Denmark female names

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Considerable confusion exists among many people with Danish ancestry regarding how names are used in Denmark and how they should be recorded. This document attempts to give background into the historical practices, legislation, and recommended best practices for recording Danish personal and place names. Denmark has had three ificant spelling reforms: , , and Some additional changes were made in In the use of double vowels in some words, such as huus and steen was discontinued.

This was discontinued in These two forms were sometimes used interchangeably based on the font used in the printed text. These two letters appeared together in some dictionaries until In a executive order was issued to compile a dictionary for use in public and private schools containing the latest rules for orthography.

The first edition of Viggo Saaby's Dansk Retskrivningsordbog was published in At this time it was placed first in the alphabet, and in it was moved to being the last letter. Aa is still used in place names, such as Aabenraa [1] , and personal names. At this time the practice of using initial capital letters for all nouns was discontinued and limited to proper nouns only.

The spelling of modal verbs using nd and ld such as kunde, vilde was changed to drop the d and replace it with a double consonant nn, ll kunne, ville. Following decrees recommending permanent fixed surnames for the nobility in and the first law attempting to establish fixed surnames for the entire population was 30 May This law failed mostly because the authorities who were called on to enact it did not understand the intent of the law.

Another law dated 4 March clarified the existing law establishing patronymics as fixed surnames. This was still ignored by many people, and led to children being baptized with double patronymics. It was the tradition in all Nordic countries for married women to keep their surname after marriage.

This changed gradually during the last half of the 19th century. During the 20th century women were given their husband's surname at marriage. From the beginning of 21st century it has become more common for women to keep their own family name after marriage. Beginning in a person's permanent name was considered to be the name that had been recorded in the parish register, even if the person was not using it. Confusion and protest over this rule led the government to try to solve this problem with passage of a law liberalizing name changes on 22 April Prior to this time, a person was only allowed to change their name by royal authorization.

This new law provided for persons to legally change their name for 4 kroner. As part of the approval, they were required to prove the surname had been widely used in the family for several generations. They could also select a different surname if they had permission from everyone else in the country who had the same surname, or they could select a new surname from an official list of approved surnames.

For persons who have changed their names always consult the birth record in the parish register. Depending on the time period and the recording habits of the person making the entry, the person's surname may be given in the record. If the name had been changed there would be a comment added to the record regarding the name change, date, and possibly the type of approval either royal authorization or legal decree. If the type of approval is not identified in the parish register, there are a few general rules to help you make a reasonable guess.

If the name is a given name, a woman's maiden name, or another name that is already being used, the change had to receive royal authorization until However, if it is a new or an invented name, the name change would have been approved by other supporting documentation which would have been provided to the authority which approved the request. You should start with the court which had authority where the applicant lived. If multiple family members requested to have their name change, the matter would be dealt with in the legal jurisdiction where the main applicant lived.

It is rare that an application for name change provides a justification for the choice of family name unless there are restrictions on an already used name. Copenhagen had its own administrative system, which is different than the rest of the country. Elsewhere in the country applications were made to the magistrate, bailiff, or police department, and records would be found among their papers. The of unique given names in Denmark is somewhat larger than in Norway, and with fewer regional variations. In some parts of the country people have only one name as their given name, in other parts multiple names are the norm.

In the s hyphenated names became more common. Culturally, a person has only one given name or forename , but it may consist of multiple names, such as Vibekke Charlotte Sofie. A specific naming pattern was very common in Denmark and in other parts of Europe until about Although not always followed strictly, the following pattern may be helpful in researching family groups and determining the parents of the mother and father:.

If the wife's parents were deceased, or the couple were living on the wife's parents farm, her parents may have priority in the naming. In some parishes records may have been written in Latin. Names are often very different when translated into different languages. For example:. Sometimes two or more children within a family were given the same name. In some cases it was because an older child died and the next child of the same gender was given the name. However, two or more children by the same given name could also have lived to adulthood.

Do not p that the first child with that same given name died unless the actual death record is found. It is clear from the oldest known records that names have been used to identify individuals throughout history. Surnames, as they are understood by many English-speaking cultures today, first began to be used before the end of the first millennium, C. Surnames were first introduced in Europe by the Normans, who were French-speaking descendants of Viking settlers. This may indicate that people living in Scandinavia were among the earliest adopters of some type of surname.

As the population increased, it became necessary to distinguish between individuals with the same name. The predominant type of surname in Denmark is patronymic. Such names are based on the father's given name. This surname changed with each generation. For example, Niels Andersen was the son of a man named Anders. If Niels had a son named Iver, the son would be known as Iver Nielsen Iver son of Niels and his brothers would be surnamed Nielsen, while his sisters would be known as Nielsdatter daughter of Niels.

In some of the earliest church records a person may be recorded with a matronymic surname, based on the person's mother's given name. Cases like this are very unusual, and always indicate the person was illegitimate. After about , it became the custom in the cities to take permanent surnames.

By most of Denmark began doing so. By , when the law regarding easing restrictions on changing names was passed, most people had already adopted the practice of using a permanent family name to be passed to successive generations. When recording surnames, it is important to remember that patronymics were frequently abbreviated in the records. The abbreviations dr. Likewise, male patronymics are frequently shortened to s. In a parish where most of the population has a surname ending with datter or sen , recording the name in full would be needlessly redundant.

Abbreviations in the records are not limited to surnames. Some given names are frequently abbreviated as well. The customs described above constrained the of unique names in a family, leading to fewer and fewer names in a parish, and, mixed with patronymics over many generations, resulted in many people in a given village having the same names.

Another consequence of these restrictive naming practices was that there were couples all through Denmark with the same names as many other couples. It is a good practice when finding couples with the same names as your ancestors or their descendants, to double-check birth dates and places, as well as parents' names before assuming that they are the same people. It is believed the oldest place names in Denmark are more than 1,, years old.

The practice of identifying a person in connection with their named residence is easily that old. The earliest records we have from Denmark generally identify people by their given name and residence. As these records are for the assessment of taxes, generally only landowners are identified. From other extant records, it is clear most of the population used a patronymic surname. Frequently people are identified in the records by their given name and residence; by their given name and patronymic surname; or by their given name, patronymic surname, and residence.

People would also attach place names to uniquely identify themselves. They may have had some association with these places, but often that information is missing from any records which may be available. It is not unusual for members of the same family to use different surnames after their emigration. For example, consider this family:. For a list of historical Scandinavian names see Scandinavian Given Names. Memories Overview Gallery People Find. in Create . Family Tree.

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Denmark female names

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Danish Names for Boys and Girls