Monday, December 25, 2017

What's in a surname? My Olesen Family of Denmark

      It's been a year since I made the time to add even a word to my blog.  Shame on me!  It isn't for lack of something to write about.  Quite the opposite.  I have simply not made the time to put pen to paper.  I am making a concerted effort to change that in 2018.

     One piece of research that was sent to me by my genealogy buddy in the UK was an Internet site (FREE) that has copies of Danish census reports published.  She also noodled around the site and found my Olesen family listed.  I was gobsmacked!  The Olesen's have been a somewhat illusive branch and in the past year or two, again, thanks to Heather, information regarding the family while living in Hartlepool, England have been revealed in drips and drabs.  I never had any hope of tracing them back to their motherland.  Never say never.

    The bridge I had to cross to nail down my Olesen family was how the Danish derive their surnames.

"As in the other Nordic countries, the use of primary patronyms (and sometimes matronyms) instead of surnames was common in Denmark until hereditary surnames became mandatory in 1828.
To create an Danish primary patronym, the suffix -sen (= 'son') or -datter (= 'daughter') is added to the father's name.

Sometimes the genitive form of the father's name is used before adding the suffix. You will find the genitive forms of Danish names in the grammar tables on the respective name pages. In Danish, usually just the suffix -s is added directly to the name. "  (

    So, simply plugging in Ole Olesen (the name listed on Christian's marriage certificate) into the search engine to find my great great great grandfather was not the way to go since his surname would not be Olesen.  The alternate method was plugging in my great great grandfather's name Christian Olesen to see what would come up.....The answer--thousands.  But low and behold there was a Christian Ingvart Olesen on the 1845 census.  BINGO!!  There he was along with his family.

1845 Denmark Census, Ringkøbing, Hind, Ny Sogn, page 36
     Records I have of Christian do list him as Christian Invart Olesen born in Denmark about 1844.

          His marriage record of 1874 lists his father as Ole Lonne Olesen. 

     Keep that additional name Lonne on the back burner as it will be revealed how it helped me get further across that genealogical bridge.  ;-)  And I simply have to ignore that on the marriage license Christian listed his father's surname as Olesen.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2017, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

1 comment:

  1. We read 'The Flipside' religiously. Thanks for adding to the archive.