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Gjest Andrew Cohen

[#17811] Naming Convention

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Gjest Andrew Cohen

Under what circumstance/s would an unmarried woman use the appendix 'sen' as opposed to the appendix 'datter'?Also, what is the meaning of 'Tjenner'?Mange Takk,Andrew

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Gjest Jan Oldervoll

Sen for female (married or unmarried) is very much a question of when. Early in the 20th century it scarcely happened and I would strongly suspect a typing error. From late 20th century names like Hansen and Andersen changed from bein patronymes (telling the given name of the father) to be a regular last name. A woman would then (as now) be called Hansen if her father was called Hansen or she was married to a Hansen. At the same time -datter disappeared. But the two systems were exsisting in parallell for quite a while. The patronym system is still existing, even if it is rather scarce. The most wellknown person in Norway today using it is a TV reporter called Audhild Gregoriusdatter Rotevatn. They say that the tv comany tried to stop her using Gregoriusdatter because her name is so long that they have trouble fitting it to the screen. She refused, luckily.

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Gjest Andrew Cohen

So in the 1900 census, one would think the census taker mistook the sex and wrote 'sen' instead of 'datter'? The girl is only 16, but I don't know if she's married. Here is the link:Lenke

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Gjest Jan Oldervoll

No. Sorry. Whereever I wrote 20th century I meant 19th century. In 1900 we were well into the new system. A girl with a sen-name in 1900 would probably have a father with the same name.

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Gjest N B Macdonald

Hello Andrew (or Anders in Norwegian),You ask about 'Tjenner'. Census takers were notoriously bad spellers, here as there. What is probably meant is 'Tjener', servant, hired woman or hired man. Young 'servants' often worked on the farms / in the homes of relatives, so it can be wise to make note of the employers' names, just in case.You'll find more on naming traditions under Nyttige Lenker (Useful Links) at the very bottom of this page. Within 'How to trace your ancestors in Norway' you can click on 'Names'. Lenke has links to very good articles plus a Norwegian-English dictionary. The author is the Norwegian-American lawyer John Føllesdal who spells his name Follesdal in the USA. The 'mormon' site, familysearch.org, has 'Research Guidance -Norway' and 'Research Helps -Norway', including some tips about how spelling conventions have changed.Hope this helps.--Beth

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