Is there a reason not to put a Swedish immigrants Patronymics name in other last names?

+2 votes
WikiTree profile: Joel Sandberg
in The Tree House by Mary Werner G2G1 (1.0k points)

4 Answers

+4 votes
Well, Nilsson was his Last Name At Birth. I'd put Sandberg into Current Last Name.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
+3 votes
Further explanation:

From Patronymics in Sweden    these are the directions.  When a patronymic was used in combination with an established family name, use the family name as Last Name at Birth and put the patronymic in the Middle Name field. This will display right in most contexts. Using Patronymic_FamilyName prevents the profile from showing up in the indexed family name listing and obstructs searches.


My grandfather was born Joel Nilsson and changed his name to Joel Nils Sandberg after coming to the United States in 1883 at the age of 20.  The above leads me to think that I should use Sandberg as the “last name at birth”.  I have used Nils as his middle name and Nilsson in Other Last Names, which is different than these directions.   His name reads “Joel Nils Sandberg (1863- abt.1938)” in the heading and “Joel Nils Sandberg aka Nilsson“ at the top of the profile.

It will remain necessary to have the last name of Nilsson for further searches of Swedish records and the last name of Sandberg for further searches of US records, so to my less experienced WikiTree eye, the solution seems to use the “other last name” field.  My question: is there any reason why this shouldn’t be used?

A second example- I have not yet made a profile for Joel’s wife as I want to be sure I’m on the right track.

His wife was Sara Angelika Nilsdotter at birth, became Sara Angelika Nelson upon arrival in the US, and Sara Angelika Sandberg after her marriage.  (They were no relation and, in fact, came from completely different parts of Sweden, but both had fathers named Nils.

Sara Angelika is a “double name” - another Swedish naming convention that is strange to English speakers.  Again from Given Names in Sweden   these are the instructions.

If we follow the way people used these double names, both names should be entered in the First Name field, and the radio button for No Middle Name should be checked. We just have to put up with the validation blurb from the system, and click SAVE ANYWAY.

First Name:  Sara Angelika

Middle Name:  no middle name

Last Name at birth: Nelson

Other Last Name: Nilsdotter

Would read “Sara Angelika Nelson (1873-1940)”  in the heading and “Sara Angelika Nelson aka Nilsdotter“ at the top of the profile.
by Mary Werner G2G1 (1.0k points)
First of all, patronymics depend on when and where a person was born. From 1850 and forward you actually need to check the church books in order to see what was used. From the moving records of Virestad we can establish that he was listed as Joël Nilsson when he left his home for North America, therefore his LNAB should be Nilsson. I have added the source to the profile. LNAB can only be changed by profile manager.

Sandberg became an "established family name" in the family of Joel, his wife and children, not the family he was born in.

Since it was not used in the family in which he was born, therefore his LNAB should be the first last name he was registered as in the church books, which, in this case was Nilsson.

It would also be very clear that Sandberg should not be LNAB since it was a last name he himself chose as an adult, hence he could not have been born with it.

As for Sara Angelika, she would most likely be Nilsdotter at birth, not Nilsson or Nelson. That should go into "other last name field".

Edited to better wording, need more coffee...

Sorry that my formulation on that page was misleading. I am not sure how to do it better.

The key is in the word established family name, which is intended to mean a surname that was established in the family at the time of the person's birth. This was clearly not the case with Joel Sandberg.

The situation in Sweden was such that while the rural population (the vast majority of the people in Sweden) were still using patronymics, there were also many families who did use family names, inherited from generation to generation (father to children). Not only the nobility, but also craftsmen (notably the smiths) and townsfolk. So when we try to write recommendations for Sweden, we have to accommodate both kinds of names - and also the fact that new surnames were adopted quite freely, when people's station in life changed. In the 19th century an increasing number of people adopted family names. This was the beginning of the end of the patronymic system.

Putting my research into WikiTree has made me increasingly aware of the need to research exactly when a surname was adopted, because of the emphasis on Last Name at Birth. Surnames adopted later in life were obviously not the name they had at birth.

The Last Name at Birth of your Sara Angelika should be Nilsdotter, since, as you say, this was her name at birth. Since her married name was Sandberg that would be her Current Last Name. Nelson would be the name to go in Other Last Names, since it was her surname for a tim in her midlife.

Following the general rules for WikiTree name fields plus "follow their conventions, not ours" (which is what country specific guidelines are trying to achieve) does not always result in a pleasingly composed display name.

Edit: evidently took me more than 20 minutes to write an answer - Maggie's reply wasn't there when I started.

+1 vote
I was recently requested to do so by my Swedish cousins who wanted me to ensure the family chart was easily readable/understandable when they entice additional Swedish family members to review existing work and then hopefully participate themselves in the WikiTree system.
by Leigh Anne Dear G2G6 Mach 6 (62.9k points)
+4 votes
To answer the question as it is formulated: Yes, there is a good reason not to put a patronymics name in the Other Last Names, which is that in many cases the patronymic should be the Last Name at Birth.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (403k points)

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