Please help with Swedish naming conventions. How AM I supposed to record this surname?

+4 votes

I have been researching stones from local cemeteries for the cemeterist projects.  In tracking the wife, I found that she is married to Frans William Magnuson who is also listed as Frans Taipaleenmäki (FamilySearch merge). 

He is listed in the household of Abel Taipalanmäki and later in the household of Johannes Kitti Persson or Johannes Persson Kitti.

I'm not sure where Magnuson comes from but that is the name that he is married with and also buried with in Canada. Any suggestions or explanations of what his surname should be listed as?

WikiTree profile: Frank Magnuson
in Genealogy Help by Kathryn Penner G2G6 Mach 4 (42.7k points)

3 Answers

+5 votes
I think his Last Name at Birth is just fine as Taipaleenmäki, which was the Finnish last name of his father. The father died, the mother married Johannes Persson Kitti, whose name does not have anything to do with Frans William.

The  name Magnusson seems to be what Frank picked to use in Canada. It's not his own patronymic, he is the son of Abel, so should have been Abelsson in that case. I did check a bit to see if he was from an even earlier marriage with a Magnus, but found no indication that this was the case.

I don't think there is any way to know why he fancied Magnusson. Many times people just seem to have picked their name in the new country out of thin air. At other times one can discern a logic - an sometimes there is hardly any change at all. But this looks like a "thin air" case.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (501k points)
He is born in Karsikkojärvi, Nedertorneå parish and his birth notice is in Nedertorneå C:6 spread 23, with parents indeed listed as Abel Taipalenmäki and Maria Katarina Isaksdotter.
Thank for this.  I wanted to be sure.  I had also thought of it as a "out of thin air" type thing as well, but thought I should ask because I do not have a lot of experience/knowledge of Scandinavian culture.

When I was working at a hospital (in Vancouver, BC) 10 years ago, a doctor told us a story about how he went to check on a patient at his clinic. He was looking for "Mr Wong" and was surprised to find a large Russian man.  After the medical stuff was done, he asked about how he came to have the surname.  The man said that when he came to Canada, he wanted a good "Canadian name" and so he looked in the phone book and picked the name.  (as Vancouver has a high Asian population, it is not surprising.)
Very good story :-)

I guess Frank just wanted something more pronounceable for Canadians (and easier to spell) than Taipaleenmäki.
+4 votes
Just noticed a potential typo. Should his current last name be Maguson or Magnuson?
by Bonnie Follett G2G4 (4.7k points)
It does look like a typo. The wife’s married name (in the profile) is Magnuson.
Thanks for pointing this out.  I have fixed that part.
+2 votes


From the names and the Swedish geographic location we know that Frans William Magnusson is associated with two Swedish national minorities:

1) He is for sure a ‘Tornedaling’

2) Through ‘Johannes Persson Kitti’ he is connected to the only remaining European indigenous people; the ‘Sami people’. The Kitti family is still going strong.

I will not be surprised if Frans William’s mother,  Maria Katarina Isaksdotter, belongs to a Sami-family.

Both the ‘Tornedalings’ and ‘Samis’ have been treated pretty bad by the Swedish state and its national agency ‘Statens Institut för Rasbiologi’ (Swedish State Institute for Racial Biology)

by Per Lindström Lussi G2G3 (3.2k points)
edited by Per Lindström Lussi
There is also a Tornedalian Kitti family in Karl Gustav which is not Sami at all.
Thanks William

New knowledge for me.


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