Norwegian Names – Naming Patterns in Norway

Liv Birgit Christensen’s blog post, “Norwegian Names – Naming Patterns in Norway,” breaks it down to as simple as possible.  Read & learn.

Genealogical research in Norway

To keep things simple this is the basic structure of naming traditions in Norway. The Norwegian name consists of three parts:

  • Given name
  • Patronym (The use of a component of a personal name which is the fathers name ending in son or daughter)
  • Last name (Farm name)

Let us now explore each of these three parts.

Given name

Children in Norway were traditionally named after their grandparents. The tradition exists still today, but is much less practiced.

  • Oldest son named after father’s father
  • Oldest daughter named after father’s mother
  • Second oldest son named after mother’s father
  • Second oldest daughter named after mother’s mother

Patronyms and the law of 1923

In 1923, the Family Name Act set the following standards:

  • women should take their husband’s surname and
  • the new surname should have one spelling.

Patronyms were generally used before this law. A patronym is the use of a component of a personal name…

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