Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lars

3 sons named Lars
I need to get back to my research on this family!

The proverbs "If at first you don't succeed, Try, try, try again" or "Third time's the charm" seem to fit this family. Three sons were born and named Lars before one survived. It is quite common in my Irish and Scandinavian families to reuse a given name if a child dies (as it usually was that of a grandparent). Sadly the father, Erik Hansen, died when Lars was just 15 years old. It appears I had only partially researched this family (thankfully I made copies of the bygdebok pages while in Salt Lake City). When I noticed I only had the bare bones of my research entered into Legacy, I went back to find the bygdebok pages. Happily I found Lars Eriksen Skjelstadsveen at Hammertr√łen (page 489). Lars married twice and had seven children. His daughter Mali and her husband Anders took over the farm (and had two children). Now to go back and find the corresponding birth/baptism, marriage, death/burial and census records to piece together what happened to Lars, his two wives and seven children. I definitely need to get back to my Norwegian research!

But before I do that - Lars is a Scandinavian name that means victorious. Lars is used in Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. It is a very popular name (Lars appears 44 times in my family file, 37 times for Sweden, 6 for Norway, and 1 for the USA, of course - Minnesota!). Lars is the Scandinavian form of Laurence which derives from the Latin laurus or "laurel." St. Laurence was a 3rd century deacon who according to legend was martyred from Rome. St. Laurence is a popular saint's name and variations of the name are used all over the world - from Croatia (Lovro) to France (Laurent) to Portugal (Lourenco) to Slovenia (Lovrenc) and many countries in between. To learn more about the names Lars and Laurence check out Behind the Name.

See you back here tomorrow for the letter M!


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