Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Marit

the pearls in my family file

Sliding in late (hey, it's tax day in the USA!) we focus on the given name of Marit. Found in both Sweden and Norway, Marit is one of the most popular girl's names. Marit is the Swedish and Norwegian form of Margaret (which shows up quite a bit on the Irish side of my family tree). Scandinavian variants of Marit are Margareta, Margit, Merit, Margrethe and Marita. Margaret and any number of variations are found in most languages and countries - from Margarida (Catalan) to Maret (Estonian) to Mairead (Irish) to Margareta (Romanian to Mereid (Welsh) and every language in between. To see all the variations, visit Behind the Name.

Margaret is derived from Latin and the name means "pearl." In my family file we have 51 females named Marit - 34 from Sweden and 17 from Norway. One of my favorite "pearls" is my second great grandmother Marit Larsdotter who, with her husband Elof Larsson (no relation!) and their grown children, left Sweden in 1882 at the age of 52 and came to the United States. Leaving the only place they had ever known, at that age, to make a new life for themselves in Minnesota must have been quite daunting. Whenever I take on an especially difficult or intimidating task, I think of Marit and her courageous journey.  
One of my favorite families!
Who are the "pearls" in your family tree? Why not tell their stories.

See you back here next time for the letter N.


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