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The Modernization of Norwegian Naming Traditions


Richard Olsen

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For the purpose of this post, I will make up a name for visual purposes. Hopefully, it won't be someone's actual name.

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken

 

We know that the tradition of naming practices of earlier generations were for identification purposes.

 

Is today's use of such naming practices remnants of tradition (which appears to be) or is it more of a personal choice?

 

People outside of Norway wonder why Norwegians have 2 surnames in use today. For some it gets confusing, especially on talks about the use of full names.

 

Here is an opportunity to educate people outside of Norway.

 

Thank you for your consideration and your replies.

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Posted (edited)

Kristian Hunskaar

 

Thank you for the link to an interesting article. However, it speaks of parents wanting to give their children each of the parents' surname.

 

My question concerns today's use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Is it a result of parents giving both of their surnames to their children, or is it a result of a number of people in Norway wanting to continue with tradition? It will probably turn out to be a combination of the two.

 

So, I will change my question to this.... Are there many people in Norway today practicing the naming tradition (patronymic name AND a farm name), or does it mostly come down to a combination of both parents surnames?

 

There must be a few users who know the answer. It would be interesting to know if there are followers of tradition, or followers of modernization.

Edited by Richard Olsen
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  • Richard Olsen changed the title to The Modernization of Norwegian Naming Traditions

No, we do not practice the old naming tradition. You get one last name at birth. Either a single last name or the combination of both parents. You can change your last name at any point. If it’s an uncommon and protected last name then you need permission from the family using it. When a couple marry then some will keep their name, some combine and some change it. The current trend is to go with the most uncommon name. In cases of someone having a -sen + another surname, you are looking at a child having both parents’s surnames, or someone combining their name with a spouses. 
 

As a sidenote, there were family names pre 1923 that were not related to farms. Clergy, nobility and “borgere” for instance would often pick a name for themselves. 

 

 

 

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5 timer siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

For the purpose of this post, I will make up a name for visual purposes. Hopefully, it won't be someone's actual name.

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken

 

For sake of order, "Loevbakken" is the surname (etternamn), while "Pettersen" is the middle name (mellomnamn).

A double surname shall have a hyphen "Pettersen-Loevbakken" (Lov om personnavn, §7), which is not the case in this example.

 

54 minutter siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

My question concerns today's use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Is it a result of parents giving both of their surnames to their children, or is it a result of a number of people in Norway wanting to continue with tradition? It will probably turn out to be a combination of the two.

 

So, I will change my question to this.... Are there many people in Norway today practicing the naming tradition (patronymic name AND a farm name), or does it mostly come down to a combination of both parents surnames?

 

Your questions have many answers....

 

First, the example name can originate in different ways

 "Loevbakken" and "Pettersen" are the surnames of the parents. He might have got the names like this chosen by the parents, or

he could added one of them at mature age.

 "Loevbakken"  is the surname of one of the parents (or both), and "Petter" is the first name of the father.  "Pettersen" is a real patronymicon

(as contrary to a stiffened patronymicon, inherited as a surname).

This can also be the choice of the parents, or by himself at mature age.

  Lars Haakon, as an adult, decided to adopt "Loevbakken" as surname. If it is a completely unique name, he is free to do so. If there are

less than 200 bearers, he can do so if any of his gg-grand parents, g-grand parents, grandparents or parents have had. If it had been a

more common name (>200 bearers), anyone can take a name.

It may be the name of Lars Haakon's wife, and he chose to adopt it.

 

Second, in each case someone (parents or the person himself) has motivations for the choice.

If you start asking for and collecting explanations, you will eventually get a long list.

 

In principle, if would be possible to make statistics about the different ways of obtaining the names. Both initial name choices (parents for the infant)

and later changes are registered somewhere. I hardly think anyone has compiled this statistics.

Making statistics over the different motivations (including compromises between couple of parents) would not be possible.

 

In this explanation, for simplicity, I have assumed the "lov om personnavn" of 2002. (quite a few of us got our names under the

laws of 1922 and 1964, with a diversity of amendments).

For instance, using a real patronymic has been an option all the time.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Renate Hagen said:

You can change your last name at any point.

 

Randomly or through the legal system?

 

21 minutes ago, Renate Hagen said:

The current trend is to go with the most uncommon name

 

Appears that Norwegians , generally, prefer unique names

 

22 minutes ago, Renate Hagen said:

. In cases of someone having a -sen + another surname, you are looking at a child having both parents’s surnames, or someone combining their name with a spouses. 

 

Conforming to modernization renews tradition

 

 

Ivar S

 

Thank you for the reply. I find some of it informative.

11 minutes ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

Loevbakken" and "Pettersen" are the surnames of the parents

 

Are all such names in use today in Norway a result of being names of parents, as oppose to traditional names (generational)?

 

Ivar, I could be wrong, but you appear to believe that the use of surnames today are combinations of parents' surnames. However, I am sure that you realize that past generations also used -sen and a farm name (as a means of identification)

 

Now, the focus turns to the possibility of Neotraditionalism occurring in Norway. Although the focus may have changed (parents surnames given to their children), creativity remains the same. In terms of the use of surnames, is it simply a colourization of culture?  Change vs Renewal.

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1 time siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

Randomly or through the legal system?

For adults (>18 years): by notification to the tax office, according to a certain procedure (not very complex). (§11)

When you have done once, you normally have to wait another 10 years until next time  (§10)

 

You can read the law yourself:  https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/2002-06-07-19

 

 

1 time siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

 

 "Loevbakken" and "Pettersen" are the surnames of the parents 

Are all such names in use today in Norway a result of being names of parents, as oppose to traditional names (generational)?

In my list of examples, this was the one representing the option where your Lars Haakon got his parents' names as middle name and surname.

My list also included other options/possibilities.

 

Your use of terms may indicate a lack of knowledge of traditions and formalities.

There is a tradition of using the same surname as the parents, and there is a (live and continous) tradition of using a

patronymicon together with a surname of one or both parents.  Both has been practiced for centuries, and both

has been formalized for more than a century (4-5 generations).

 

 

1 time siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

Ivar, I could be wrong, but you appear to believe that the use of surnames today are combinations of parents' surnames. However, I am sure that you realize that past generations also used -sen and a farm name (as a means of identification)

Amusing ... how should I know about this? (ok - irony may not be "in" nowadays...)

 

I do not "believe" anything about use of surnames today. I simply read the present and previous laws. As pointed out, and as

you can read yourself, there are a wide variety of options for usage.

Edited by Ivar S. Ertesvåg
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Posted (edited)

Ivar

 

Although I appreciate your replies, I am annoyed with your childish behaviour. According to you everything I post is wrong.  If your only attempt is to ridicule me, please do not reply. If you care to have an intellectual discussion, please do.

 

Now, I will break it down for you.

 

19th Century:

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Identification: Lars Haakon, son of Petter, of the Loevbakken farm.

 

21st Century:

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - use of both parents surnames - Identification: Lars Haakon with one parent being a Pettersen and the other a Loevbakken.

 

The pattern is the same (at least similar) and the behaviour has changed.

 

It could be said that it is  quasi-Neo-Traditionalism

Edited by Richard Olsen
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I do not believe anyone is trying to ridicule you, Richard. Your original question was 'Is today's use of such naming practices remnants of tradition (which appears to be) or is it more of a personal choice?'

To which the answer is 'both'. Sometimes it's 10-90, sometimes 50-50, and sometimes 90-10. I'll give you some examples. 

Please note that in the following I am using 'first name' for a traditional first name, that is, one which isn't traditionally used as a last name. The term 'middle name' is used for a traditional last name that is part of the name, but not the last name. 


1) Practical identification
a) My now deceased father was born in the 1930'es. Some of his generation are still alive today, so his name reflect a naming practice that is 'current' in some sense of the word. He was called Olav Alvson Huglen, Alvson being his actual, not frozen patronym, and Huglen being inherited from his father, pointing to the great-grandfather's place of origin (the island Huglo) - which was a choice the great-grandfather made. I am pretty sure my father's middle name Alvson was a practicality. The family had kept a fairly traditional naming tradition with respect to first names, which meant that my father and at least one cousin were called Olav with last name Huglen. I don't know if the eldest of the two cousins had a have a patronym as a middle name as that would not have been necessary for identification at the time he was born. However, my paternal grandfather was very much interested in family history, and that may have played a part in his, at the time, somewhat unusual choice.
b) The trend towards choosing the rarer last name, which has already been mentioned by I. S. E.  is an ongoing affair. -sen names are loosing ground. The standardization of names around 1900 quickly became a problem for those with frozen patronyms as last names. So much so that my maternal grandfather, who detested his second first name for political reasons, felt he had to use at least the initial in any official documents to keep him apart from all the other Gunnar Jørgensens, even if he would rather forget about it. Which worked well until he got a neighbour who also signed Gunnar A. Jørgensen... I suspect that's when he started signing 'Ingeniør Gunnar A Jørgensen'. His education was not a matter of pride for him.

2) Status

Some names have higher status than others, but rarer names do not equal high status.
a) Foreign, inheritable last names in use in Norway before 1900 are usually both associated with higher status than sen-names, and are less common than many -sen names.

b) Names of large farms often have higher status than smaller farms, or settlements.  'Dal' (frequently the first settled farm in a valley, with the best soil and resources) is currently the 20. most common last name, but many would choose that name in favour of a more rare -sen name or name of a smaller farm or settlement - such as 'Dalseie' which would indicate that an ancestor came from a less prestigious cotter's holding under the Dal farm. (Someone who's ancestor was from 'Dalseie' might well have an ancestor from Dal one generation further back.) However, depending on your political point of view, signalling that your background is from a 'working class family' or 'a cotter's holding' may be a point you wish to make. 

c) Derogratory names of cotter's holdings exist, but they are rare as last names. Then there are farm or settlement names indicating fertile land, that are closely related to words for procreative parts. These are less popular as last names for reasons of propriety. 
3) Honor naming
As an adult my husband's maternal grandfather exchanged his last name for the last name of his foster parents, both to honor the foster parents and to distance himself from his biological parents, see 6). When one of his daughters married in the 1960'es (the one who became my mother-in-law) , she took the name of her husband for a last name and kept her maiden name as a middle name. This was surely partly to honor her father, who had no male descendants. However, it was also not uncommon at the time for women who expected to have a professional career, and that probably played a part, see 4). As mentioned her father had no sons, which was a somewhat sore point with him. As a gesture this daughter also gave her first son not only her father's first name, but also his last name as a middle name. So he was the second generation using that name as a middle name. Then, after my mother-in-law mother died, my daughter decided to ditch the first name she never used, which was her only Norwegian name, keep the second first name she did use, and take her paternal grandmother's and father's Norwegian middle name as her middle name, mixing honor naming with point 5, Fitting in. That's three generations using the same middle name for different reasons. However, middle names are rarely frozen by tradition.
4) Equality
Before the naming law from around 1900 most women kept their maiden name or patronym as an identifier. Then, for many years the wife would automatically have the last name of the husband upon marrying. Quite a few women felt that this was unfair. Some of them would keep their maiden names as middle names to show their independence of their husband. This was definitely a trend, but most women of my mother's generation did not. This was still the era of the stay-at-home mum. More rarely the husband circumvented the rule by changing his name. To be 'perfectly equal' they might choose a name which was neither her nor his family name. Rather than Torsen and Bjørnsen becoming Torbjørnsen they might choose either a completely made up name, or a place name that meant something to both of them.
For women of my generation, who could choose to keep their maiden name as a last name again, it could be a matter of hot debate if keeping your maiden name or actively changing it (to your husband's or another) was the 'right way' to show your independence. It became more acceptable for men to take their wife's maiden name as a last name, and ditch their former last name or use it as a middle name. 

5) Fitting in

Immigrants sometimes find it easier to fit in if they change their names to something more traditionally Norwegian. Their last names may definitely be more rare in Norway than the new one they pick. One extreme case I know of was changing both first name and last name to [Common Norwegian first name] [-sen name derived from that same common Norwegian first name]. 
Some nationalities traditionally have gendered last names, using the equivalent of -sen and -datter (just as was common here in the past). The first part of that last name may or may not be frozen. When such a family settles in Norway it not uncommon to turn the last name for any children to a frozen patronym ending in the male variant of that patronym, regardless of that child's sex. 
6) Name shunning
People sometimes choose to change their names to distance themselves from a parent or a hereostratically famous family member. After a divorce, adult children sometimes chose the last name of the parent they were not named after, if the parents have different names after the divorce.

So if you see a name on the form
[First name] + [-sen name] + [apparent place name]
the 'why's' depend quite a lot about time period, quite a lot about what names the family started out with around 1900, quite a lot about lived experience, and quite a lot about personal choice.

Edited by Inger Hohler
spelling mistake
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Posted (edited)

Inger Hohler

 

Thank You! very much. I greatly appreciate you taking the time and effort to type all of that information. Very informative.

 

In many countries today the naming practices are loose. Perhaps too much free-will. So many influences.

 

In other countries the naming practices are as confusing as in Norway. In North America, although rare, there are people with a surname as a middle name. The commonality of it in Norway confuses the mind on accepting the name as a hyphened surname or a surname as a middle name

 

Example:

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - In 19th century one could easily identify with it. Today, middle name or no hyphen surname.

 

The point I was attempting to make was the similarity of the present naming pattern to the past naming pattern. Today, a name could appear the same as a 19th century name, but contain different choices for that name.. The appearance is the same, the reasoning behind the name is different.

 

Again, I thank you.

Edited by Richard Olsen
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1 time siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

Example:

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - In 19th century one could easily identify with it. Today, middle name or no hyphen surname.

 

The point I was attempting to make was the similarity of the present naming pattern to the past naming pattern. Today, a name could appear the same as a 19th century name, but contain different choices for that name.. The appearance is the same, the reasoning behind the name is different.

 

Again, I thank you.

Agree 🙂 Yes it could visually appear as the same, but theres no rule where the surnames originating as a patronymic or farm name goes. So one could be baptized as Ole Larsen Berg or Ole Berg Larsen, it doesnt really matter now. But usually the middle name is the maiden name of mom and the last (surname) from dad. Also we tend to choose the most rare one as the shared surname of a family, so surnames like Olsen and Hansen is declining in number. One big reason for that is that many like to be unique and not have the same name as our nabours (Some also construct new ones based on both surnames). One other reason is that many really doesnt know who the "Lars" that they have theyr surname after was, as most patronyms where frozen in 1923 or before.. But there are some who do add a "real patronym" or "real matronym" by choice later in life (probably some few at baptism as well?) but thats more an exception. I was born "David Howden", but at my baptism was gifted a bank account with my current name, so after my grandfather died I wanted to take legally my "full name", Widerberg is my moms maiden name and I wouldnt really feel whole withouth it 😉 But in the old tradition I would be "David Kjetilsson Hovden" or more correct "David Kjetilsson Berg" as my current residence is on a farm named Berg..

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1 time siden, David Widerberg Howden skrev:

Also we tend to choose the most rare one as the shared surname of a family, so surnames like Olsen and Hansen is declining in number. One big reason for that is that many like to be unique and not have the same name as our nabours (Some also construct new ones based on both surnames). One other reason is that many really doesnt know who the "Lars" that they have theyr surname after was, as most patronyms where frozen in 1923 or before..

 

Another reason is petit-bourgeois snobbery. Olsen and Hansen is too “common” (as in "common people"). Not good enough.😄

Edited by Ivar Kristensen
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David Widerberg Howden

 

Thank you for your interesting and informative input.

 

I admire your and Inger's use of your own families.

 

I had a difficult time locating close relatives in Norway due to their name changes (when they were adults). Due to the rarity of their changed surnames it was easier to locate their family members.

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8 timer siden, Richard Olsen skrev:

Ivar

 

Although I appreciate your replies, I am annoyed with your childish behaviour. According to you everything I post is wrong.  If your only attempt is to ridicule me, please do not reply. If you care to have an intellectual discussion, please do.

 

Now, I will break it down for you.

 

19th Century:

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Identification: Lars Haakon, son of Petter, of the Loevbakken farm.

You are provided with opportunities to improve your accuracy, notion and knowledge. I have not commented on everything you post – just on some of your misconceptions. If revealing errors and improvement potentials annoy or hurt you, it is your problem. I leave to others to judge whether your way of conducting “intellectual discussions” forms a great role model. 

One misconception here seems to be that you think that there was one single naming pattern at a certain time, and that it was as you (and Inger) describe. I am not sure where you seek knowledge, but the three sources linked are certainly far from primary sources and careful analysis.

For the 19th century your exemplary name “Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken” could reflect several possibilities.

Le (also) me use an example from my own family:  In january 1817, my 3g-grandfather Jan Eliasson Greivsnes of Volda was lost at sea with a fishing boat crew from Bø in Herøy (Sunnmøre).  Twins Anne Helen (my gg-grandmother) and Johannes lost their father at age 3 ¼ year. Shortly later, their mother Lisbet sold the farm (Greivsnes in Volda) and moved with the twins to Leirvika under Aurvåg in Herøy. Lisbet passed away in there in 1848. At confirmation (1828) and marriage (1840), Johannes is called ”Johannes Jansen Greivsnes”.  Most of his life, he had no relation to this farm, and he hardly had any live memory of living there.

This is – of course – an anecdotical argument (as are the examples provided by Inger and David). It does not show more than that this usage could exist. It does not tell about frequency.

We can turn to harder statistical data: The census (males only) 1701 for Sunnmøre. https://www.digitalarkivet.no/ft10051010281012

There are 7861 entries.  Some are listed twice, so 7427 is the number of individuals. 1181 are listed as “Tjenestekarle og drenge” (servants). The great majority of these servants are identified with a patronymicon and a farmname that is not the name of the farm they live on.  For quite a few of these, their relation to the farm name can be verified (they are also listed with their father, with the remark that they are absent and often with the precise location). For another good number, their father cannot be identified at the farm name used as surname (similar to Jan Eliasson Greivsnes above).  I have done a more accurate analysis of these data. This may be provided in print later.

The practice of identifying young men (typically 15-35 of age) with the farm of their father/parents, even long after that the relation to this farm has ended, does not match your notion of farm name usage.

Another example would be the census 1801 of Volda parish.  We see the same usage there.

These are still examples of sources and examples of name usage; not the entire picture (yet, more than anecdotical evidence).  I will look into other sources in due time.

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8 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

One misconception here seems to be that you think that there was one single naming pattern at a certain time, and that it was as you (and Inger) describe.

If you believe I describe that there was a point in time with a single naming pattern at a certain time, I must have expressed myself badly. But I don't really see why you read it that way, Ivar.
 

In fact, my only examples from the 19th century are exception to the patronym + farm name: where my father's great grandfather who took the name of an island he had been living on, not the farm name, and foreign last names in use before 1900. 

 

On 4/16/2024 at 9:04 PM, Richard Olsen said:

My question concerns today's use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Is it a result of parents giving both of their surnames to their children, or is it a result of a number of people in Norway wanting to continue with tradition? It will probably turn out to be a combination of the two.

 

I did not go into the fact that in the 19'th century, the farm names could be temporary, simply because my reading of what Richard wrote did not lead me to believe he stated it was permanent:

 

On 4/16/2024 at 4:29 PM, Richard Olsen said:

We know that the tradition of naming practices of earlier generations were for identification purposes.

 I'm very much aware that in the 19th century the farm name following the patronym was sometimes the current address, sometimes the place of birth, and sometimes worked as part of the name, following a person long after they'd moved away from that particular location, or, to the local community at the time, made the patronym redundant for identification purposes.

What I attempted to do was answer these questions.

 

On 4/16/2024 at 10:59 PM, Richard Olsen said:

Are all such names in use today in Norway a result of being names of parents, as oppose to traditional names (generational)?

 

 

On 4/16/2024 at 9:04 PM, Richard Olsen said:

Is it a result of parents giving both of their surnames to their children, or is it a result of a number of people in Norway wanting to continue with tradition?

 

I believe that's what my answer reflects. The clue to my understanding of the question is 'all such names', which is why I did use examples, not statistics, as the statistics I've found only tell you what is most common. The statistics I've seen also won't tell you if an apparent place farm name is an actual farm, or if an apparent patronym is frozen, or if middle names and last name were derived from one or both sides of the family, or if middle names are currently being passed down between generations. 

 

I fully agree that statistical considerations are important, but I would find it hard to answer those specific questions using available statistics, and I believe that these were questions Richard wanted answered.

 

 

Edited by Inger Hohler
18th century changed to 19th century
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8 hours ago, Inger Hohler said:

I did not go into the fact that in the 19'th century, the farm names could be temporary, simply because my reading of what Richard wrote did not lead me to believe he stated it was permanent:

 

 

I agree with Inger.

 

Ivar, I have been studying your posts on this forum, as well as others. You tend to take things out of context. I understand that your field of study involves statistics. However, you must realize that statistics have their place, but do not have a place everywhere. You always over-think my questions. It is you, not I, who is at fault. Perhaps a language barrier is causing a problem. If you could actually tune in to my statements, you would see that they are quite easy.

 

I thought you would comprehend my use of the words pattern and behaviour, since your line of work involves the two. You make a big deal out of nothing.

 

Here is a simple explanation of my post.

 

I want to know if others, in Norway, observed what I did in relations to today's use of names (middle and surname) compared to past generational use of middle and surnames.

 

Inger and David got it.

 

I thought that I was giving Norwegians an opportunity to look outside of the box, and see what foreigners see, which is a quasi-resemblance of today's use of names (middle and surnames) to past use of said names.

 

As for the links I provided, I barely read them, nor placed any value to my question. The links were placed here for the benefit of other readers.

 

Ivar, I will not be pulled into an argument with you. If you post information with substance, I will reply. Otherwise, I will pass over your posts.

 

May I respectfully encourage you to learn to think for yourself, as oppose to needing to reference literature.

 

I hope everyone has a great day!

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Inger Hohler said:

I'm very much aware that in the 19th century the farm name following the patronym was sometimes the current address, sometimes the place of birth, and sometimes worked as part of the name, following a person long after they'd moved away from that particular location, or, to the local community at the time, made the patronym redundant for identification purposes.

 

On 4/17/2024 at 6:24 AM, Richard Olsen said:

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken - use of a patronymic name AND a farm name. Identification: Lars Haakon, son of Petter, of the Loevbakken farm.

 

To simply show that I understand the temporarily nature of the use of farm names in the 19th Century, take note to the 2 above quotes. Notice my use of the word of when referring the Loevbakken Farm. OF, meaning from, and not necessarily current.

 

Nevertheless, the identifying markers remain.

 

In the 19th Century, Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken could have relocated to a few different farms, but it still identifies as Lars Haakon, son of Peter, from the Loevbakken Farm.

Edited by Richard Olsen
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22 hours ago, Ivar Kristensen said:

Another reason is petit-bourgeois snobbery. Olsen and Hansen is too “common” (as in "common people"). Not good enough

 

I like it when people are bluntly honest.

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On 4/16/2024 at 7:29 AM, Richard Olsen said:

Is today's use of such naming practices remnants of tradition (which appears to be) or is it more of a personal choice?

 

Original question, answered correctly by Inger and David

 

On 4/16/2024 at 7:29 AM, Richard Olsen said:

Here is an opportunity to educate people outside of Norway.

 

Thanks to Inger and David, the education was provided

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18 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

One misconception here seems to be that you think that there was one single naming pattern at a certain time,

 

I have not stated nor implied

 

18 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

For the 19th century your exemplary name “Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken” could reflect several possibilities.

 

Not relevant. The relevance is that a patronymic name or former patronymic name and a farm name or former farm name is in use.

19 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

Johannes is called ”Johannes Jansen Greivsnes”.

 

Is it not obvious why he had that name?

 

19 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

This is – of course – an anecdotical argument (as are the examples provided by Inger and David). It does not show more than that this usage could exist. It does not tell about frequency.

 

Not relevant. My question did not imply frequency. I urge you to re-read my question. I stated it quite simply.

19 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

We can turn to harder statistical data: The census (males only) 1701 for Sunnmøre. https://www.digitalarkivet.no/ft10051010281012

 

There are 7861 entries.  Some are listed twice, so 7427 is the number of individuals. 1181 are listed as “Tjenestekarle og drenge” (servants). The great majority of these servants are identified with a patronymicon and a farmname that is not the name of the farm they live on.....

 

Again, not relevant to my question.

 

MY focus is not on when or why any person used names, permanently or temporarily. MY focus is on today's names (middle and surnames) appearing to resemble past use of names, which gives a quasi-traditional effect.

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19 hours ago, Ivar S. Ertesvåg said:

The practice of identifying young men (typically 15-35 of age) with the farm of their father/parents, even long after that the relation to this farm has ended, does not match your notion of farm name usage.

 

You do not know my notion. I did not provide it.

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Perhaps I should apologize to the many readers for my multiple postings here. I feel it is only fair to address Ivar S and his comments.

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Posted (edited)

Ignore the following. I find the answers.

 

I forgot to ask.

 

Lars Haakon Pettersen Loevbakken

 

If, today, Pettersen is seen as a middle name, then what is Haakon considered?

 

Does it lay out like this:

 

Lars Haakon = 2 first names, Pettersen = Middle name, Loevbakken = Surname

 

In North America, Haakon would be considered a middle name

Edited by Richard Olsen
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