Norwegian womans LNAB

+5 votes
Just learned that my ancestor's LNAB is Hendricksen or Hendricksdatter.  My cousin who has done this research says it is spelled many ways.

Henriksdatter is on birth record.  Will the Norwegian experts please tell me what it should be.

We also have her first name as Karen or Caroline.  Is it possible that one is an Anglicization of the other?
WikiTree profile: Karen Berntson
in Policy and Style by Peggy McMath G2G6 Mach 7 (71.3k points)


Norwegian immigrant's names are a thorny problem. Chances are, the name was a patronymic when she was born, and likely ended with -datter.  Karen or Caroline (and chances are decent that the name has been Americanized. It could even have been Kari in Norway).  Her father's given name was probably Hendrix or Hendrick, but HIS "last" name (and don't call it that, or you'll get in trouble) would have been a name reflecting who he was the son of.  Her father might have been named Hendrix Pedersen or Olesen or Nelsen, depending on what HIS father's name was. (I am definitely not an expert.)   I think I read that "-sen" or "-ssen" is a typical Norwegian ending meaning "son of".  But when they arrived in the US, the ending often changed to something more familiar to Americans --often ending "-son".  Sometime when Norwegians traveled far, they used the name of the farm (if there was one) that they came from as a surname. 

It's enough to make you run screaming from the room.  But here is a tiny bit of help:

An "Alice Termina Grant" died in La Grange Park, Cook, Ill.on 03 Dec 1936, and who was born 02 May 1876, has parents listed as:

Father's Name: Alexander Berntson

Father's Birthplace: Stevenger, Norway

Mother's Name: Caroline Hendrickson

Mother's Birthplace: Stevenger, Norway

Spouse's Name: Oren

Burial Date: 07 Dec 1936

Burial Place: Proviso Township, Cook, Illinois

Cemetery: Woodlawn

Here's a link from FamilySearch:

Here is her Findagrave memorial page   (It doesn't have a lot of extra help, though).

There were deaths listed for another probable sibling of Charles Berntson -- but Alice's had slightly more information.  If I were you, I would try to find census information for Charles and Alice and add everything to Wikitree, sources and all.  There was also a brother named Thomas Berntson who died in 1910:    If you track down their families on each available census, you might even find the widowed mother living with one of them in one of the census years. 

Wish I could help you more.


"Stevenger" ... that place does not exist in Norway. Stavanger does
I noticed the odd spelling myself, but since the link is a to a transcription and not an original record, thought it best to leave it "as transcribed".  I suspect "Stavanger" is probably the intended place name.


Could you please tell where birth certificate is issued or maybe, link to it?

I think you are a victim of "americanization" :)
If her original norwegian birth record says Henriksdatter, her fathers name was Henrik.
-datter in norwegian is "daughter"
-sen or -søn in norwegian is "son" in english
Karen or Caroline - or Karin, Karoline, Kari, Karete - are females and would not be named -sen in Norway in 1850s.-60s.-70s


Also, Berntson is a very rare name in Norway, exept people of swedish origin.
swedish -son == english "son"
norw -sen 
 == english "son"

In norwegian records mening like official censuses there is one Alexander Berntsen born 1854, age 12 in cencus of 1865. Next cencus 10 years later he does not exist, meaning either passed away or emigrated
Link to record:

Alexander Berntsen b.1854
also give his parents and siblings if right guy

I-m not sure about that FamilySearch-record at all, when it comes to information of origin, there is to many "faults" or adaptations to American tradition and understanding of names.
Unfortunately, it was often such that the name was adapted to English language because the Norwegian pronunciation was too difficult - and then adapted the way of writing to fit in the daily language

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

Henriksdatter (her patronym) is the correct LNAB, according to the (recently revised) guidance from the Norway Project. Berntson would be her Current Last Name, as you have it. Any farm name or locality name that she used in her lifetime would go in Other Last Name(s), preferably with an accompanying explanation in the Bio.

by Eric Hoffman G2G6 Mach 2 (22.0k points)
selected by Peggy McMath
+6 votes
oh, don't know if I qualify as a Norwegian expert but I did have 3 grandparents who were Norwegian and I have done Norwegian genealogy.

So… HER name would be Hendricksdatter - datter meaning the daughter of Hendrick.
by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (295k points)
Someone else will need to pick up on the anglicization of Karen or Caroline.
+4 votes
My cousin contacted me last night with the question of our mutual ancestor's LNAB.  Today, he emailed me additional information that contains answers to some of the questions helpers have asked.  I converted his spreadsheet to a PDF and uploaded it here:  Is there enough information here to figure out what Karen/Caroline's name is?  (Red has questionable source.  I don't know what blue is.)

He did not include his sources with this document.  He will be sending me lots more soon.
by Peggy McMath G2G6 Mach 7 (71.3k points)

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