View Full Version : Norwegian naming patterns

21-11-2008, 3:48 PM
Does anyong have experience with Norwegian naming patterns.

I have an fair idea how it works in theory, but has anyone actually traced Norwegian or other Scandinavian ancestors who immigrated into the North American continent.

I am interested in how the theoretical naming pattern stood the test of the immigration and registration process.

We have one family of Norwegian ancestors who are all over, like a rash, but we cannot find any clues to how they got here. They didn't all come at once so one would expect to find some evidence.


21-11-2008, 7:21 PM
The fantastic chap at my local LDS family history centre is Norwegian, I am there tomorrow and will ask him for you, unless you get an answer here first of course.

22-11-2008, 5:23 PM
You probably know all this stuff already, but here goes. Up to about 1900, Norwegians did not have fixed surnames so for example Olaf son of Peter could be registered as Olaf Peterson his mother may well keep her father's surname as for the daughters of Peter I am not sure if they took their father's name or their mother's. There was no civil registration and all records were recorded by the church even in the case of non -conformist parishioners, birth certificates as such did not exist and the birth was recorded in the baptism register, even if the child was not baptised.

Often families would take the name of the farm they owned or the place they lived and change it if they moved. My friend seems to think your family name is a place or farm, the ending meaning small fjord.

Good news though inheritance laws to this day are very strict and probate is required for all deaths.

Here is a suggested free site which may help you. Some parts can not be translated.


Hope this helps,

22-11-2008, 7:04 PM
Hi Astoria. The info you so kindly provided fits in with what I have read to date. A rough generalisation may suggest that they could have been known by several names.

We do know that the eldest son of C(K)arl Jac(k)ob Danielson Havsvog (Havsvag) (Hasvaag), was known as Carl Anton Carlson when he was in the U.S and Canada, his name appears as such in various census returns and land grants.

His mother Antonnette Hasvog, is also visible as such in Canada.

Her husband C(K)arl died in 1907 and is buried in South Dakota, obits and other entries name him as Carl Hasvag.

We can find various family members scattered around the U.S and Canada.

I had not come across the site you sent me and will look at that in detail.

Hasvag was certainly a farm and township in Norway.

I will let you know of any new developments.

22-11-2008, 10:45 PM
Glad it fits in with what you already know.

Good luck with the site, I had a little play and it all looks Dutch to me - or should that be Norwegian.

My Norwegian friend says it is all on there somewhere and the records are very comprehensive.

Let me know if I can be of further help. |wave|

23-11-2008, 9:27 AM
Just had a little play with the site, and the second page I looked at turned up this

10 1 Braaten 1 1 Hans Iversen m Husfader g Skrædder 1835 Rokke
11 1 Braaten 2 Sofie Torbjørnsdatter k Husmoder g 1839
12 1 Braaten 3 Trine Julie Hansdatter k Datter ug 1863
13 1 Braaten 4 Ole Hansen m Søn ug 1867
14 1 Braaten 5 Jensine Pauline Hansdatter k Datter ug 1870

maybe if you can find them on a census everything will start to fit in to place.

I obviously wasn't listening very well yesterday when the daughters naming pattern was explained to me.

Braaten was the farm.

23-11-2008, 11:08 AM
At present I feel as if I am holding a key, just need to find which lock it fits

Thanks for your help and interest Astoria.

10-06-2009, 10:55 PM
Hi, I was wondering who else might be researching Norwegian when I came across this thread. The site recommended is really very good.I use it all the time.

There are also some very helpful people to be found at DIS Norge

I was able to use the information you provided and got the following information from the Norwegian digital archives, (the link that Astoria also gave you):

Carl Jacob Danielsen birth in Fosnes, North Trondelag on 22 Jul 1842, baptised 25 Sep 1842. The birth was out of wedlock. (uekte or uaegte or variations means unmarried)


If you click on the side 40 you will get taken to the parish register record.

Karl's parents Daniel Nilsen and Lusie Christiansdatter got married later in the year. It is Lusie who is from Hasvaag.


Karl marries Antonette on 26 Oct 1868

This is after the birth of their son Karl Anthon 12 Dec 1867, bapt 3 May 1868

Many of the parish records for Fosnes have been transcribed so it easy to look up.

We can find Karl Danielsen in the 1865 census here:

He is a fisherman at Hasvogstrand.

Antonette was a bit more difficult to find as she was in another district:

She is living with her parents Ingebrikt Jensen and Sofie Johannesdatter.

With a little bit more work we can look up her birth in 1841 in the scanned parish register for Namsos

It is entry no.16. You will probably have to enlarge it a bit to be able to read it. The mother's name looks like ?Gurine Andersdatter. It is possible that the census is mistranscribed or it is a later marriage. She is born on a farm called Vigen

With a bit of muddling through I have found the following emigrations.

Karl Anton Karlsen went first in 1889 with tickets paid for from America destined for Brookings Dakota. There are some other people from the farm Hasvaag and they are living in a district Flatanger.

Karl Danielsen went next in 1890 with his daughter Laura, tickets paid for in the US for the same destination

Antonette came last in 1891 with Ludvig


We can also see entries for them leaving the district in the parish register at Flatanger here No. 6 1889 and No. 5&6 1890


and here Nos 3-6 in 1891

We can see there are two other children here Inga Dortea and Marit Olava, but for some reason they don't seem to be on the passenger list.

You can find the birth registrations quite easily from this, but unfortunately my urls are not working so I will need to check. Send me a message if you want these or if you need any help using the Norwegian digital archives.

10-06-2009, 11:09 PM
Sorry forgot to mention about the naming. The traditional naming pattern is not apparent in the last generation of Carlsens at least.

Usually the eldest son took the name of the father's father and the next son took the name from the mother's father so you would expect the eldest to be Daniel and the next son to be some form of Ingebrekt. You would expect the eldest daughter to be named Gurine and the second Lusie. This doesn't seem to be the case.

That being said, I have noticed this naming pattern more for the earlier generations; the ancestors I have near the end of the 19th Century seem to be using a wider variety of names.

The sister of my grandfather, Hilma went to the US. The farm that my great grandfather was born on had Lie and so he took this as his surname, but they lived at another farm when a child. Hilma Lie is named as Lie on the way to the US. but when she died the maiden name of Stromstad was given.

11-06-2009, 4:55 AM
Hello, what fantastic information you have put into the site. I see we have many links to go into from the information you have posted to further investigate our family Hasvog/From. We will keep in touch, thanks again Peter and Sharon (great granddaughter of Karl and Antonette)

11-06-2009, 5:42 AM
Fantastic stuff Kaysii |wave|

11-06-2009, 8:36 AM
Have managed to fix the birth links

Ludvig Godfred b. 30 Jan 1884 bapt.4 May 1884


Laura Gunille b. 2 Apr 1880 bapt. 20 Jun 1880 entry no. 10 page52


Marit Olav b. 19 Dec 1877 bapt. 5 May 1878 entry no.22 page 42


Inga Dortea b.13 May 1875 bapt. 20 Jun 1875 entry no. 23 page 27


Karen b. 26 Nov 1872 bapt. 20 Apr 1873 entry no. 7 page 15


Ludwig Godfred b.17 May 1870 bapt. 6 Aug 1870 entry no. 32 page 5


I assume, as there is a later birth of someone of the same name, that this child died between 1870 and 1844.

There are also confirmation records

Karl Anton in 1883 entry no. 10

Karen in 1888 entry no.8 page 94


Inga Dortea in 1890 entry no 9 - under piger (girls) page 96


Although you have some spelling complications - these are not too difficult to overcome with the search engine available. I usually use the "starts with"/ "starts with show" or "contains"/"contains show"

So for Antonette you can put in "Ant" begins with show and then chose the various spelling combinations present in that database

For Karl you can put in "arl" with contains show and chose the Karl and Carl options provided.

With regards naming, it is also useful to look at the godparents (faddere) as these are often relatives or neighbours.

The digital archives also have a users forum although most of this as is DIS is in Norwegian

Good luck with your research and don't be afraid to ask.

11-06-2009, 1:36 PM
Good Morning Kaysii.

Sharon told me last night that she had picked up a posting from you and replied. I Logged on today to find even more information.

We are truly grateful for the time and effort you have put into this, I can tell from first glances that it provides us with some significant information regarding this family and may also explain some of the family legends that have never quite fitted in.

Although the summer time is a very quiet time for us, genealogy wise, I have nevertheless, taken my Norwegian Connection Folders out of storage and will be spending some time on this.

You make mention above about Ludvig. We believe that the first Ludwig died as a child in Norway. The second adopted the name Lewis as he got older.

Have you visited our website ? Their are some photos of the family in there.

Sincere thanks


11-06-2009, 6:37 PM
Hi Kaysii,

Thank you for showing us the excellent information that can be found on the
arkivverket site, I am sure anyone searching in Norway will be very grateful to you.

I am trying to turn it into a sticky at the top of the Europe board, in order that other members may find it easily.

Other sites (non commercial) and information can be added there too.

11-06-2009, 6:55 PM
That's great Astoria. Thanks.

11-06-2009, 6:57 PM
Actually Peter, we have Mark J to thank, I didn't have the right spanner. ;)

Bet your desk is littered with notes, enjoy.

12-06-2009, 10:17 AM

Kaysil you sound a very knowledgeable person and are an asset to the Forum |hug|

Can you tell me if its the same naming pattern for Sweden, or do you know where to look.

We have Peter Anderson
Birth: 1873
Gottenberg Sweden

We have the information from the Marriage Certifacte of his marriage in 1910 at Victoria Docks, London, his father's name is Johnathan Anderson. That's all we know about him before he went to Australia, we have him from then onwards.


12-06-2009, 1:32 PM
Hi Sandy,

I'm not that knowledgeable really, the electronic archives are really rather good in Norway, they've put a lot of the scanned parish registers on the internet which is a great help as well as having censuses for 1801, 1865 and 1900 for the whole country.

I am not sure of the set up in Sweden. There is a recent thread on research in Sweden and dannywh is more likely to be able to help you there as I haven't had cause to use these records at all.

The naming patterns were similar as far as I know, but it is possible that they started using surnames earlier than in Norway. I would not be able to comment as to whether your ancestor would have had the name Peter Jonathonson at birth or Anderson.

If you are looking for him in the parish register, it might be that the given name only was written with the parents name at the side.

You are unfortunate in that there are likely to be hundreds of Peter Andersons. (Peter's ancestors above had enough not so common names plus a farm name and these despite the spelling complications made it very easy to find them.)

With regards to the first names I am not sure on their naming practises. Even if they did name after grandparents traditionally, he is born towards the end of the 19th Century.

They have not digitised the censuses for Gothenberg for free yet although there are fee paying sites which you could find if you use google.

Here is the DIS site for Genealogy Society of Sweden

Here is the link for the Swedish Emigrant Institute

They might have more information about your ancestor.


13-06-2009, 8:38 AM
Hi Kaysil
a big thank you for your reply.|hug|

We found our guy a few years ago but did not know where to look for him !!
He's not bothering us at the moment but their will come a time when I know he will.

Regards Sandy

14-06-2009, 2:09 PM
I have thanked Kaysii personally, however Sharon and I wish to include our sincere thanks within this post.

Since receiving the information from Kaysii and contacting some of the family with the Norwegian connection it has jogged memories and sparked new interest.