Dalarna Roots


The "Farm Names of Dalarna" By Elisabeth Thorsell

In the province of Dalarna (Dalecarlian) people used and still use gårdsnamn, which means farm names. These names are always put first in a person's name. They show that this person belonged to the "Der" farm or the "Blom" farm, and they were always put before the person's Christian name, and they were talked about as Der Eric or Blom Anna. If Blom Anna married Der Eric and moved to the Der farm, she was usually known as Der Anna after the marriage. But if Der Eric moved to her home, he was probably known as Blom Eric after the marriage. The reason for this is not clear, but probably has to do with the fact that very few first names were used, when a baby's name was to be chosen. In the old days people almost always used a name, that already was used by an older relative, and that gave the parents less than 20 names for boys and 20 names for girls to chose from. As a result you could have several Anders Ersson or Anna Andersdotter in a village. The villages, especially around lake Siljan, can be very big with some 50 different farms in the same village. So to help to sort out which Anders Ersson or Margareta Olsdotter you were talking about, a farm name was added to this person, like Orr Anders Ersson or Stolts Margareta Olsdotter. Then you knew that you were talking about Anders from Orrgården or Margareta from Stoltsgården in that village.

This page was last revised 2005-Oct-05