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The Most Common Norwegian Surnames

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Here is the story of Norway’s most common family names and how they have evolved through recent centuries.

If you have a passing interest in Norway or Scandinavia then you have probably wondered about their distinctive surnames. In recent centuries, these family names have carved out an interesting story in the world of etymology.

Norwegian surnames often comprise of place names or a geographical features of the landscape, while others were a direct result of their father's first name. As a result of this, surnames like Larsen, Hansen and Johansen are now commonplace in modern day Norway.

 

Terminology of family names

But before we get in into the history of the naming rituals and traditions, let’s take a look at some key words in this field.

Etymology: the study of a word’s origin and a word's changeable state trough history.

Occupational: names derived from the occupation or job of an ancestor.

Patronymic: a name passed down from either the father or ancestor.

Toponymic: a place name, often taken from a geographical feature.

Family portrait from 1910. Photo: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane (CC 2.0)

A little history

Tracing your family ancestry in Norway is a relatively straightforward affair, that is until you get to the pivotal year of 1923. This was the year a law was introduced stating that families should have just one surname.

Before 1923, family names were often formed from place names, toponyms, and were also commonly derived from farm names.

Read more: Popular Baby Names in Norway

Names also included names comprised of geographical features. The most common of these surnames were Bakke/Bakken – which means hill or rise, Berg/Berge – meaning Mountain or hill, Dahl/Dal – which translates as valley, Haugen\Haugan – hill or mound and Moen – meadow/pasture.

Family names in Norway

Before 1923, the country’s most common male surnames were those that ended in “–son“ or “–sen” meaning “son of”. This is where tracing your family roots gets a little difficult. For instance, if you go back more than two or three generations, problems quickly arise.

This is one reason why outlining my family tree stalled somewhat a number of years ago. That is not to say it isn’t possible to build your Norwegian branch of your family tree, only that it can be more time consuming because of such difficulties.

The Meland family of Oppstryn, Norway, circa 1910

My surname is Gundersen, which literally means “son of Gunder”. Taking your father’s first name opens up a much broader pool of names, those that cahnged with each generation.

Female family names operate in the same way: “–dotter” or “–datter” meaning “daughter of”. For example, if your father was called “Johan” then your surname might become “Johansdotter” – “Johan’s daughter”.

The statistics: Most popular Norwegian surnames

In a recent survey published by Statistics Norway, 22.4% of Norway’s population had a name ending “–sen”. But new children born in the same year only 18.4% of them had “–sen” as a suffix.

There are rarely sudden shifts in the lists compiled, generally then fluctuate steadily. The 20 most common surnames in that list from 2015, are mostly ending in “–sen”, patronymic names. Only the toponymic names Berg, Dahl, Haugen and Hagen, derived from the landscape, buck the trend.

1.  Hansen (53,011)
2.  Johansen (50,088)
3.  Olsen (49,303)
4.  Larsen (37,869)
5.  Andersen (37,025)
6.  Pedersen (35,145)
7.  Nilsen (34,734)
8.  Kristiansen (23,397)
9.  Jensen (22,879)
10. Karlsen (21,234)
11. Johnsen (20,650)
12. Pettersen (20,101)
13. Eriksen (19,136)
14. Berg (18,080)
15. Haugen (14 346)
16. Hagen (14,073)
17.  Johannessen (13,286)
18. Andreassen (12,100)
19. Jacobsen (11,906)
20. Dahl (11,503)

————-

21. Jørgensen (11,426)

————-

28. Gundersen (10,232)

The name Jørgensen was the first name in the list to contain one of the three special characters – Æ, Ø and Å – from the Norwegian alphabet. And out of personal interest, I discovered that Gundersen—my own surname—came in at number 28 in the list. That surprised me a little, as I had expected it to be higher.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark

Norway is not alone in their patronymic naming history, two Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark and Sweden, also use this type of naming. Denmark’s surnames are mostly patronymic.

Just like Norway, Denmark also use a suffix “–sen” in family names. So a Danish family name like Christensen translates as “son of Christen”. Other forms include surnames that are occupational – names taken from the job roles of ancestors in villages or farmsteads. For example, “Schmidt” – smith or “Fisker” – fisher.

Looking at the 20 most common surnames in Denmark in 2012, all but one is a patronymic name. The odd one out in the list is the occupational name “Møller” meaning miller. The top five most common family names are listed below:

No.  Surname  Count
1. Nielsen (255,138)
2. Jensen (254,675)
3. Hansen (213,339)
4. Pedersen (161,074)
5. Andersen (157,753)

<2016. Source: dst.nk>

Sweden

The most common surnames in Sweden are also patronymic. Norway’s next door neighbour abolished this type of practice a little earlier, in 1901. The change in the law ensured a single family name was passed from generation to generation, just like Norway.

Swedish names also use suffix son – “sson”. A recent list of the most common surnames in Sweden reveals only one name that is not patronymic in the top 20. The name Lindberg came in at the 17th most popular family name, a name derived from landscape and translates as lime tree – mountain in English.

The top five most common family names are listed below:

No.  Surname  Count
1.  Andersson (251,621)
2.  Johansson (251,495)
3.  Karlsson (223,151)
4.  Nilsson (171,360)
5.  Eriksson (147,514)

<2012. Source: scb.se>

Ibsen

The great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, has a surname that is instantly recognisable. But, did you know that it is actually a name of Danish origin? Again, it is a surname with a suffix “–sen” and with the addition of “Ib–“ it means “son of Ib”.

The playwright’s literary exploits have ensured his surname’s recognisability. The name Ib is derived from the name Jacob, just a shortened version. So next time you read an Ibsen text or watch an Ibsen play just think – son of Jacob.

138 thoughts on “The Most Common Norwegian Surnames”

  1. I am related to Berit Kullander on my mother’s side. Barth is also on my mother’s side. Christophersen on my father’s side. So the further back I go the more Nowegian I am. Must do that DNA test …lol

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  2. I really enjoyed your article here! Great reading! Thanks! Hope to pursue more concerning my last name. It could either be Patronymic or Toponymic, suspect the latter as I’ve been to Kristiansand to see the steps of my 5th grandfather’s farm house. Thanks again for the great article!

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  3. How does the last name Saltvick ( Saltwick) play into these parameters. It seems to be fairly rare. Other than direct family members, I do not find it anywhere. . Thank you

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      • År = to do with a river (a stream) or rivers, probably the same origin as “avon” (Engl), “aqua” (Latin), “Aue” (Germ.). You find in Norwegian place names Åmot (river meeting), Årnes (a cape into a river), Åros (where the river meets a lake or ocean) and dozens of other names on År- or Å-. Norwegian river names often carry the last syllable -a, short for åa, “the river”, like in Glomma, Driva, Vorma. In some names the År- can mean alder (lat. alnus) the tree, so it may help to know how the name was written in ancient times.
        Joan, I believe Årtun is more like Riverton. There is a dictionary on Norwegian surnames with recent statoistics (Veka O. Norsk etternamnleksikon. Oslo: Samlaget, 2016). Start learning Norwegian.

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  4. What about Sorensen my grand Parents we’re both from Norway one was upper Norway and one was bottom Norway Tromso and Christian sorry about the spelling and my married name is Anderson and his parents were from Oslo

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  5. So disappointed neither family name is on the list! The names are Melberg, which we believe to be from a farm in the Stavanger area, and Lund, which I thought was like Smith or Jones … but I guess it isn’t!!!

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  6. I believe my grandfather’s name was Ole Knutson, but when he came to America, there were so many with that name, he changed the last name to Gjerde.

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    • My great grandfathers name was Ole Knutson as well , my great grandmother traced our ancestry back to Queen Elizabeth for me for a 6th grade Renaissance Fair. Olson and Sorensen also show up in the genealogy papers I have . I wish I could find out more about them and figure out what our family crest is in not just Norway but England too . Germany and Sweden it seems as though the Knutson’s traveled quite a bit.

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  7. My salvation in researching my Norwegian genealogy was a remembered remark from my cousin that our great grandfather Embret Olson was also known as Embret Overby. Overby was the farm where he was born. It led to generations of church records for ancestors. My grandfather and his siblings adopted the family name of his father (Olson) when they emigrated but my grandfather returned to his Norwegian name to avoid confusion with other Ole Olsons in his neighborhood in Minnesota. His paternal grandfather’s name was Ole Amundson Bergerud, his maternal grandfather was Ole Amundson Rinden. Thank goodness for those farm names!

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    • The same for us. Overbye was the farm name in Norderhov, Ringerike. The spelling varied a bit over the years, but we found census and church records back to about 1750. Prior to 1805 it was all patronymic. We know it was steeper terrain since my grandfather always talked about how the cows had shorter legs on one side so they could stand on the hillside. So upper village makes sense.

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      • David, did your grandfather also mention that the farmers easily caught the cows by chasing them in the opposite direction so that they tripped and fell over 😉

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      • I too am an Overbye descendent and have heard a bit about the farm, however that story about the cows is very interesting! I’m quite a ways down in the tree. I was born Kitty Overbye, down through the Wisconsin Overbyes. I hope someday I can come that way and see that terrain.

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  8. My grandma had Antonson and Andreassen. Her birth father (Anders) died and her mother remarried to Anton. Or it was the other way round. In any case, she never had a matronymic name. She had brothers named both Hanson and Johnsrud. Her mom’s name was Margarethe Estendatter (daughter of Esten) Beskeland (the farm where she was born).

    Do you have an inkling of how many churches were around Trondheim? You try to look through them with their unreadable handwritten scrawls.

    I’ll just say they were all descendants of Harald Fairhair and let it go at that.

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  9. Interesting. I’m an Eriksen in Norway and Linder in Sweden. I knew Linder had to do with a lime tree but found it an odd name for Swedish. Course all my ancestors prior were sons and daughters of.

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    • “Linde” translates limetree in english but is not linked to the lime fruit but to “linden”. I think linden tree is another name for it. Those trees are common in Northern Europe, whereas lime trees of course are not

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      • Uglem seems to be a construction, like my middle name Nordem, which was my mother’s maiden name. My grandmother used the capitals of the family members: N for Nils, O for Otto, R for Runi, D for Darald, E for Erna and M for Marinius…

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      • What of the name Henderson….I know the root word Hender in Norwegian means hands and I have Norwegian d.n a going way back ..is the name Henderson found anywhere in Norway or is Hender a form of the name Henry ? I wouldn’t think so if it’s Hender and not Henryson

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  10. My Great Grandfather Andrew Olson Kneastang came to the U.S. from Ringerike in the 1860’s
    . When he arrived in the U.S. he used Olson as his last name. Does anyone know what Kneastang means?

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  11. My wife and I are going up the west coast of Norway this summer by ship. We went to Norway about 15 years ago and found the landscape to be beautiful. At that time we went to the village of Orness where there is a beautiful church. If I can find the photograph I can send a copy next time I’m on this site.

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  12. My husband’s family name is Lenhartzen and his parents were both born in Oslo. What is the origin of the suffix – zen?I assume it is some form of a patronymic name….son of Lenhart?

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    • Wiik, Wik or Vik is the same topographical name, meaning inlet or bay. The different spellings are due to the non-consistent spelling rules in Norway in the 1700s and 1800s. Often the vicars who wrote names in church registers would spell differently, and they would also – at least in the 1700s – be Danish or at least be educated there.

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  13. Very interesting! My GGGrandparents Bakke from Hemsedal, Norway. Danish ancestors Andersen. I have been to the family farm in Norway. Amazing!

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  14. My surname is Moen, grandparents were olsens, andersen s I thought Moen meant from a town called mo or a paradeground, but I somewhere it might mean pasture or farmer. any ideas which it is. Article was very interesting.

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    • Both is correct… this is from norwegian Wikipedia:
      The name comes from a particular form singular of the noun mo, a flat area, often a dry and sandy plain. Moen, often in the form “mo’n”, is also a common nickname for Norwegian excursion sites and military camps.

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  15. I found I am very Norwegian, up to 93 percent according to Ancestry. My family name is Jacobson. S. o. n and Shotwell, Ayres, Pike and Fletcher. I was curious about the s.o.n ending. Does anyone have any ideas? I wonder if they switched it. They came from southern norway all the way up to the Lofoten and further north. Even to Iceland.

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  16. My father’s family name is Fagerholt. He was from Bergen. Would anyone know the origin or meaning of Fagerholt? Sometime in the 1800’s, the family name became Hansen.

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  17. My name, Eiken, did not appear on the list, the family come from Ulsteinvik, and can be traced back to a very small island, Eikoya where my great grandfather lived in the late 1800s early 1900s, before moving to Ulstienvik. My father escaped to the UK, Englands Farten during WW2

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  18. My great grandfather and grandmother came from Sweden there last name is Erickson can you help with what area that might be Thank you. Sincerely yours Paul Charles Erickson.

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  19. ThNk you for this article! It was quite interesting.
    Wondering about the name Akervold, I assume it was spelled differently way back when…. maybe from the town Aker?

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  20. Very interesting site. I seem to be descended from a mariner named William Clemsted. What does sted or stead mean, it was changed after 1800 in Maryland, USA to Clemsen and Clemson

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  21. My family is Husom. I believe there’s a town and farm named Husom. Per research, I’ve found ancestors named Schiette as well as a shield with that name, circa 1500s. I am not sure if the two are the same, or how that comes into play. On my Mother’s side, they changed Stueland (SP?) to Larson after emigrating. Fascinating reading! Do you have suggestions/ideas about these and/or meanings? We always thought my Great Grandma Otterdahl’s family came from Germany, but DNA testing puts my family at 94%-96% Scandinavian-Norwegian and Swedish and can’t find much on the Otterdahls. Could Otterdahl be Scandinavian?

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  22. I love this page, very helpful, my maiden name was Sunde and this has proved to be very difficult. I have learned that their are approximately 19 different Sunde farms. The a lot of people took the name Sunde from the Village of Sunde, a boating community SW of Norway. Ahhh so much to learn so little time lol.

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  23. I am curious if you can tell me anything about my family names – Tangen, Asleson, Bothun, Topness? These are the Norwegian branches of my family. Thank you! Soooooo interesting!

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  24. My grandfather’s name was Erick Olsen Gjengedal. I know that Gjengedal was the farm name, but I haven’t found anyone who knows what the name means, other than “dal” probably means valley.

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  25. I did not see our surname on the list either. My grandfather is Faltin Kalsheim, from Rogaland Norway. any info about the Kalsem or Kalsheim Family Farm would be greatly appreciated/

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    • My triple great grandfather was Kolstad. Does that mean he was from the city of Kol? And in a writeup from Holt, it says
      Peder O. Kolstad og Gurine Marie Sorensdtr.s barn

      I take it the s means married, and barn then lists the children born to them. Is that correct?

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    • It would probably be Sæteren or Seteren, which is a norwegian word for a small farm in the mountains where one would take the livestock to graze in the summer. They would walk the animals from the main farm in the lowlands up there to exploit the grazing resources in the mountais. That way the grass/feed from the main farm could be harvested and kept as winter feed.

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  26. Is the last name Umsted related in any way? I’ve never seen the name anywhere else but was told -sted is Scandinavian

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  27. Hi our grandmothers maiden name was norvock her father was from Norway Fredrick Norvock is this the correct spelling

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  28. My 4th great grandmother’s surname was Lyse which I took to be a variation of the English ‘Lees’. However, on checking it I found that there was no such family in the vicinity with either spelling and also that there was a Lyse abbey in Norway.

    As my DNA shows that I’m 4.6% Scandinavian, and the perimeter of the dates fits exactly, I’m hoping that this is the connection. Any comments very welcome!

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  29. My grandfather was from Bergen Norway,his name was Trygve Granmo. I don’t know the meaning. Would love to find our some things about his name.

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  30. It would probably be Sæteren or Seteren, which is a norwegian word for a small farm in the mountains where one would take the livestock to graze in the summer. They would walk the animals from the main farm in the lowlands up there to exploit the grazing resources in the mountais. That way the grass/feed from the main farm could be harvested and kept as winter feed.

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  31. I know my Grandfather (Magnus) emigrated to the US from Norway, but he changed his name to Talgo (I believe there is a slash through the ø) upon arrival in America. It is said that the name comes from a farm and a river in Norway, Is there such a place? I know there is a furniture factory/manufacturer by the name, TALGØ. We have a wall unit and I have a scrap of the box it came to America in. He met his wife, my Grandmother Anna on the boat coming over and they were married. They settled in West Hempstead, Long Island, New York. I think his original name was Peterson or Petersen or Pederson or Pedersen. I am Half-Norwegian. Any help would be appreciated, tia. Mark Talgo

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  32. Years ago Alistair Cooke the broadcaster reported on the history of Ellis Island and an instance of a Norwegian immigrant to the USA, he said the immigration staff were not bi-lingual and some names were not recorded in the USA documents correctly. He quoted one Norwegian immigrant who said the immigration office couldnt get his accent and mistook his name with his Norwegian home town and said “is this your family name?” The Norwegian said he quickly thought ok new country new name so he accepted what the immigration official put down which was Roebeck, (The town he came from in Norway was Drobak on the Oslo fjord)

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  33. Maternal Grandfather on one side is Shellum.
    Maternal Grandmother is a Hagen.
    Paternal grandfather is Rodby? Topogenic?
    Paternal grandmother is Svensen Eglun. Came to America in 1858. Name changed to Swenson at some point. Settled near Madison, WI.

    Ancestors has me at 98% Western coast Norwegian and 2% Swedish.

    I am curious about Rodby and Svensen Eglun.

    Thank you.

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  34. This is very interesting. I wonder if you could tell me anything about my maiden name. My father’s name was Selmer Elvin SUNDBO. His father’s name was Daniel Smith Sundbo – born in Norway and moved to Canada in early 1900’s. And his father’s name was Osmund Danielson Sundbo. I see there is a town/city called Sundbo in the Telemark region. I would sure appreciate anything you could tell me. I’m in Canada. Thank You So Much!

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    • I know the Sundbo’s from around Birch Hillls/ PA.. my maiden name is Skrudland.. We would go to SS and church at Lake Park Lutheran .. I have visited Norway and found the area called Skrudland outside of Byrne.. Stavanger is where a lot of the Norwegians we knew came from. Interesting.

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  35. Names really do get quite confusing when you are dealing with hereditary: As a 93 year old born in New Zealand which has quite a large Scandinavian population of immigrants from the late 1800s. My grandfather’s parents on my Mother’s side were as follows:
    My Great Grandmother: Family name at birth: Thorstensen (Martha Marie)
    My Great Grandfather: Family name at birth: Guttormsen (Hans)

    My Mother’s Father’s Surname was taken as Hansen; hence the son of Hans (interesting).
    My DNA report indicated a strong Norwegian as well as a Finland and Ukrainian count.
    Would it have been possible that the two above surnames have had its derivation also in those two latter countries? I would be interested in your response. Kind regards Joseph Lyons.

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  36. I would like to make contact with my bloodline in Norway. My Dad told me we are originally from Norway. When they came to SA they changed our surname from Forster to Vorster and lost their inheritance many years ago. My hra d dad’s names were Petrus Benjamin Theodorus Vorster. .My Dad was Jakobus Daniel Vorster.
    If there is any chance I could make it will be a honour for me.

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  37. I was adopted at birth. My daughter found my birth family in about 2010. Mom was from Greenville, SC and my dad (they never married) was from Milwaukee, WI. I took my DNA test and it shows that I am 48% Norwegian. I was shocked, as from being from South Carolina, I never even considered that. I found out that my birth dad’s family was mostly German and some came from the Netherlands. The 1910 Census did show on my dad’s side, that my great grandmother, Mary Julia Peterson was born in 1871/1872 in Wisconsin. But, it also showed on the same 1910 Census, where her parents were born in Norway, so that is where my Norwegian comes from, I assume. I have not had any luck finding her parents. I have looked all over the internet and family trees, etc, but no luck. I am missing something, but don’t know what and where else to look. I am thinking, after reading your page, that the spelling changed, but again, I don’t where or what to look for. I sure hope you can help me, as this is so important to me. Thanking you in advance. Susan

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  38. My birth name Fredriksen father Mother Johansen ) There was a lot by my last name growing up Never see it much now My first name Laila Anything is helpful since I was adopter to the name Stende

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  39. Surname in the USA is ROA … in Norway it was Aslaksen. There is the town of ROA north of Oslo, and I believe the word ROA refers to a geographic location, something akin to ‘corner’ or where two valleys meet. Is it perhaps the case that the geographic location (home or farm) name would have been selected as the north american surname while dropping the Aslaksen surname ?

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  40. One of my great grandfathers was Norwegian. When he settled in the UK he was known as JOHN BRUSTAD NIELSEN. It took 30 years, on and off, to find where he was born in Norway. He did not take British citizenship, which made it more difficult. His birth name was IVER ZACCARIASSEN (BRUSTAD = family farm name). If he hadn’t kept BRUSTAD as his middle name I don’t think I would ever have found him.

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  41. I am so extremely proud to claim I am first generation 100% Norwegian. My father’s family immigrated from Trondheim Norway in 1908. Surname is Rasmussen. My father was born blind and denied entry into US because immigration laws denied entry of handicapped people. He was born in 1899. Approximately 1904-06 an operation gave him sight and he was allowed to enter US. Is there any way I could find medical records of my father’s operation in Norway? I would appreciate anything you can tell me.

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  42. Hi my surname did not appear on your list.Sivertsen I thought would be very common. My father was Harald Sivertsen and my grandfather Olaf Nicholai Sivertsen whom I was named after..Thanks.

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  43. Like everyone e else Interested in possible orgin of grandparents and great grandparents surname. My grandfather came to America in 1904. His last name is Sjurseth. My great great grandfather name was Ole Andersson Sjurseater. Any help with “Sjur” would be great. Have a picture of great great grandparents with Norland NBergen.

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  44. Any information about Myhre, my father and grandfather’s name. I think it was possibly changed from something else way back.

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  45. My father’s last name is Tveitane. We were always told it was from the farm in Norway (I believe in the south). Any insights into the meaning? My grandmother’s last name was Hustad which is from the town of that name near Molde but maybe it has additional meaning? Thank you!

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  46. My father’s name was Hagness and mother’s name Wang. I have some information but interested in hearing your
    interpretations. I was born in Oslo. Norway and my given name is Turid. ( In Canada I go by Trudy as Turid pronunciation is not complimentary lol )

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  47. Sorry my father’s surname isn’t on the list! It’s Clarenson which would mean “son of Clarence?” I’m also wondering why it would be spelled son instead of sen. My great grandparents came here from Norway in the early 1900’s.

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  48. Before emigrating my 3x greatgrand father was a Hike on a business trip to Trondheim, I was lucky enough to connect with an aunt by marriage, Solvig. She took me out to a farm near Malvic indicating it was where he was before left for USA. I can find the farm on a Norwegian top map, Bakken is also indicated along with Skjenstad. Is Bakken a hill associated with the area or is it a fami name?

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  49. My father was born in Norway. His name is Erling Jan Dastol (the Norwegian a and o). Changed to Daastol in US

    My grandparents were Einar and Jenny Daastol

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  50. Light bulb moment for us was when we realised that 10 children in the same family might have different surnames!

    My husband’s mother was Aadnesgaard. Her father and an uncle, both Lutheran missionaries, were Aadnesgaard. The farm they came from – Ådneskår – was in Adneskaar Vest-Agder. Phsew! Their father was Oluf Olsen and the first 4 sons took the name ‘Olufsen’. The search was on for Olsen-Olufsen-Aadnesgaard.

    Her mother was a ‘Theisdatter’ and we have been able to trace her lineage to Theis Jacob Torkildsen Lundegaard, a well known Norwegian from Austad. Once we got there, the family tree could be traced to the late 1500s.

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  51. My husband’s last name is Odegard. From the research I’ve done it was originally Langodegarden, not sure of the spelling. His ancestors were from Lom in Poland.

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  52. Had a very good friend with an “unusual” first name. His name was Finn Christensen. He once told me his father was born in Denmark and that he was born in Norway. He also said his sister’s name is Mona and his brother’s name is Ib. Are these names common to Denmark and Norway?

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  53. My grandfather used the last name of Petersen when he immigrated to the USA while his brother used last name of Geving. They were both from Trondheim. How do I figure which name to research?

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  54. Korsvol, changed to Korswold when grandfather went through Elis island , any idea?
    Small farm his parents owned in Bygstad, sunfjord and returned to in his 60’s.

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  55. I am researching hellberg, rodehorst, baden and mohwinkel from Bergen Germany and Norway. My ggma is Katherine Engel hellberg or Engel Katherine Hellberg. Any help would be great. I am looking to pay someone to find my family lineage.

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  56. My family name is Stitely.. We took a DNA test and im 80% Norwegian. I spoke to some people from denmark and they say its sounds like its from Norway. But i have no clue on where my name comes from.? Any help. Thanks

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  57. Our original family name would be Lyngen, it was changed by our ancestor that came to America in the 1800s to Peterson. Am I right to assume that he came from the Lyngen Alp area with last name?

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  58. My grandfather came from Trondheim – Name Olof Gabrielsen ( youngest son ) he arrived in NZ ( around 1920’s ) sailor , I stumbled on to this article by inserting surnames which has been of great reading for me , thanks to those who have been writing their questions and answers ( Jim Brooking )

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  59. I was foolish to assume that my surname Knudson would be common in Norway. The other side is Braaten and supposedly out of Oslo. I want to learn more and am lost.

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  60. My grandfather’s last name was Losnes and he came from Drammen. I’ve never seen the name other than people who I know are my relatives. Any thoughts?

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  61. Our family has traced our history back to 1400 when our greatgrandfather Bjorn of Pettersvik moved up from the Lofoten’s to settle on Senja. Because he used a single name, as most did back then, it is nearly impossible to trace our family any further back before 1400 since Bjorn was not an uncommon name and we could not be sure of which Bjorn was being mentioned in anecdotal records before 1400.

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  62. Wondering the meaning and geographic origin of my maiden name, “Nesseth”? My understanding is that is has gone thru several spelling changes. I was told the H was added by my immigrant family to the US when they arrived here. Also, I was told there is/was a town in Norway by my name, Nesseth? Would very much appreciate any information you have.

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  63. How about Reierson? I know that my ancestor’s name was Reier Hogan? I am not sure of the spelling of the last name. When he arrived in Minnesota, he changed his name to Reier Reierson.

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  64. I thought my maternal grandfather’s family name (Ruud) would be common too but it isn’t on the list. He was from Oslo. He took the name Bjerke when he came to Canada. Bjerke means a birch tree. It was his mother’s maiden name. I know his father’s name was Johan. (I’m not sure of the spelling). I can’t find much information about my grandfather. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was either Pettersen or Pedersen. I can’t find any information about her either. I have a postcard with a picture on it of a hospital and it says Hov-i-land on it. My grandfather’s first name was Soren and my grandmother’s first name was Karen. I’d like to learn more about them too and I would appreciate it if anyone can help me. Does anyone know where Hov-i-land is? Thank you.

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  65. My grandfathers name was Nils Gismervik from the Rogaland area of Norway. He came to the US in his 20’s and married my grandmother. They had three children.

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  66. Any thoughts about our family name, “Steenstrup?” I believe Steen is stone. My older relatives also claim “Severin,” “Collett,” “Kielland.” I would love any insights you might have. Thanks so much!

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