About Norwegian Names

Anyone searching Norwegian soldiers is handicapped by changing names.

Young Norwegians used one name in Norway, frequently another in the army and a third after the war was over.

In Norway a young man would be known by his given name and his father’s. As an example, Ole, son of Johan, would be known as Ole Johansen. If additional identity was needed, he would add his farm name, Myre; he was Ole Johansen who lived on Myre.

When he came to America and enlisted, he gave his name as he generally did “Ole Johansen” and the Yankee clerk would write “Ole Johnson” and “Ole Johnson” is how the soldier would be known.

An additional point of confusion results from the fact that Norway was a part of Sweden in the nineteenth century. An enlistee might give his place of birth as Norway; the Yankee clerk would write Sweden.

After the war, the immigrant soldier acquired a farm, got married, started a family and began to think seriously about what he wanted himself and his farm to be called. Take, for example, Sergeant George Johnson of the Wisconsin 15th, Company G. He came to America in 1854. After the war, he acquired a farm near Ridgeway, Winneshiek County, Iowa. He took back his baptismal name, adopted his old Norway farm name, and became Guttorm Hovden. It took help from Guttorm Hovden’s grandchildren for usd to connect their grandfather to soldier George Johnson.

A majority of young Norwegians enlisting in the Union army are known in the military records by their patronyms, their given names plus their father’s, adding “sen” or “son.” Very often their descendants do not know these soldiers by the names they used in the Army, but instead by names used after the war, and it takes a lot of searching to connect the two.

Ole Hanson of Winneshiek County, Iowa, came to America in 1862 and joined the Iowa 13th Regiment, Company G. He is known for the diaries he kept, both before and during the war. Vesterheim has them; museum visitors can hear a voice reading a portion of one telling about his arrival. Soldier Ole Hanson after the war became O. H. Nass.

Jorgen Anderson immigrated from Lier, Norway. His Winneshiek County, Iowa, neighbors knew him as George Linnevold.

Names of Scandinavian soldiers were spelled in the American military records, and in other publications, in the following ways:

A

Aaker
Aker

Abrahamson
Abramson

Amundson
Ammendson, Ammison, Ammondson, Ammunnson, Amondsen, Amondson, Amonson, Amunson, Amundsen, Armonsen, Emenson

Anundson
Annenson, Annunsen, Anonsen, Anunsen, Anunson, Anuson

Anderson
Andresen, Enderson, Enersen

Arneson
Arnison

B

Bendickson
Bendicksen, Bendixon

Benson
Bendsen

Bjornson
Bairnson, Bohnson, Asbjornson

Bolstad
Baalstad

Borstad
Borstaad

Brown
Bruhn, Brun

C

Christianson
Christensen, Christenson, Christiansen, Crestensen

Christopherson
Christerferson, Christofasen, Christofferson, Christophersen

D

Dahl
Dal, Dall, Doll

E

Eide
Heide

Ellickson
Alackson, Alaksen, Aleckson, Allexson, Elicson, Elikson

Ellison
Allison, Elleson

Ellefson
Elefson, Ellafson, Ellefsen, Ellison

Engebretson
Engbertson, Engebertsen, Engebertson, Engebretsen, Engebrigtsen, Ingbretson, Ingebretsen, Ingebretson, Ingebrigtsen, Inglebretsen, Inglebritson

Erickson
Arrickson, Earicson, Erekson, Ericksen, Eriksen, Erikson, Erixson, Errickson

Everson
Evertson, Ivarson, Iverson

G

Gilbertson
Gilberson, Gilbrandson, Gulbranson, Gulbrandsen, Gulbranson, Gulbronson, Guldbrenson

Gullickson
Golaxon, Gulickson, Gullicksen, Gullikson, Gullixson

Gunderson
Gunnerson, Gunnesen

H

Haakenson
Haagensen, Haakinsen, Haakenson, Hoakinson, Hogensen, Hogenson, Hogonson, Hokanson

Halvorson
Alverson, Halversen, Halvorsen, Halvurson, Holverson, Hulverson

Hanson
Hansan, Hansson

Henrikson
Hendrickson, Hendrikson, Henricksen, Henrickson

Holland
Haaland, Halland, Helland, Holand, Hollan

Hovland
Hofland, Hoveland

I

Isaacson
Isaacsen, Isaacsen, Isaakson, Isackson, Isaksen, Izackson

J

Jacobson
Jakobson, Jokomsen, Jokumson

Jamison
Jameson, Jemison, Jemson

Jansen
Janssen

Johanson
Johanesen, Johaneson, Johannesen, Johanneson, Johannessen, Johansen

Johnson
Jahnsan, Joanson, Jonson, Johnston

Jorgenson
Jargenson, Jarginson, Jergenson, Jergeson, Jorganson, Jurgenson, Jorginsen

K

Knudson
Canuteson, Kanudson, Kenutzen, Kneudson, Knudsen, Knudtson, Knuteson, Knutsen, Knutson, Neutson

Kolbe
Colby

L

Larson
Larcen, Larsen

Lawson
Lassen, Lasseson

Louison
Lewison, Liosen

M

Mathison
Matheisen, Mathewson, Mathiasen, Mathiasson, Mathiesen, Mathisen, Matsen, Matson, Matthiesen, Mattison, Mattson

Mickelson
Mekelson, Michelsen, Michelson, Mickelsen, Mikkelsen, Mikkelson

Monson
Monsen, Munsen, Munson

N

Nelson
Neilsen, Neilson, Nielsen, Nielson, Nilsen, Nilson

O

Olson
Ohlson, Oldson, Oldston, Olesen, Oleson, Olsen, Olssen, Olsson, Osolsson

Osmundson
Aasmundsen

Ostenson
Aastensen

P

Peterson
Patterson, Pedersen, Pederson, Petersen

R

Reierson
Reiersen, Ryersen

S

Seim
Saim, Sime

Severson
Seversen, Sivertsen, Siverson, Syversen, Syverson

Simonson
Simonsen

Swenson
Svendsen, Svendson, Svensen, Swanson, Swinson

T

Thompson
Thomason, Thomassen, Tomson

Thoreson
Thoresen, Thorsen, Thorson

Torgerson
Tergerson, Torgersen, Torgison, Torgusen, Torguson

Torkelson
Torkelsen, Torkildsen, Torkilson, Torgleson

Torstenson
Torstensen, Torstenston, Tostenson

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