Difference between revisions of "Sweden Names, Personal"

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In 1901 a law required people to adopt permanent surnames to be passed onto successive generations.  
 
In 1901 a law required people to adopt permanent surnames to be passed onto successive generations.  
  
=== Given Names ===
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100 most common surnames in Sweden
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{| class="prettytable"
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| Johansson
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| Henriksson
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| Sandström
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|-
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| Andersson
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| Håkansson
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| Holmgren
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|-
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| Karlsson
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| Sjöberg
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| Sundberg
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|-
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| Nilsson
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| Forsberg
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| Ekström
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|-
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| Eriksson
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| Lindqvist
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| Åberg
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|-
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| Larsson
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| Danielsson
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| Hedlund
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|-
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| Olsson
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| Engström
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| Sjögren
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|-
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| Persson
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| Lundin
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| Månsson
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|-
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| Svensson
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| Fransson
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| Martinsson
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|-
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| Gustafsson
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| Eklund
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| Öberg
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|-
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| Pettersson
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| Lind
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| Jonasson
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|-
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| Jonsson
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| Johnsson
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| Andreasson
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|-
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| Jansson
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| Samuelsson
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| Abrahamsson
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|-
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| Hansson
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| Gunnarsson
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| Dahlberg
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|-
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| Bengtsson
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| Holm
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| Hellström
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|-
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| Jönsson
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| Bergman
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| Strömberg
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|-
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| Petersson
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| Nyström
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| Blomqvist
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|-
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| Carlsson
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| Holmberg
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| Norberg
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|-
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| Gustavsson
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| Lundqvist
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| Åkesson
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|-
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| Magnusson
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| Arvidsson
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| Blom
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|-
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| Lindberg
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| Mårtensson
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| Göransson
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|-
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| Olofsson
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| Isaksson
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| Sundström
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|-
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| Lindström
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| Nyberg
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| Åström
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|-
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| Axelsson
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| Söderberg
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| Söderström
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|-
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| Lindgren
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| Björk
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| Ivarsson
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|-
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| Jakobsson
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| Nordström
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| Löfgren
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|-
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| Lundberg
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| Lundström
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| Ek
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|-
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| Bergström
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| Eliasson
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| Bergqvist
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|-
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| Lundgren
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| Wallin
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| Lindholm
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|-
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| Berglund
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| Berggren
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| Lund
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|-
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| Berg
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| Björklund
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| Nyman
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|-
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| Fredriksson
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| Ström
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| Josefsson
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|-
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| Mattsson
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| Hermansson
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|
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|-
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| Sandberg
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| Nordin
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|
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|}
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<br><br>Given Names  
  
 
The earliest known Swedish names appear about 55 A. D. on some 2000 Runic stones scattered around the kingdom. Usually the given names were given to describe a quality or characteristic, or resemble an occurrence or occasion that was desired in the life of the born babe, such as Ragnvald, which means, “He who is mighty with power.”  
 
The earliest known Swedish names appear about 55 A. D. on some 2000 Runic stones scattered around the kingdom. Usually the given names were given to describe a quality or characteristic, or resemble an occurrence or occasion that was desired in the life of the born babe, such as Ragnvald, which means, “He who is mighty with power.”  

Revision as of 21:58, 9 September 2008

Understanding surnames and given names can help you find and identify your ancestors in the records.

Surnames

Before record keeping began, most people had only one name, such as Johan. As the population increased, it became necessary to distinguish between individuals with the same name. The problem was usually solved by adding descriptive information. Johan became Johan the smith, Johan the son of Erik, Johan the short, or Johan from Borås. At first, such "surnames" applied only to one person and not to the whole family. After a few generations, these names were passed from father to children.

Surnames developed from four major sources:

  • Patronymic, based on the father's name, such as Johan Nilsson (son of Nils).
  • Nicknames, based on a person's characteristics, such as Pehr Fager (beautiful).
  • Geographical, based on a person's place of birth or residence, such as Olof Grankulla.
  • Occupational, based on the person's trade, such as Lars Smed (Smith).

Surnames were first used by nobility and wealthy land owners. Later the custom was followed by merchants and townspeople and eventually by the rural population.

Most Swedish surnames are patronymic. Patronymic surnames changed with each generation. For example, Lars Pettersson was the son of a man named Petter. If Lars had a son named Hans, the son would be known as Hans Larsson (son of Lars). His brothers would be called Larsson, while a sister would be known as Larsdotter (daughter of Lars). When people used patronymics, a woman did not change her name at marriage.

When a young man went into the military he was given a new surname. This name could be based on his characteristics, such as Stark (strong) or Modig (brave), or the place where he was stationed. If the place was called Lillebäck, he may have been called Bäck. Before the late 1800s, a military surname seldom became a family name. Later, when family names were more common and sometimes when people emigrated from Sweden, the military name became the family surname.

When a young man became an apprentice to learn a trade, he would choose an additional surname.

The clergy and other learned men often "Latinized" their names. Thus Eric Karlsson became Ericus Caroli.

In 1901 a law required people to adopt permanent surnames to be passed onto successive generations.


100 most common surnames in Sweden


Johansson Henriksson Sandström
Andersson Håkansson Holmgren
Karlsson Sjöberg Sundberg
Nilsson Forsberg Ekström
Eriksson Lindqvist Åberg
Larsson Danielsson Hedlund
Olsson Engström Sjögren
Persson Lundin Månsson
Svensson Fransson Martinsson
Gustafsson Eklund Öberg
Pettersson Lind Jonasson
Jonsson Johnsson Andreasson
Jansson Samuelsson Abrahamsson
Hansson Gunnarsson Dahlberg
Bengtsson Holm Hellström
Jönsson Bergman Strömberg
Petersson Nyström Blomqvist
Carlsson Holmberg Norberg
Gustavsson Lundqvist Åkesson
Magnusson Arvidsson Blom
Lindberg Mårtensson Göransson
Olofsson Isaksson Sundström
Lindström Nyberg Åström
Axelsson Söderberg Söderström
Lindgren Björk Ivarsson
Jakobsson Nordström Löfgren
Lundberg Lundström Ek
Bergström Eliasson Bergqvist
Lundgren Wallin Lindholm
Berglund Berggren Lund
Berg Björklund Nyman
Fredriksson Ström Josefsson
Mattsson Hermansson
Sandberg Nordin




Given Names

The earliest known Swedish names appear about 55 A. D. on some 2000 Runic stones scattered around the kingdom. Usually the given names were given to describe a quality or characteristic, or resemble an occurrence or occasion that was desired in the life of the born babe, such as Ragnvald, which means, “He who is mighty with power.”

At the turn of the first millennium of the Christian era, all of Sweden was Christianized, and a conscious effort was undertaken by the clergy to substitute the names of the Christian saints for the old Swedish names. Thus the apostolic names of Peter, Andrew, John, and Paul took on their present day form of:

Petrus, Peter, Peder, Pehr, Pär, Per, Petter
Andreas, Anders, Andres, Andors
Johannes, Johan, Jan, Jaen, Jean, Joen, Jon Jöns, Jonas
Paulus, Paul, Påfvel, Påfwel, Pål, Påhl, Povel

Some of the more common given names used in Sweden during the last four centuries are listed below:

MALE NAMES

Alf Esbjörn Jörgen Påvel
Algot Eskil Jan Pär
Ambjörn Frenne Karl Sibbe
Amund Fridmund Klas Sigmund
Anders Germund Knut Sjunne
Andreas Gudmund Lars Sone
Arne Gumme Lennart Staffan
Arnvald Gunnar Magnus Stefan
Arvi Gunne Matts Sten
Asmund Gustaf Matthias Sture
Assar Göran Måns Sune
Astrad Gösta Mårten Svante
Axel Halvar Nicolaus Sven
Bengt Hans Niklas Svenning
Björn Harald Nils Sören
Björnvid Helge Olaus Tomas
Bo Henning Ola Tore
Bodel Hemming Olof Torkil
Bror Håkan Oscar Torsten
Bryngel Inge Otto Trued
Börje Ingemar Paul Tue
Christer Isak Per Tuve
Carl Ivar Peter Truls
Enevald Jeppe Petrus Wollmar
Erik Johan Povel Åke
Ernst Jöns Pål Osten

FEMALE NAMES

Anna Elna Katarina Mathilda
Bengta Elsa Kerstin Metta
Birgitta Gertrud Kristina Märeta
Bodil Greta Lisa Nilla
Boel Gunnil Lisken Olu
Brita Gunnela Lotta Olug
Borta Hanna Lotten Pernilla
Cecilia Helena Lovisa Petronella
Christina Ingeborg Maja Rangela
Cissela Ingegerd Malena Sigrid
Dordi Inger Margareta Sissa
Dorotea Ingrid Margit Sissela
Elena Johanna Marit Sofia
Elisabet Karin Marna Stina
Ella Karna Marta Troen

INTERCHANGEABLE FIRST NAMES

In Sweden, it is not uncommon to call a person by an affectionate form of the given name, for example, (William-Bill). This may be confusing in research, where for example someone may be called Kjerstin in the birth record, but later is called Stina in another record. It really is not much of a problem, once we have learned to recognize these names. Some of the more common names are listed below:

Males

Anders Hans Per
Andreas Hasse Peder
Johan Lars Pehr
Jaen Lasse Pelle
Jan Magnus Peter
Janne Måns Pelle
Jean Nils Petrus
Joen Nicolaus Petter
Johannes Niklas Päder
John Olof Pähr
Jon Ola Pär
Jonas OllePål
Jöns Oluf Povel, Pofwel, Paul

Females

Anna Elisabet Karin
Annicka Elisa Cajsa
Anika Lisa Kajsa
Catrina Lisbet Katrina
Cajsa Lisken Cajsa
Kajsa Louise Kajsa
Christina Lovisa Kristina
Stina Eljena Stina
Charlotta Elna Magdalena
Lotta Helena Lena
Lotten Elin Maja
Cherstin Ellen Margareta
Christa Lena Greta
Stina Johanna Maria
Hanna
Maja

 

 

 

When baptized, children were usually given one or two given names. The name may be that of a parent or other relative.

Some good books on names are:

  • Kjöllerström, P. A. (Per August). Svenska dopnamn och släktnamn (Swedish Given Names and Surnames). Stockholm, Sweden: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1913. (FHL films 1440226 item 14.)
  • Otterbjörk, Roland. Svenska förnamn: krotfattat namnlexikon (Swedish Given Names: A Brief Dictionary of Names). Stockholm, Sweden: Esselte Studium, 1979. (FHL book 948.5 D4o.)

For Swedish Naming Practices click here

External Links