Tracing Danish ancestors back to Denmark can certainly be challenging. Realize that up until 1826, when the use of patronymic surnames was legally abolished, there was quite a system in use. If you study the diagram below, you can see the pattern of naming that was used. Consider Jens Sørensen to be the father and Kirsten Mortensdatter to be the mother. You can see that Jens’ last name is a combination of his father’s first name, “Søren” + the Danish word for “son” – “sen” = Sørensen. Kirsten takes her father’s first name for her surname but it is a combination of his name, “Morten” and the Danish word for “daughter” – “datter” = Mortensdatter. This is simple.
For Jens and Kirsten’s children, the names are a combination of the grandparents and parents names, depending on if you are first born or not. First-born children get the paternal grandparent names and second-born children get the maternal grandparent names.
I have been tracing Danish ancestors of a family and I will give you some of the things that I have run into and how you can find the answers if you let your imagination create possibilities. So, although this was a system in use, there were always exceptions like everything in life.
ANCESTRY DETECTIVE WORK AND FINDING THE CORRECT ANCESTOR
Sometimes it takes a great amount of patience and ancestry detective work to actually know you are onto the right ancestor. There are so many people who have the same or a similar name, are from the same place and the same time. So, how do you know you’ve got the right person? You have to be open to looking and weeding through what is being said in documents and census listings. The best way is to look at as many documents as possible. Look at everything you can find about the person, their spouse, their siblings, children, parents and even other relatives. Read More…
She was born in 1955. When her mother and father left the hospital after her delivery, they went home without her. She had been given up for adoption.
On the other side of town, a childless couple had been waiting for three years for a little girl. At long last, here was a precious baby girl who needed a home. It was love at first sight. They paid the adoption agency $300 and took her home.
Growing up, Julie knew she had been adopted. She had been told a bit about her birth parents. Father was French, mother Norwegian. They were older. They could not afford financially to keep her. She thought the last name was Corday.
As Julie had loving and kind adoptive parents, she never had a need to find out about her real parents, who after all, did give her away at birth. Sometimes, though, she would day-dream about who her real parents were. Read More…
It is all good and well to search and find, through ancestry detective work, long-lost friends or relatives – and it IS exciting and very rewarding – but what about those you care about here and now?
A good friend just retired from many years of dedicated service in a Veterinary Hospital. We decided to make something that will evoke memories for her that she can cherish while at home.
Another friend and I collected up all her scrub shirts, cut them up and made a quilt, a pillow and a bag to hold them in. On the back we wrote out who it was from and thanked her for her work. It brought tears to her eyes when she received it. She can now sit in her living room, on her couch and just look on her lap and remember the good times and camaraderie. It also keeps her warm and comfortable – what more could you ask? Read More…
I was asked by a client to find out whatever happened to a cousin of his named Bud, who he had been very fond of. No one had seen or heard of Bud since about 1940. That sure perked up the ole ancestry detective in me, so I got to work. While doing my research, I found that Bud had a son named Conrad. Conrad was not known about by my client.
The flip-side of this story is that Bud was a father that Conrad knew virtually nothing about. He was told as a very little boy that his father had died. His mother and step-father took him one day to downtown Los Angeles and told him that he was changing his name. He was around 6 years old at the time and this was in 1941. This seems to have been an effort to keep him hidden from his real father. Read More…
Working in the field of Genealogy and looking for my ancestry has given me a definite perspective of life and, in the long view, a perspective against which I gauge my activities.
Do you ever wonder if what you do today matters? Many ads you see tell you that you only have one life to live and so they encourage you to do what you want to get the “most” out of life.
Well, without going into a big religious or philosophical debate, let’s just stick to what the words associated with Personal Pedigree mean and go from there. Read More…
Welcome to On the Trail. I will try to keep things informative and possibly helpful to you. You may write me and ask questions or comment as you wish. I really am very interested in finding relatives, restoring strained relations and anything to do with uniting families.
As you can see, here I am in England. I am in the St. Michael’s church yard in Brierley Hill. I have just discovered a grave of one of my ancestors.
There is a wealth of history and culture about Brierley Hill and the surrounding area of Staffordshire – now known as The Midlands.
Did you know that they built canals (complete with locks) in the 1800s to convey goods made in the area to the coast so they could be shipped around the world? The boats and canals are still in existence and use for travel.
I would love to hear back from you!