Monday, April 18, 2011

Deciphering a name

A few weeks ago I mentioned that there was a likelihood I might soon be blogging about new surnames, as I delve into more research on my fiancée's ancestry.

Well, it begins with a request for assistance in deciphering a given name on a death certificate.  I know the name is Norwegian.  My first guess is Erikson Olson, though I am unsure how common a surname as a given name is in Norwegian tradition.

(Yes, the mother's name was Ann Jackson.  I don't need help there.)

Update : I'm fairly certain I just found the death certificate for the brother of the individual's above, and the father's name is recorded as Eric Olson, so I suspect my first instinct was correct.  Though it is unclear which son communicated the correct name to his family.  The other son's family says the father was born in Sweden.  One of them is likely correct.  It was nice of both brothers to move to Missouri which has a useful online database of death certificates.

1 comment:

hta said...

erikson would be a very unusual given name, since it means "son of erik". A possible explanation is that the name was spoken as "erik ... olsen", and the clerk, being familiar with Norwegian surnames but not Norwegian givennames, filled in the pause with "son".

Nice handwriting.