Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surname Saturday: LERFALD

The LERFALD line is my children's father's paternal grandmother's mother's maiden name. Actually, my children's father is descended twice from this line, as his great-grandmother's parents were first cousins to each other.

I've been stuck for a long time on how to present this Surname Saturday, because it doesn't follow the nice "template" I've set up for the other surnames I've blogged about for several reasons: Norwegian surnames in the 19th century did not get passed down from father to son as they did in other Western European countries (more on that in a moment); and because my husband's great-grandparents were cousins to each other AND both cousins used the LERFALD surname, it further complicates how this post is written. By the way, these cousins were not children of brothers who used the LERFALD surnames, but of a brother and a sister who used variations of LERFALD. In fact, their daughter, my children's father's great-grandmother, had three of her four grandparents using some form of LERFALD as a surname! Further explanations follow.

Norwegians used patronyms until about 1850s in the larger cities, 1900 in most locations, and 1923 everywhere in Norway when a law was passed requiring persons to adopt a permanent surname to be passed from one generation to the next. A patronym is a surname based on one's father's name, and it changes with each generation. So Pedar, Ola's son would be known as Pedar Olason. Pedar's sister Regina would be known as Regina Olasdotter. The women would keep this surname even after they were married. This was very typical in most Scandinavian counties, with slight spelling variations due to the languages used (-sen and -dtr were used in Sweden, for instance). Additionally, in the Norwegian rural communities it was also common to add a second surname based upon the farm you owned or worked on or the community from which you came, and with laborers who migrated from one farm job to another, that second surname would change accordingly.

Stories and History:

The LERFALD family originates near the village of Hegra, municipality of Stjørdal,  Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway in the Stjørdal River valley. To the east of the village was a farming community of Lerfald, which is the surname many of my children's father's ancestors used, as they were farm workers in the area. Also in the location of Hegra are over a thousand ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings), apparently called leirfald (see Wikipedia article here). Another translation for ler fald is "clay hill." This area was known alternately as Lerfald, Lerfall, or Leirfall. In my children's family tree, you'll see the surnames LERFALD, LERFALDBJØRG, LERFALDBJØRGEN, LERFALDHOLMEN, and LERFALDTRØEN. These variations were formed by adding suffixes, which each meant something that gave a more specific location or description in the Lerfald area: -bjørgen means "birches" and -holm means "small island." (Click here to see this location on a satellite map.)

Rather than list the direct paternal line of Regina LERFALD from her earliest known ancestor to the present, I am listing Regina's complete ahnentafel as known, using my children's father's ahnentafel numbers:

Generation 1
11. Rena LERFALD: born 25 Sep 1890 in (Zumbrota, Goodhue Co.?) Minnesota; died 12 Jul 1966 in Toppenish, Yakima Co., Washington.

Generation 2
22. Peder Johnsen LERFALD: born 25 Apr 1855 in (Trondheim?) Norway; married 7 Jun 1881 in (Goodhue Co., Minnesota?); died 16 Aug 1936 in Woodville, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin.

33. Regina LERFALD: born 2 Apr 1859 in near Trondheim, Norway; died 23 Dec 1943 in Eau Claire, Eau Claire Co., Wisconsin.

Generation 3
44. John Nilsen LERFALD: born 21 Sep 1823 in Norway; married 10 Jun 1850 in Norway; died 2 Feb 1911 in Goodhue Co., Minnesota.

45. Sigrid Lassesdotter LERFALDBJØRG: born 5 Apr 1823 in Norway; died aft 1866 in (Goodhue Co., Minnesota?).

46. Ola Pedersen FORDALSHAUGEN: born 6 Feb 1820 in Norway; married 27 Apr 1848 in Norway; died 17 Feb 1872 in Norway.

47. Ane Nilsdotter LERFALDHOLMEN: born 9 Nov 1826 in Lerfaldholmen, Norway; died 7 Dec 1909 in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Generation 4
88. Nils Pedersen LERFALDTRØEN: born 4 Nov 1787 in Norway; married 29 May 1815 in Norway; died 7 Jan 1867 in Norway.

89. Randi Olasdotter LERFALDHOLMEN: born 4 Apr 1787 in Norway; died 14 Sep 1848 in Norway.

90. Lasse Johnsen LERFALDBJØRGEN: born 1 Jan 1788 in Norway; married 8 Jun 1812 in Norway; died 23 Nov 1858 in Norway.

91. Mali Eriksdotter SMÅGÅRD: christened 9 Sep 1781 in Norway; died 6 Dec 1866 in Norway.

92. Peder Johnsen LERFALD: born 1761 in Norway; married in Norway; died 1858 in Norway.

93. Randi Olasdotter FORDAL: born 1790 in Norway; died 1851 in Norway.

94. Nils Pedersen LERFALDTRØEN: Same as person number 88.

95. Randi Olasdotter LERFALDHOLMEN: Same as person number 89.

Generation 5
176. Peder Andersen LERFALDTRØEN: christened 17 May 1750 in Norway; married 22 Jul 1782 in Norway; died 1810 in Norway.

177. Gudlaug Nilsdotter: born 1752 in Norway; died 25 Dec 1831 in Norway.

178. Ola Eriksen LERFALDHOLMEN: born 1756; married 4 Jul 1782 in Norway; died 9 Jun 1836 in Norway.

179. Marit Johnsdotter: born abt 1751 in Norway; died 6 Jun 1843 in Norway.

180. John Lassesen LERFALD: christened 11 Oct 1764 in Norway; married 8 Nov 1787 in Norway; died 1812.

181. Gunhild Ivarsdotter FORNES: christened 1764 in Norway; died 8 Dec 1854 in Norway.

182. Erik.

184. Johan.

186. Ola Gunnarsen FORDAL: born 1723 in Norway; married in Norway; died 1803 in Norway.

187. Ingeborg Sivertsdotter SALEM: born 1754 in Norway; died 1808 in Norway.

188. Same as person number 176.

189. Same as person number 177.

190. Same as person number 178.

191. Same as person number 179.

Generation 6
352. Anders Pedersen SKJELSTAD: born 1718 in Norway.

353. Mali Brodsdotter SKJELSTAD: born 1720 in Norway.

354. Nils.

356. Erik.

358. Johan.

360. Lasse Johansen BUAN: christened 15 Aug 1722 in Norway; married 4 Apr 1748 in Norway; died bef 22 Nov 1795 in Norway.

361. Beret Olsdotter ØSTKIL: christened 1721 in Norway; died bef 22 Nov 1795 in Norway.

362. Ivar.

372. Gunnar Olasen FORDAL: born abt 1691 in Norway.

373. Randi Iversdotter TRALSTAD: born 1686 in Norway.

374. Sivert Guttormsen BARAS: born 1715 in Norway.

375. Anne Invaldsdotter BJUGAN: born 1715 in Norway.

376. Same as person number 352.

377. Same as person number 353.

378. Same as person number 354.

380. Same as person number 356.

382. Same as person number 358.

Generation 7
704. Peder Andersen SKJELSTAD: born 1690 in Norway.

705. Ingeborg Eystensdotter: born 1690 in Norway.

706. Brod Larsen HOLM: born 1680 in Norway.

707. Guri Pedersdotter: born 1680 in Norway.

720. Johan.

722. Ola.

744. Ola HAAKONSEN: born 1659 in Norway.

745. Gurra Jonsdotter FORDAL.

746. Iver Gunnarsen KARTUM: born 1659 in Norway.

748. Guttorm Olasen EINANG: born 1690 in Norway.

749. Ingeborg Sivertsdotter SALEM: born 1698 in Norway.

750. Ingvald Olasen BJUGAN: born in Norway.

751. Sigrid Andersdotter INGSTAD: born 1680 in Norway.

752. Same as person number 704.

753. Same as person number 705.

754. Same as person number 706.

755. Same as person number 707.

Generation 8
1408. Anders.

1410. Eysten.

1412. Lars.

1414. Peder.

1488. Haakon.

1490. Jon Gunnarsen FORDAL: born 1620 in Norway.

1492. Gunnar Olasen KARTUM: born 1627 in Norway.

1496. Ola Pedersen EINANG.

1497. Anne Bardosdotter EINANG.

1498. Sivert Andersen SALEM: born 1644 in Norway.

1500. Ola BJUGAN: born 1644 in Norway.

1502. Anders Olasen INGSTAD: born 1643 in Norway.

1504. Same as person number 1408.

1506. Same as person number 1410.

1508. Same as person number 1412.

1510. Same as person number 1414.

Generation 9
2980. Gunnar Johnsen FORDAL: born 1580 in Norway.

2984. Ola Guttormsen KARTUM: born 1600 in Norway.

2992. Peder.

2994. Bardo Andersen HEMBRE: born 1619 in Norway.

2995. Ingeborg Guttormsdotter EINANG.

2996. Anders Olasen SALEM: born 1604 in Norway.

3004. Ola Jansen INGSTAD: born 1600 in Norway.

Generation 10
5960. John FORDAL: born 1550 in Norway.

5968. Guttorm Olasen KARTUM: born 1550 in Norway.

5988. Anders.

5990. Guttorm Aluffsen EINANG: born abt 1580 in Norway.

5992. Ola SALEM: born 1580 in Norway.

6008. Jan INGSTAD: born abt 1570 in Norway.

Generation 11
11936. Ola KARTUM: born 1500 in Norway.

11980. Aluff Arnesen EINANG: born 1530 in Norway.

Generation 12
23960. Arne EINANG: born 1500 in Norway.

More about the LERFALD family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): LERFALD ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available) - link brings you to a list of name variations; click on any to see individuals with these surnames. You can also input any surnames, including variations of LERFALD, which I have listed above in my children's father's ahnentafel..

2. Posts about LERFALD ancestors and relatives on this blog

3. Some scanned LERFALD photos

4. Some scanned LERFALD postcards

My children's LERFALD immigration trail:

Stjørdal,  Nord-Trøndelag Co., Norway > Goodhue Co., MN > St. Croix Co., WS > Dawson Co., MT > Rosebud Co., MT > Yakima Co., WA > Thurston Co., WA > Clark Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA


TorillJ said...

Norwegian names were built up from three elements:
1. first name - baptism
2. patronym (Ola's son would be an Olsen in Norway)
3. "the address" - the farm name or name of the cotters place.

1 and 2 were names the person used all life through whilst 3 changed when he moved around.

LERFALD is most probably the name of the main farm or farms whilst those whit Lerfald- as prefix would be smaller farms or cotters places

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you, Torill!