Names FAQ - Hyppige spørgsmål

Danish names

in the beginning after the hunter-gatherers, there were farmers and traders - and vikings

and one name was enough, everyone knew who everyone was.
Nicknames abound in the sagas Eric the Red, Sven Fork-Beard, Magnus the Good, and Canute the Great spring to mind.

After being united under a single king and made christian, C. 965 King Harald I Blue Tooth introduced Christianity in Denmark and biblical names and spoken LATIN - and which when written began to replace runes. Norway united with Denmark and Sweden : in the Kalmar Union (1397-1523), which ended when Sweden seceded and Norway and with Iceland, the Western Islands, Faeroes and Greenland, sank to provincial status within Denmark. SEE The Stone Age - The History of Scotland

In 1526 King Frederik the first , *1471 + 1533 and King of Denmark and Norway 1523-1533, ordered the old noble families to use fixed family names - påbød alle gamle adelsslægter at føre et fast slægtsnavn. .Slægtshistorisk Forening, Århus - nyhedsbrev nr. 54

Gyldenstjerne, Sparre, Bjælke, Ulfstand, Marsvin, Oxe, Høg, Munk, Hvid were heraldic symbols found on the family's coat of arms.
The priest used latinised names Pontoppidan (from Broby), Paludan (from Kærby), Lacoppidan (from Søby),etc

At this time less than 20% of Danes lived in towns but the new middle class merchants and tradesmen were the next to adopt surnames.
1660-61 the King became an absolute monarch until the 1848 abolition of absolutism, and in June 1849 Denmark's first liberal Constitution was signed.

Navnelovene af 1828, 1856 og 1904

more De danske efternavne på -sen: fra Personalhistorisk Tidsskrift 2001:1 Landbefolkningens reaktioner på navnelovene af 1828 og 1856 - the country peoples' reaction to the name laws of 1828 and 1856.

So the Name Laws of 1828, 1856 and 1904 slowly but finally ended the age old patronymic system -
patronymikon (faderens fornavn med efterstillet -sen eller -datter)

The period of transition began in 1828 but the villagers were reluctant to make the change from patronymics to surnames – for example if one Jens Andersen (the son of Anders Jensen of course) lived on a farm called Vestergaard, THEN his son could be Anders Jensen and his daughter Andersine Jensdatter - but later she might be Andersine Jensen and later still Andersine Vestergaard.
BUT her brother might chose to be Anders Vestergaard Jensen and if she marries Søren Clausen, AND she might appear in a Church Book at a baptism as Fru Søren Clausen, and a grandchild be called Jens Vestergaard Clausen.

Norwegian Naming Patterns

When I transcribed the 1840 Census of Bedsted (DOWNLOAD 473 KB C6226 FT-1840 Bedsted Hassing Thisted 78502) I had a frightful job with the childrens' surnames which were mostly missing. No doubt Lauritz Christensen, the village school master who took the census, knew every one of them and only 12 years after the unpopular first Name Law the patronymic system was still obvious to him.

Denmark - History - Historical Overview
1864 The Second Schleswig War; Denmark has to cede Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to PRUSSIA, and a Germanisation of place names took place, many men fled to USA to avoid Prussian conscription.
1901 Change of political system; introduction of Cabinet responsibility.
1914-18 Denmark is neutral during World War I. some danes died for Germany, see war memorials.
1915 Constitutional reform, women and servants are enfranchised.
1920 Reunion with South Jutland after a plebiscite and the spelling of those place names was made Danish again.

see Slesvigske stednavne - Schleswigsche Ortsnamen Danish and German place names, with some Friisian - neighbours in the Netherland islands.
Danish / German place names NOTE the spellings are very very important for searches.
Friisian - Slesvig Frisian German Danish - Google Search: Frisian

The 1904 law introduced the possibility of of "purchasing" a new self invented surname. This would be a reserved surname - forbeholdte navne and see RETSINFORMATION below for a current list. Today's price is 3000 kroner DKK about USD $500

An example:-
STRØMSHOLT - everyone of that name is descended from , or has been married to a descendant of, the baby born July 20, 1869 to Karen Marie Hansdatter (the daughter of Hans Frederiksen and Karen Jensdatter), the wife of Neils Pedersen (son of Peder Hansen) in Varpelev , was baptised Jørgen Pedersen October 24, 1869 in Varpelev parish church, BUT in 1911 he became Jørgen Strømsholt, and in the church books all his childrens' names are changed by order Pedersen to Strømsholt ministri breve December 23, 1911 a letter to the parish clerk from the Justitsministeri or (?) Church Ministry - which is still the organ of civil registration in Denmark today.
One baby son born June 16, 1899 in the timber yard was baptised August 20, 1899 Jørgen Otto Pedersen Store Hedinge Kirke by Stiftepræst Volpe. He became Jørgen Otto Strømsholt in 1911, but in 1921 he sailed to USA and passed through Ellis Island as Jurgen Otto Strumsholt. St. Hedinge, Denmark - 21 year single, SS Hellig Olav, April 20, 1921 - Copenhagen City, Denmark.
(and on the next line, Hansen, Anna Nielsen F 21y S Danish, Scand St. Hedinge, Denmark, destination Pilger, Nebraska and to get married)
In the US 1930 Census at 359 Craig Avenue, Tottenville, New York, Richmond County, he is Otto Stromsholt.

One index to these files of name changes is kept at the Rigsarkivet Copenhagen Statens Arkiver
Register over navneforanderinger: Registeret over navneforandringer og forbeholdte navne er udbygget siden 1905 og er fortsat i anvendelse. Befinder sig i Civilretsdirektoratet, hvor man kan rette henvendelse vedr. forbeholdte og beskyttede navne

But some of these old files are still in use - Ikke-afleverede arkivalier: Visse arkivalier, som fortsat benyttes i den løbende administration, er ikke afleveret til Rigsarkivet, uansetat de tidsmæssigt går langt tilbage. Det drejer sig bl.a. om Register over beskyttede og forbeholdte navne 1904ff og den såkaldt 'Grønne bog' 1919ff (om dommerembedernes normeringsforhold, retsbygninger - - - - at Justitsministeriets department Civilretsdirektoratet og adoption Google Search: civilretsdirektorat

Scandinavia has an ancient tradition of women being allowed to choose their partners, and many use their own name for their whole life, but name the children with both surnames eg in USA Greenman-Pedersen but to put that hypen in, the Danish Church Ministry would charge 3000 kroner DKK about USD $500.

1000 Danish surnames
The top one thousand surnames in Denmark on January 1 2004 - with thanks to Dorthe Larsen at Danmarks Statistik

- now in England you can call your kids what you like, but in Denmark there is a list of officially recognised first names - over protective?
Well children have rights too, not to be hit or bullied.
These lists are kept by the Church ministry - Kirkeministeriet - in co-operation with Institut for Navneforskning which also advises on the correct spelling of place names.

Godkendte fornavne in Denmark, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands

Godkendte drengenavne i Danmark"

- which is fun because Faeroese , like German or Icelandic or Latin, is a case language
eg all these mean JOHN :-
Jenis (Jenis, Jenisi, Jenisar*)
Jens (Jens, Jensi, Jens)

John [jon:] (John, Johni, Johns)
Jonn (Jonn, Jonni, Jons)

Jóan (Jóan, Jóani, Jóans)
Jóanes (Jóanes, Jóanesi, Jóanesar*)
Jóanis (Jóanis, Jóanisi, Jóanisar*)
Jóannes (Jóannes, Jóannesi, Jóannesar*)
Jóannis (Jóannis, Jóannisi, Jóannisar*)
Jóhannus (Jóhannus, Jóhannusi, Jóhannusar*)
Jón (Jón, Jóni, Jóns)

Pigenavne: "Godkendte pigenavne i Danmark"
Barba (Barbu, Barbu, Barbu) which is comical onomatopoeia in Danish, as that is what an ambulance horn says barbu barbu
Barbara (Barbaru, Barbaru, Barbaru)
Bára (Báru, Báru, Báru)

GREENLAND has a broken link Kirkeministeriet dødtlink?
takuuk - alt i een portal

Folketingets informationssystem

Retsinformation (”Legal Information”) is the official on-line legal information system of the Danish State.
Retsinformation was established in 1985 and contains all Danish rules and regulations, i.e. all acts passed by the Folketing (the Danish parliament) as well as statutory orders, circulars etc. issued by the administration.

Denne bekendtgørelse er i Retsinformation opdelt i et dokument for hvert forbogstav. Den samlede bekendtgørelse findes ved at foretage følgende søgning: I feltet "Forskriftens titel" skrives 'forbeholdte navne'

A click on Pegasus-ikonet
B click on -sogning-
C 11 fields down Forskriftens titel
D copy / paste
forbeholdte navne
E click -Søg-

D if you have done it right Søgningen fandt 47 dokumenter click on -Vis Dokument List-

Dokumentet er gældende og indeholder 137 linier
The Document is in force and comprises 137 lines

number three lists surnames begining with A from:-

vid A




snipped to:-

de Azevedo, se da Conceicao Garcia de Azevedo


Azmeh, se Al Azmeh

Azzahrae - Ministerier: Danmark har 18 ministerier. At the moment Denmark's administration is divided into eighteen ministries.

Jensen Nielsen Hansen Pedersen Andersen Christensen Larsen Sørensen Rasmussen Jørgensen Petersen Madsen Kristensen Olsen Thomsen Christiansen Poulsen Johansen Knudsen Mortensen Henriksen Jansen Eriksen Jespersen Mikkelsen ARE the most common -sen = son of surnames

Norwegian names

Oluf Rygh: Norwegian Farm Names

The database currently covers the following volumes of O. Rygh's series on Norwegian farm names: 1 through 17. These volumes cover farm names in the following modern counties (fylke) Østfold (Smaalenenes amt), Akershus og Oslo (Akershus amt), Hedmark (Hedemarkens amt), Oppland (Kristians amt), Buskerud (Buskeruds amt), Vestfold (Jarlsberg og Larviks amt), Telemark (Bratsberg amt), (Aust-Agder (Agdenes amt),Vest-Agder (Lister og Mandals amt), Rogaland (Stavanger amt), Hordaland (Søndre Bergenhus amt), Sogn og fjordane (Nordre Bergenshus), Møre og Romsdal (Romsdals amt), Sør-Trøndelag (Søndre Trondhjems amt), Nord-Trøndelag (Nordre Trondhjems amt), Nordland (Nordlands amt) and Troms (Tromsø amt). The names in parenthesis are the older county names used in this database.

The references in the text to Diplomatarium Norvegicum (a collection of medieval charters)
Oluf Rygh: Norwegian Farm Names

Those Norwegian names, a little history and tips for online researchers

SURNAME NAVIGATOR meta search with some Danish pages
dnkcen Site Map
updated december 10, 2005 Hugh Watkins

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