of England that are occupation names in my own family tree.

          While searching one web site in England while looking for ancestors in Yorkshire, I ran across a 1379 Subsidy Roll (Poll Tax) and spent many hours going through the lists of names.  York is the port where ships landed, and both Anglo-Saxons and Vikings landed there, came back and settled and became traders, merchants, and spread inland and became farmers; lots of towns end in "by" which (to this day) is the Scandinavian word for 'town.'  The 1379 Subsidy Roll is an etymologist's idea of heaven!  Surnames were occupation, location, personal characteristics (red head, for instance), country of origin (of the person or her/his ancestors), landmarks, and women's names were included.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:03:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, not a surname (1+ / 0-)
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            Jon, son of Jon, would be Jon Jonson. But because it's such a common name, the phone book also lists (at least it used to) Jon's actual occupation, not as part of his name, but just as a way to disambiguate one from another. Actually, many of the Jons I knew also had distinct middle names, so one could refer to Jon Haldor or Jon Ricard to tell them apart.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:03:38 AM PST

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      •  Gaard Navn (1+ / 0-)
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        If you were a property owner you were not necessarily subject to patronymic naming conventions. You would have a family name associated with your piece of paradise. It was sort of the equivalent of being a gentleman squire.

        I am of norwegian descent on both sides.  If you have a gaard name you were socially a cut above.

        •  Not necessarily (2+ / 0-)
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          elfling, terjeanderson

          I do genealogy research (started when I was a teenager 50 years ago), have my own Norwegian ancestors documented back to ca 1620.

          I also help others do genealogy research in Norway, Sweden, Denmark.

          The gaard navn [farm name modern spelling gårdnavn - aa = å] was often tacked on to the end of the first name [technically the only legal name anyone had was their first name; middle names were not used until the mid-19th century], patronymic name [father's first name plus sen or datter suffix], and in court documents and such, if there were two or more people of the same name, the farm name was tacked on to the end of the name to distinguish which was which.  I also see first name plus farm name in some of the documents.

          Technically, the farm name was more of an address of sorts, not an actual surname or part of a person's name.  IF that person moved, the name of the farm also changed, so the farm name did not "travel" with a person's moves.

          Once the emigrants from the three Scandinavian countries got here, they either took their patronymic name or adopted a farm name as their American surname so they could fit in with the population of their new country who all had surnames (most used the first initial of their patronymic name as their middle initial in the US if they adopted an American surname).  In the case of my Norwegian gr-gr-grandparents, they first used an alternate spelling of the last farm they lived on before emigrating (same thing for some of the people who married into my family on side lineages; I've researched their families, too).  Each of my gr-gr-grandparents had been born on a different farm, lived on second or third farms during the early years of their marriage, but it was the last farm they used for the US surname.  The farm name was not a permanent thing ... until they got to the US.

          There is a complicated system of "ownership" when it comes to the farms in Norway, and it involves several different classifications.  I've still not sorted it out beyond the fact that the eldest son inherited the property.  I find these titles in records and enter them as is, so there were different classifications of farm "ownership."  Some farms had sub-farms and the houses were rented out with or without land for keeping a garden and maybe a few animals (One I researched had 22 farms under one name ~ that was quite a muddle).  A great many of my ancestors were sailors, some had a jekt [cargo boat], and rented land to live on besides sailing around the fjord or fishing.  Yet another sailor classification was mariner, and that was in connection with the military.

          Each case is different.

          If both of your parents are of Norwegian stock, it should be easy to track your ancestors.  Get all the US info (the expensive part is the b/m/d records on this side of the pond), year of immigration (found on census data), and then you can leap across the pond to emigration records, then birth/baptism, confirmation, marriage, death/burial records as well as census and other data.  Norway's records are online, all free, on one web site with several sub-sections, all thanks to the taxpayers there.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:29:25 AM PST

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          •  Neat! (1+ / 0-)
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            This is really interesting information.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:12:23 AM PST

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            •  Thank you... (1+ / 0-)
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              I admit, it's fun to do genealogy research in Norway.  Really, "all" you need to keep in mind is the patronymic naming system, the name order of the children, the three extra letters (vowels) of the alphabet, which letters of the alphabet are interchangeable through 300-350 years of records, there's no standardized spelling until the 20th century, so most of the spellings are phonetic and in local dialects and often depend on the educational level of the writer, and sometimes the same writer used different spellings for the same name in one document.  Norway didn't go to a single surname system until by law in 1923, although by 1900 some people used a single surname because they knew that law was going to be going into effect.  In large cities where there was an influx of foreigners for trade, sometimes a few people did use single surnames, but they're the exception, not the rule.  Women kept their own names their entire lives, so they're pretty easy to find in the records.

              Et cetera....

              Once a person gets the hang of it, it's really quite easy.  Web sites in Denmark and Sweden have the same info, but in Denmark there's two web sites, not one, and their records are also free, but their search engine isn't as easy as the Norwegian one.  Sweden, unfortunately, has fee-based web sites (corporate-sponsored), but the last one has colored digital images.

              American records?  Totally different story.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:27:37 PM PST

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