Anders Celsius

+5 votes

Hear ye hear ye, fellow Swedes and Wikitreers!

Is it not time we spiff up Anders Celsius' profile and family tree as a birthday gift to the man who gave us the Celsius scale and one of our truly notable Swedes?

The man would have turned 319 years by the end of November. Let's honor the old man by giving our best to his well deserved Wikitree profile.. who's willing to lend a helping hand?


Lyssna upp med-svenskar och Wikitreers!

Är det inte dags att vi spiffar upp Anders Celsius profil och släktträd som födelsedagspresent till mannen som gav oss Celsius-skalan och en av våra verkligen anmärkningsvärda svenskar?

Mannen skulle ha fyllt 319 år nu i slutet av november. Låt oss hedra gamla gubben genom att göra vårt yttersta för hans välförtjänta Wikitree-profil... någon som är sugen?

angry <- smiley med feber, tempen är tagen!

WikiTree profile: Anders Celsius
in The Tree House by Antonia Reuvers G2G6 Mach 4 (44.8k points)
Why are the parents disconnected?
I added the profiles and linked to them in the bio, they were not added directly because the profile was project protected. Someone else came by and connected them.

3 Answers

+5 votes
I've added some basic info about his family, but haven't created their profiles. The Swedish wikipedia article has more detailed information about them.
by Aaron Gullison G2G6 Pilot (116k points)
Awesome thank you Aaron!
I added a couple of references.
Sweet just what we needed!
+3 votes
Although his claim to fame is the Celsius temperature scale, he was also a noted mathematician and astronomer. He built an observatory in Uppsala town and actually lived in the observatory. He never married. I've added these facts to his profile.
by Richard Lindblom G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)

Great! A question to an English speaker: I learned sometime long ago that a city is a town with a cathedral. Is that correct, if so, should it be the "city of Uppsala"? smiley (Uppsala has a cathedral and a university.)

I’m not native speaking English but if it’s between calling it a town or city then city it is! Town sounds small.

Oh and good job Richard! yes

OK - then "city" it is as there was a cathedral which actually blocked the southern view from the observatory.
+1 vote
I am willing to help boost his profile. I looked at what is there so far.

I am not fluent in Swedish, but I read his father as Nicolai Celsius, not Nils (as written in his profile). Also, the baptized son’s name is Andreas. Should we not be using his actual recorded name as his first name at birth? Or am I reading that wrong? They are very old records.
by Missy Berryann G2G6 Pilot (180k points)
Well back in those days they seem to have used Latin a lot especially in this family as there was lots of priests and bishops and I suppose Latin is second nature to them back then. I think as long as both versions of the name (proper/preferred or even nickname) then it is all good. I usually go for what is on the birth record but then sometimes priests are a bit too fancy and when all other sources uses the more commonly used names then I go for that one. You can after all always explain further in the bio.

The Anders / Andreas thing is a bit odd tho, I’ve only seen Andreas in one of the sources can’t remember which one.. then it was mentioned in quotes so I guess that was considered more of a nick name..

The surname was also latinized it seems, some daughters was known as Celsia instead of Celsius.

Someone more understanding of Latin names would have to explain further..
Hi Antonia,

In my Swedish researching experience, I have found that Andreas is a different name than Anders and Nicolai is not Nils. Anders had a grandfather named Magnus Nicolai, so maybe his father really was Nicolai and he went by Nils?

I am looking for primary sources right now. I looked for a Nils/Nicolai birth/baptism record in Uppsala, but he was not there for the date in the profile. I also started looking in the HHE records for them to check, but have not found them there yet either.
Most of the time as I've seen, names Andreas and Anders aren't used interchangably, but there are times when they are.

As Antonia says, pastors used latin a lot. Most ofthen when they call themselves something like Magnus Nicolai, it means Magnus, son of Nicolaus / Nils.

Nils is a nordic shortform of Nicolaus, see wikipedia

Anders is a form of Andreas:

I agree with everything Maria said, Andreas is a bit special it seems, although it seems almost as popular and modern as Anders it also seems to be a fancier variant of Anders, there was a rune from 1100's mentioning the name Andræs the step between Anders and Andreas is not so far compared to where it originated. But I agree it's not often I have seen Anders become Andreas and vice versa. 

Since Andreas and Nicolaus is mentioned in the birth record of Anders I will add them as alternative names. 

I too can not find Nils in the birth records, but it seems to be a strange layout in the birth book than what I am used to (very little text) and I am not very good at reading texts that old and from that part of Sweden. Maybe someone else can find it on the link below?

Thank you! My ancestors were almost all from the same parts of Örebro and Värmland. I rarely ever see Andreas in those areas, but I see Anders very often. I do not remember seeing Nicolai, but tons of Nils. So I am not as familiar with the interchangeability of those names. I would have thought they were two different people. wink So I learned something new this morning. smiley

But should we use the name they were born with as the first name at birth (unless it has been officially changed). I thought that was the WikiTree way. Please let me know if I am wrong.

Sounds great, Antonia! I sent my message, it seems, right after yours and you answered my question just as I was asking it. smiley

I had a distant relative that was always known as Bengta, a very common name in the south of Sweden and probably elsewhere too. She lost her first husband and re-married. Suddenly she is written up as Benedicta in her children's birth record, I came across a house record where the priest had made a little note on the side "nowadays want to go by the name Benedicta". I love that, I picture that she moved up in life when she married her second husband and wanted to reinvent herself.

Then again a lot of the common names are derived from fancier ones that barely ever got used in the records I am used to (southern Sweden, a lot of farmers and craftsmen). Like Sissa is all over my tree, a nickname of Cecilia. Nilla, is in fact from Pernilla. I guess I swayed off topic now, oops!

Note that in Anders' birth record the father's name is actually written Nicolai Celsii, which is the Latin genitive of Nicolaus Celsius, because the sentence talks about the son of Nicolaus Celsius. As has already been mentioned, Latinization of the names of priests, their relatives and other educated people was quite common at the time, so whether we as genealogists should use Nicolaus or Nils is a stylistic choice. However, we should take care not to use the genitive form (Nicolai) as a given name; it may be used as a patronymic corresponding to Nilsson (e g in the name of Anders' grandfather, Magnus Nicolai Celsius) but it should never be used as a first name! Unfortunately, while the article on Anders seems to be correct now, the one on his father still calls him by the genitive form. Can somebody with the correct certfication please fix this?  :)

Oh! Do you suggest changing it to Nicolaus or removing it all together from the given name fields? See because I was thinking of the name Nicolaj common given name in Denmark.

Yes, forms like Nicolaj are common in many languages, but in Swedish the forms used are the "pure" Latin Nicolaus (or Nikolaus), and the reduced forms Niklas and Nils (and Klas, as well).

I would expect the Sweden project to have some sort of style guide for this, although I sure don't know it, and if so we should obviously follow it. If there isn't one, personally I think I would delatinize and use Nils Celsius, like Wikipedia and Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (and indeed the text of the biography), and also change the biography to say "sometimes Latinized as Nicolaus (e g genitive Nicolai Celsii in the birth record of his son Anders)" instead of the current "also known as...". Alternatively, just change Nicolai to Nicolaus (and the biography as above).

For the grandfather, he doesn't seem to have been born Metagrius (Svenkt biografiskt lexikon gives his father as Nikolaus Magni Travillagaeus, later Alptaneus) so he maybe actually should have Nicolai (or Nilsson, although that might be going too far) as LNAB. If not, I guess either Middle Name or Other Last Name would be best -- but again, there's got to be a style guide for this, it's far too common a problem to not be covered.

Note the name inheritance pattern, by the way: Nicolaus (Nils) Celsius is the son of Magnus Nicolai (Måns Nilsson), who is the son of Nicolaus Magni (Nils Månsson); the patronymics all use the (Latin) genitive.

Thank you all for all your information! I never took Latin. It seems that a Latin class could help my Swedish research. smiley

I have another couple questions. I thought that WikiTree used what was written on the baptism or birth record as the “Proper first name” and “last name at birth.” This would most likely be the first time the person’s name is being recorded, correct? So it would be representing the most accurate form of the name? Then we would use the “Preferred first name” and “current last name” fields for the names the person used the most or died with. That is how I have been doing it. Am I doing it all incorrectly?

Thank you again for all your posts. I am an American with a Swedish great grandfather. So my Swedish and Latin knowledge is not nearly as extensive as yours. heart

Yes, a little Latin can be useful, especially in the older records -- the priests did like to use it, not just in the kind of "leared names" that we are discussing here but also in dates, in causes of death and sometimes just to record things that they didn't want others to be able to read. But as for these kinds of names, it is generally enough to know that they tend to end in -us for men and -a for women, and that the genitive forms that are used for patronymics instead end in -i and -ae, respectively (giving names that end in -ius, like Celsius, the distinctive -ii ending).

Once you recognize a name as being Latin, the next step is decoding it. First names tend to be Latinized forms of Swedish names -- sometimes these are actual Latin names, such as Nicolaus and Magnus (standing for the Swedish Nils and Måns, respectively, which were historically formed from those Latin names), but in other cases they are newly formed, such as Olaus for Olov (a Germanic name that never had a counterpart in classical Latin), simply to allow the name to fit into one of the Latin declinations so that it could be used in Latin texts where it would need to recieve case endings. This is something every priest did as they studied Latin, since they needed to be able to talk and write about themselves and each other. Similarly with patronymics, which as described above are simply genitive forms.

Just as with the later soldier names, there were often several people with the same name and patronymic studying at the same time. To make it possible to distinguish people within such groups of students, those who didn't have an inherited family name also tended to adopt or acquire a second name; these were often based on where they were born or lived before they went to university, but could also later in life be based on where they worked. The name Alptaneus that I mentioned in my last post was born by the father of Magnus Celsius, is formed to the parish name Alfta where he worked before he became a vicar; another example which is still in use today is Moraeus, from the town of Mora. Some of these names were inherited and became family names, while others were not. These names can be useful in that they tell where people came from, and they shouldn't really be much of a problem -- at least not compared to keeping track of the Latinized and non-Latized forms of the first name and patronymic.

These names are not really different names from their Swedish counterparts, they are different forms of the same name and were used at the same time depending on the situation and who was talking to whom. And of course we don't know to which extent each form was actually in use, we only know what the priest writing the record chose to use. Which brings us to your question, finally! (Sorry for the wall of text...)

Yes, I too understand WikiTree policy is to use the birth/baptism record (if it can be found). This is the record that is most likely to be accurate, in the sense that it alone will not contain any copy errors (a great-grandaunt of mine was named Eterna, but after moving around a bit the forms written in the household records look more like Elvira).

However, when it comes to different forms of the same name, especially in old records before spelling was standardized, there is no guarantee that the birth record is more correct than any other record made during the person's life, because the choice between forms may have been made by the recording priest just as well as by the parents (or later in life the person themselves). On the other hand, neither is it worse than any other record, and we do need some kind of standard, so we might as well use that form. Unless, of course, there is a project style guide that says otherwise; style guides always overrule any general rule. (And in the specific case of Nils Celsius it seems we don't have a birth record, which gives us a bit more leeway. But again, I could be quite wrong in my admittedly not very deeply considered opinion; there ought to be a style guide about this somewhere, created by people with more experience than I have...)

Also, note that Swedish birth records (at least historically) generally don't explicitly state the child's last name, which sometimes makes the LNAB question less obvious than one would expect.

Using "Preferred first name" to present a different form of the "Proper first name" seems wrong to me, though, partly because we again don't know which form was actually preferred, but mostly because I think the point of the "Preferred first name" field is to show that a middle name should be used instead of the "Proper first name", and selection between names is different than selection between forms of names. (As an example: my full name is Jerker Olov Georg Winstrand -- "Proper first name" is the first in the list, but the one I actually go by is Olov, so that goes into "Preferred first name".)

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