Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Halvard

The given name Halvard (and its variants Halfvard and Halvord) shows up in my family file on the Swedish branch of the tree. All ten instances originate in Sweden between 1720 and 1879. Although common in the early church records I reviewed, Halvard does not appear to be a common given name in the 20th or 21st century. Interestingly, Halvard "comes from the Old Norse name Hallvaror, which meant rock guardian." The name was used in both Norway and Sweden. To learn more about given names, check out Behind the Names.

Do you notice anything interesting on the family view above? Do you think perhaps I have made a mistake or error in data entry for the Elofsson/Halvardsdotter family?

Actually, I have a rather interesting instance of Halvard in my family file. Halvard Larsson was born in 1840 and he was the younger brother of my 2nd great grandfather Elof Larsson (who was born in 1833). What is interesting about Halvard is that he was born two years after his father of record (my 3rd great grandfather) died. Amazing right!

Hmm, their mother Anna Halvardsdotter later remarried (a Halvard Halvardsson) and had two additional children (take another look at the family view above). The church records for Halvard Larsson's birth and baptism name the father as Lars Elofsson (although clearly the priest knew he could not be the father) and all the children from both marriages were raised together. In 1869 Halvard Larsson left for North America (Minnesota to be exact) and in 1882 his brother Elof Larsson followed suit. They farmed on adjoining properties in Wright County, Minnesota. Both helped set up and were long time members of the Oster Covenant Church (a traditional Lutheran church not associated with either synod - in fact English was not spoken or used for record-keeping until the late 1960s).

Unlike the Norwegians we met yesterday who made a point of correctness in their records, the Swedish HERs don't fudge dates but they do leave clues as to the truth - so trust but verify when using Household Examination Records! Life is always fascinating.

See you back here tomorrow for the letter I!


  1. My family seems boring in comparison. But its fun to put family roots together and see the lineage and history and all.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Co-host
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

    1. I am getting the chance to find some of the more unusual names and their corresponding stories with this fun #AtoZChallenge.


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