Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's in a Name

Before I married, my last name was Svensson. There were many in Viken with the same last name. Viken was a small village, 2200 inhabitants. A lot of us were related and some were not. Kallentin Svensson was one of my father's cousins, they were double cousins, their mothers were sisters and their fathers were brothers.

Kallentin had two children - Fritjof and Ingeborg (read Icelandic saga with that title). Ingeborg was my favorite relative of all time. She and her husband Curly (named so by my children when they met him) had two sons and legally changed their name from Johansson to Kallertin. There was someone already with the legal name Kallentin so they were denied that name.

When you go to work for the government in anyway you were seriously advised to change your last name if it ends with: sson, ssen, sen, son and sue for a new name and if someone else already had that name and if they objected, then they had to think of a new name. The government it too difficult to keep track of all the different spellings (this obviously was before computers).

Kallentin had a brother Karl who also had to take a different name than Svensson and he chose the name: Remberg. Heaven's no, I don't know why he chose that name. He was a coastal traffic officer so he had to change his name. He saved people who's ship went down. Unlike our Coast Guard, they were not armed.

Karl had as sister name Nanny. She never married, owned a weaving school and wove large pieces for churches and public buildings. I went in her studio one time and there 4 women at one loom passing the shuttle one to the other and it was a huge rug they were making. At one time I knew where it was going but I don't remember.

Her brother owned a place where you could order fence posts and gates and decors for inside or outside a house. He forged. It was a very noisy business.

The bakery was owned by a cousin of these two brothers also named Svensson and they had to change their name. They owned the bakery up by the windmill in Viken. If you wandered through the little village I could have named many, many more whose name was Svensson.

Until I married, I never thought to change my name from Svensson but I was very happy to change it to Stockton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This NPR segment talked about the massages and physical therapy treatments that President Roosevelt received. I think that the things you did were mentioned. It was a good listen.