Is it possible to standardise Norwegian farm names

+5 votes

This is a followup to a muti-part question I asked previously. As the standard has been established that farm name at birth should go in the LNAB slot, this makes locating and entering the farm name corrrectly a very important task.

Can farm names be standardized? Are they a fixed place like a parish or a city where names may have changed over time but you can generally identify those changes?  Like American colonial towns, county and state names change with political changes but it can be generally agreed the exact name of a place on a given date. Registers have been created with this information.

I don't fully undertsand the significance of the Oluf Rhgh listing of farm names but can this be used as a standard?

To repeat a portion of my previous question on this site; for my ancestor his census  record gives the farm as Krugen-østre. Is this the way I should enter his LNAB? Or should I use Krugen? or should I use Kruken (which seems to be the term used by Oluf Rygh.

Given the complexity added to Norwegian genealogy by farm names, searching would be a great deal easier if we didn't have to cope with a mutitude of variations in these names.

I very much understand the point made that names that have been handed down with lots of spelling and transcribing errors. We probably have to accept a wide variance in given names but farm names?

edit - added place_names tag (naming_conventions tag is mainly surname/people names, not place names)

asked in Policy and Style by Don Gibson G2G1 (1.5k points)
retagged by Don Gibson
With respect Liz Shifflet, my question really IS about surnames/people names. We are using farm names as surnames for Norwegians and while place names can be edited at will in Profiles, changing surnames (LNAB) is a much bigger deal. It is why establising some sort of standard early will prevent a lot of confusion and regret later. I've added the surname tag back

This is another reason farm names as LNAB is problematic. A single farm can be refered to in a lot of different ways, and not infrequently is referred to in multiple ways in sources for the same person and family. Qualifiers like "østre" (eastern) make be place in front of the farm name, or behind, and might be changed to "lille" (little) in another source. Some farms had "nicknames". And as we move up through the centuries farms were split, so there might be four farms of the same name (thus, østre, vestre, lille, store), but some sources don't use qualifiers (especially the 1801 census).
Patronymics on the other hand only vary in minor spellings, most of the time.

1 Answer

0 votes

In my understanding:

LNAB means using the last name as it is recorded on the record nearest to birth. 

Since Norway Project has standardized on using the farm name as last name (if the individual does not have a hereditary name) the LNAB “rule” means using the farm name as it is recorded on the record nearest to birth.

The Norwegian digital archives ( ) does not standardize farm names. Instead, when transcribing into searchable format, they transcribe the farm name as it appears in the original record.  This avoids introduction of errors.

That said, Olaf Rygh’s listing of farm names ( ) is a useful tool. It provides a snapshot of the main Norwegian farm names at a point in time (~1950) & provides farm name variants. For example it tells us that the farm “Fjellstad” has also been written: Felldstad, Fiællestad,Fieldstadt, Fielestad, Fiellestad, Fillestadt, Fjellestad, & Fjelsta.  It is useful in figuring out what variants in recording might exist.

This is hardly unique to Norway. In 17th century New England, the spelling of last names changes as the recorder changes.  It is not unusual to find 7 children to the same couple with 3 different last names (e.g., Harradan, Harraden & Haradan).     

Best wishes on your searches!


answered by Jim Wiborg G2G6 (7.9k points)

This is the direction I'm heading.

My first idea was that people only use Farm names that appear in Oluf Rhgh's work as this was a pretty definitive listing. However there is a second good source of farm names all done up in nice database form,  the Matrikkelutkastet av 1950.  Even thought this is only in Norwegian it is very easy to use.

Unfortuantely it doesn't match Oluf all the time.

I'm going to post a separate question on a specific example and ask that all experts in FarmName as LNAB to wade in with an  answer.

The question is titled Help Requested on a FarmName as LNAB

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