Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Elof

Elof is a very common Swedish given name and comes from the Old Norse Eileifr, "which was derived from the elements ei "ever, always" and leifr "descendent, heir." (from the Behind the Name website) Elof is used in Denmark as well as Sweden. Since the Swedish are among those who use the patronymic naming system, I like the thought that Elof means "always descendent." As you can see the father gives his name to his children (it becomes their surname) and the tradition continued. That tradition was often broken when families left Sweden for America.

When my great grandfather Elof Larsson left Sweden, he and his family took on their farm name as their surname (originally Leidman and soon after Lidman) - that surname is listed on the ship's manifest as well as their arrival documents. I maintain the original given and surname for each of my ancestors and note name changes (both formal and informal) in the AKA and event/fact sections.

How do you keep track of your immigrant ancestors' original names?

To learn more about given names in Sweden and elsewhere, check out Behind the Name.

Come back tomorrow for the letter F!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting - just so you know all comments are moderated.