Jan Ivarsson TransEdit jan.ivarsson at TRANSEDIT.ST
Tue Jul 30 18:17:06 UTC 2002

James Smith wrote:
>I work with a man named Sjoblum, "sea blossom".  There
>were too many Johnsons on the boat his ancestors came
>over on, so his progenitor was given the name of the

>--- David Bergdahl <einstein at FROGNET.NET> wrote:
>> I've also heard that shipping clerks overseas were
>> the ones writing out the
>< tickets w/the name changes.  I discovered the origin
>> of my Swedish last name
>> in H. L. Mencken who reports that when Scandanavians
>> got last names in the
>> early years of the 19th-century there were too many
>> Johnsons, Andersons,
>> Thomsons &c. based on the patronymic naming
>> convention, so the Swedish
>> equivalent of the Namenamt decided that people
>> should use familar
>> geographical terms--Berg, Kvist, Lund, Stro/m, Dahl,
>> &c.--which is how we
>> got to be "mt-valley" people.

The family name "Sjöblom" is very common in Sweden, so it is most unlikely that he would have got the name on his arrival. As for "Sjöblom" being the name of a ship, this is hardly imaginable.

Patronymics were the general rule in Sweden up to around 1900. As this meant difficulties for the administration, it was then recommended that people should either keep the patronymic without change or choose a new family name - but till today you can keep the patronymic custom if this is a family tradition. (My great-grandfather's name was Mons Andersson, my grandfather's Ivar Monsson. My father followed the tradition and called himself Robert Ivarsson, but a couple of his sisters kept the name Monsson. If I should want to, I still have the right to change my last name to Robertsson.) There are still a couple of hundred pages in the Stockholm telephone directory with the name "Svensson"...
Many have chosen to bear a name with roots in the nature: Berg, Bergström, Bergdal, Berggren, etc. (a custom that started already in the 18th century), but changing the family name is always a decision that you take yourself - the only restriction is that you cannot today take a name that is already used.

Jan Ivarsson
jan.ivarsson at transedit.st

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