All MCPL Branches will be closed from 5:00 p.m. Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday as part of its COVID-19 response. Learn More. Our Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Returns: Book Drops Only. Holds Pick-Up: Curbside or Drive-Up Service. In-Branch: No in-branch services. Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

The Grain Valley, Oak Grove, and Blue Springs North Branches are currently closed until further notice due to potential COVID-19 exposure. For a complete list of branches that are currently closed, visit the MCPL COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

Back to top

Skandinavisk Forskning: Scandinavian Research or am I a Viking?!

Published on Wed, 11/04/2020 - 07:33am
Skandinavisk Forskning: Scandinavian Research or am I a Viking?!

If you have Norwegian, Danish, or Swedish ancestors, there is a wealth of information online and published. Immigration from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway to the United States peaked from the middle to late 1800s until the early 1900s. One of the most unique aspect of researching your Scandinavian ancestors is the patronymic naming convention.

A patronym is a suffix attached to a surname based on the given name of one's father or earlier male ancestor (as opposed to a matronym which is based on one’s mother or earlier female ancestor). Each is a means of showing lineage. Each country had their own suffix to attach to surnames.

For a son, Denmark had –sen (daughter, -datter). In Sweden, a son’s surname would include –son (daughter, -dotter).  Norway had different suffixes at different times. When they were ruled by Norway, the Norwegian suffix was used. When they were ruled by Sweden, the Swedish suffix was used. When they gained independence, a son’s surname would include the suffix –sen (daughter, –dotter). The late 19th century showed a change in the naming conventions when most countries required fixed surnames.

Books the Midwest Genealogy Center has on the topic include From America to Norway by Orm Overland (3-volume set), Scandinavian Genealogical Research by Finn A. Thomsen, and Norden:  A Guide to Scandinavian Genealogical Research in a Digital World by Art Jura. Check our online catalog for more.

Online resources include FamilySearchNational Danish-American Genealogical Society, Norway-Heritage, Norwegian National Archives, Arkiv Digital, and the Swedish State Archives. (Note: some of these websites are in a foreign language). Mid-Continent Public Library branches also have Ancestry Library Edition.

Have Scandinavian ancestors? Resources are available, so happy researching!

Man lär så länge man lever (One learns as long as one lives)!

Sheri V.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Resources You May Also Like

Events You May Also Like

Blogs You May Also Like


A New Decade of Resolutions: Tackle 2020 with MCPL

It’s hard to believe that it’s about time to flip our calendars to 2020.
Read More

Nothing Is Certain but Death and Taxes

While I was doing my income taxes, the history nerd in me surfaced, and I wanted to know whe
Read More
house on fire

Chasing a Fire

My dad told me several times about the fire that burned down the farmhouse that he and his mother lived
Read More
old map and compass

All Over the Map

In college, I majored in history and minored in geography.
Read More

Was this page helpful? Yes No