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Gjest Nancy (Fostervold) Halvorson

[#17949] spelling of name? Guri, Gurå

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Gjest Nancy (Fostervold) Halvorson

I have a question on the spelling of a first name. My great grandmother's name is Gurå on the gravestone, but, Guri on her dowry trunk. Is that normal to have it spelled both those ways? I have also seen my relatives here in the US spell it Guraa, Guro, Goro and Guru, that is more understandable over here for us to have spelled differently. Would those different ways of spelling actually be considered the same name? Thanks, Nancy

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Gjest Per Håkon Christiansen

In those days, Guraa, Guro, Goro would most likely be close to the the local pronounciations. Guraa=Gurå, since they did not have the letter å, and wrote the å sound (Å like in LAW or H-AW-K) in accordance with danish rules, as a double a (aa). Since she has Gurå on the gravestone, that is probably how she pronounced her own name, and there would be no great difference between Gurå and Guro, since the last 'o' can as well be pronounciated like å. Guri, on the other hand, would be the name Gurå 'normalised' into its danish form by the priest, a natural thing for them to do with their educational background at that time. (In the church book you find the (more) typically danish form) Ole, but he may have called himself Ola (typically norwegian) all his life.) 'Guri' may end up on her dowry trunk for the same reason of 'normalisation'.

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Gjest Hanne Heen

Some more information about Guri /Guro. On the west coast of Norway where I came from the name Guri is also spelled Gjørri sometimes. This is all just to do it more difficult for us to find them I guess.

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