Friday, May 27, 2011

David Hermann - Arrived 1862 (1)

Note, this post has been revised. The original David Hermann article has been updated and more information has been added. Because of its length, it has also been split into two parts. There is some new information in the report below, but most of the new stuff is in Part 2.

Part 1 - Mecklenburg "the old country"

My Mom's Great Grandfather, Friedrich David Julius Hermann, who went by the name David, came to America and settled in Dane County, Wisconsin in the summer of 1862. I did not know of him prior to starting my family research and I don't think my mom did either. His story is a typical immigrant saga and he arrived around the same time as a number of my northern European ancestors.

What makes David's story interesting is that a good deal of information is available about him and his family, including some information about the generations that preceded him. This is due, in large part, to the research by other family members. There names are Gary and Ron Goth and they performed extensive research on the Goth family. The Goth family also came to Dane County, Wisconsin in the early 1860s. It turns out that there were two marriages between the Hermann and Goth families in Wisconsin. The researchers, Ron and Gary, descended from one of those marriages and I descended from the other.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Peterson - Moe . . . What's in a Name?

Did my great-great grandfather, Ole Peterson, ever have the last name Moe and how is "Moe" a Norwegian name anyway? Don't all Norwegian names end with son . . . like Peterson, Olsen, Johnson, etc? Ole Peterson's father was Peter Olsen Moe so why wasn't Ole also named Moe? For the answer to these and other questions, read on.

The naming of individuals and families in Norway prior to the 20th century seems to hearken back to a more primitive time when one was named after their father rather than carrying a common "family" name. In that system, names change every generation. At first, this can be very confusing but in actuality, the Norwegian naming process is fairly straight-forward once you get use to its particular quirky-ness.