I have a question about Norwegian genealogy and not sure if I have the correct father?

+2 votes
I'm trying to find my great grandfather's father. Iver Johansen born 1749 and died in 1822. He lived in Voss, Hordaland, Norway (farm name: Helland). This family is hard to figure out sometimes with all the name changes, but I keep finding "Johannes Helland" might be his father? Johannes Hellend might have been born in 1705. Can't seem to find Probate, marriages, ect. Could you please help? Thanks! Carole
WikiTree profile: Iver Johansen
asked in Genealogy Help by Anonymous Lathrop G2G2 (2k points)
retagged by Maggie Andersson
I added Norway as one of the tags for this question, giving the people in the Norway project a chance to see it and perhaps give you an answer.

4 Answers

+1 vote
Thank You!!!!!!
answered by
+2 votes
At this period of time,in Nordic Countries ,people did not have a first and last

name.They did not adopt that until abt 1875.There names would involve

4 or 5 names.There are good explanations online.
answered by

Actually, the OP may be on the right track. While most (not all) 19th century Norwegians were rural and didn't use family surnames like we do, they used farm names as a sort of relative identifier. "Johannes Hellend" (or Helland) is basically just shorthand for "Johannes from the Helland farm/homestead". Hellend is certainly not a patronym, so it's likely a farm that he resided on at some point in his life. Note, though, that I haven't looked into him, so I'm not confirming it--just saying it's a possibility.

Please check out the Project Norway FAQ section on names for more info.

Another recommendation if you weren't aware (though you may already know) is to check out Norway's Digital Archives, where you just may find your forefather if you search on his name. Just be sure to narrow it down to the Voss area and the correct time frame.

+3 votes
I'll let the Norway project people help you with sourcing, and who was related to whom, but I wanted to comment on Norwegian naming.  Wayne is right, they didn't generally have first and last names, unless they were aristocratic or trades people, and then the extra names were associated with the aristocracy or the trade.  "Iver Johansen" is not his name, "Iver" is his name.  They only had a simple name that everyone used (and spelling didn't matter, it was only spoken), but when recorded or when meeting strangers, they would add additional names that indicated who their father was, and what was their town or farm.  So typically, Iver's name could be recorded as "Iver Johansen Helland".

From that name, you KNOW that Iver's father is Johan, or a variation thereof like Johannes.  If he grew up in Helland, then his father's name MUST be recorded as Johan something Helland, or variation thereof.  If that Johannes Helland is not his actual father, then you're looking for another Johannes something Helland!  That 'something' would be the name of Johan's father.

They also didn't have married names.  If Anna was the daughter of Knut, another farmer on that same Helland farm, then the marriage would record her as "Anna Knutsdatter Helland", and that would not change after marriage.  If she instead grew up on the Kleven farm, and moved in with Iver, her recorded name might change from "Anna Knutsdatter Kleven" to "Anna Knutsdatter Helland" (but her name is still just Anna).

We add last names now (and argue over them!), just to fit our modern ideas and genealogy programs.
answered by Rob Jacobson G2G6 Mach 6 (63.5k points)
Looks like you submitted yours while I was typing up mine!

And yes, we love to argue about names, especially about which one goes in the LNAB field ;)
+4 votes

According to the Ministerialbok (Parish register) it appears that Iver Johannesen was baptised in Voss, Hordaland, Norway on 17. December 1749. His father was Johannes Helland. Link

The Church registers of Voss started in 1709. Therefore, if Johannes Helland was born about 1705, it could be more difficult to find his father's name from his baptism. If Iver was one of his first children, his marriage might be recorded in the Ministerialbok  about 1740-1748. I believe Iver had a sister Ingeborg, baptised about 5. June 1748. Hence 1747-1748 could be a useful point to start the search.

I hope this would be of some help.

PS: From the (primary source) Voss Parish register 1747, Iver Johannesens father was Johannes Olsen Wæthe. He married the widow Anguna Wikingsdatter Helland,  16. May 1747. Link

This (except the exact date of marriage) is also contained in the sources given in the comment below (not primary sources, nevertheless useful).

answered by Terje Sund G2G1 (1.4k points)
edited by Terje Sund
You can read about Helland in one of the Gardssoga from Voss from page 306.  Iver Johansen (Ivar Johannesson) is mentioned on page 310-311. He is born in 1749 and died in 1822 as you say. The book is online https://www.nb.no/items/URN:NBN:no-nb_digibok_2008041404068 . This is a very old farm.

There is also a profile for this person on geni.com: https://www.geni.com/people/Ivar-Helland/6000000006761850396?through=6000000006761988384

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