Surnames indicating a family's point of origin - Surnames, Naming Traditions, Meaning and Origin - MyDanishRoots.com

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Surnames, Naming Traditions, Meaning and Origin

Surnames indicating a family's point of origin

A group of surnames are the so-called regional names—those names that indicate a families point of origin. You will also find these names in English surnames (e.g. French = from France) and in German surnames (e.g. Berliner = from Berlin). They are all nicknames although they in some way also are related to habitation names.

Some examples on regional surnames in Denmark are:

Alsing
-> from the Island of Als, Sønderborg County
Angelbo
-> from Angeln in Schleswig (in present-day Germany)
Friis
-> from North Friesian Islands (in present-day Germany)
Fynbo
-> from Funen
Holst
-> from Holstein (in present-day Germany)
Jyde
-> from Jutland
Molsing
-> from Mols, Randers County
Morsing
-> from Mors, Thisted County
Norsk
-> from Norway
Riber
-> from the Town of Ribe, Ribe County
Rømer
-> from the Island of Rømø, Ribe County
Samsing
-> from the Island of Samsø, Holbæk County
Skaaning
-> from Skaane (in present-day Sweden)
Svensk
-> from Sweden
Thunbo
-> from the Island of Thunø, Aarhus County
Tydsk
-> from Germany

There are severel other names indicating a persons origin—many of which is still in use today—however, many of these simply failed to become hereditary surnames.

A few numbers and facts...

  • 500,000

    ...Danes emigrated up to 1968, and of these about 70% departed for the USA. In the 1800's alone a vast majority of 90% went to the USA. Read more...

  • 261,065

    This many individuals, comprising of 4.6 percent of all Danes, carries the surname JENSEN followed by NIELSEN, HANSEN, PEDERSEN and ANDERSEN. Read more...

  • 1,000

    Of the 5,000 basic words in modern English, as many as 20 percent are so-called loan words from the Old Norse language (ON). Read more...

  • 1769

    This year the first Danish census was taken. The next censuses were taken in 1787 and 1801 and from 1834 onwards every 5-10 years. Read more...

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