Who's your ancestor? (And does it matter?)

LCYingling3rd

Private
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
I am approaching a very moving time for me because my maternal great, great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Bishop, and his older brother, Charles Martin Van Buren Bishop, both of the 7th VA Cavalry, fought against my paternal great grandfather, George E Yingling, of the 87th PA, at the October 19, 1864 battle of Cedar Creek. It is a big deal to me because it is the only battle my direct ancestors were both at. I hope to make it to the living history event there to remember them; I have been attending since 1993. I would like to attend this year especially because my mother passed on August 30th and it would be a nice tribute to her as well because she loved genealogy, her heritage, and the fact that I am also so interested in it as well.

On another note, my paternal grandmother was an Elliot! I thought I could throw that name in to the Scottish heritage mix on this thread...LOL They were all sailors from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am currently looking to see if any were in the war. I haven't nailed any down yet. There were some Maryland Regiments from the Easter Shore, though...? As far as the old Country is concerned, the Elliot Clan were known to be bandits, or Border reivers, of the Middle March on the English/Scottish border. Oh, I must be a bad boy! LOL Funny that I am retired from thirty years in law enforcement..

Heritage isn't for everyone, however, I certainly think it matters!!! I love it!
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Border reivers, of the Middle March on the English/Scottish border.

" Scottish/English Border Reivers "

That's one of the complex historical UK topics I was talking about.

I don't think either side of the Border Reivers, were ever concerned about National Identity.
IMO it was all about outlaw profits.

Much like modern "gang warfare" .
 
Last edited:

LCYingling3rd

Private
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
" Scottish/English Border Reivers "

That's one of the complex historical UK topics I was talking about.

I don't think either side of the Border Reivers, were ever concerned about National Identity.
IMO it was all about outlaw profits.

Much like modern "gang warfare" .
Yes, that is my understanding too...I guess there was some barely enforceable, corrupt form of justice along the border called March Law...mixed juries of Scots and English..."Wardens" to carry out punishment - who were usually in cahoots with the reivers...and a rob if you were robbed, raid if you were raided ethic...organized lawlessness...gang warfare as you say...I obviously don't know much, however, I am sure complexities abound! Maybe some other time you could teach me a little. Thank you, Lew
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi

LCYingling3rd

Private
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Location
Nashville, TN
I can hazard a guess, based on Norwegian naming systems. In Norway (outside urban areas), a person had three names: the forename (Gustav), the patronymic (Anderson) and the property name (possibly Engdahl, "dahl" means valley). Or he may have followed the Danish custom and assumed any name that had appeared in his family. Scandinavians were (and are) very flexible about names. My Norwegian grandmother was one of three full siblings--none of whom had the same name.
Interesting! He was a Swede.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Interesting! He was a Swede.
Alas, I am not that knowledgeable about specific Swedish genealogy--and my Swedish-expert friend has just died. BUT, from what he told me, the 3rd name in Sweden is often a descriptive name of the farm, of an occupation, of a trait, etc. I've googled <swedish naming patterns> and got a lot of hits. Many concentrate on explaining the patronymic system and many seem to have been done with Norwegians in mind--but there were a few. I'd advise you to check these out (also, read the comments--many seem to be from Swedish-Americans and in the vein of "Yes--but...".
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Location
Nashville, TN
Alas, I am not that knowledgeable about specific Swedish genealogy--and my Swedish-expert friend has just died. BUT, from what he told me, the 3rd name in Sweden is often a descriptive name of the farm, of an occupation, of a trait, etc. I've googled <swedish naming patterns> and got a lot of hits. Many concentrate on explaining the patronymic system and many seem to have been done with Norwegians in mind--but there were a few. I'd advise you to check these out (also, read the comments--many seem to be from Swedish-Americans and in the vein of "Yes--but...".
I'm told my name Eng-dahl, means "Meadow-dale."
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I'm told my name Eng-dahl, means "Meadow-dale."
Lots of meadows in Sweden: Good Luck in tracking that down! Anderson isn't going to be any easier: not only is it one of the 5 most common Scandinavian surnames (along with Hanson/sen, Larson/sen, Johanson/sen and Olson/sen) but it was a surname used not only by Scandinavians but by Scots as well. Were this my family, I'd track back via his naturalization and immigration papers to identify a place in Sweden.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
He was wounded at Antietam but not sure when. His North Carolina pension forms lists September 18 as date he was wounded. Not sure if that is correct or not but it doesn't matter when just that he was. Will visit the battlefield this weekend and see Miller's Cornfield.
Did you find out where his regiment was on the 17th and where he could have been wounded if it was the 18th?
The Rangers at the interpretive center had handouts about each regiment with maps showing movements by the hour. I got a packet for the 17 Miss and the 3d Arkansas.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Sweden did not have inherited last-names/ surnames by law until 1901. Prior to that, only the first estate--the clergy--and the second estate--the nobility--had inherited surnames. Danes got last names by the 1820s. Norway held out until the 1920s. Iceland still uses the old Norse patronymic naming system. Thus, when Magnus has a daughter she is "Magnusdottir" while his son is Magnusson.

Eventually, some artisans and guilds and professions began to lend themselves to surnames, like much the rest of Europe. A peculiarity of Swedish surnames includes Finland, where Swedish speakers had their name, their patronymic (or matronymic in the cases of bastardy or children born outside of marriage), and the farm name. Unfortunately, and certainly vexing for modern-day genealogists, the farm name changed when the people moved. So it is often convoluted to follow ancestral movements in the church books!

In Sweden, a further wrinkle is that so-called "soldier's names." In Sweden, a group of peasant farms and households would be grouped together to make a "root"--the rotar. This group would have resented additional taxation and tithing, so instead, the group was to provide the king's army with a soldier. So a suitable lad would be induced to serve in the army, and the villagers would provide him with a croft or "soldattorp" cottage, and a barn. When he was called to service, whether at maneuvers, reviews, or actual war, the villagers in the "root" would help his wife and children with the farm work and so on. In the old Swedish army, it wouldn't do for an NCO or officer to shout an order to "Anders Andersson" and have half the company jump to their feet, so instead a "soldier name" was assigned, along with a number. The number was also assigned to their croft or cottage. So, for example, in my own family line, I had a falltjaeger or sharpshooter rifleman at a time most troops carried smooth-bore muskets. His name was--wait for it-- Jonas Jonsson. In the army, he became Nr. 79 Richter/Rikter--German for "judge." In turn, he decided his children would get that surname too. Other soldiers in my line include a corporal 83 Wenman (born Erik Larsson), his father Nr. 97 Duus, born Lars Eriksson, and 84 Orm, originally Anders Mansson, son of a tailor. Usually, a soldier-name is rather bellicose, something like "blank" or "blade" or even "carbin" or "pistol" or "shield" or "valor" or "bravery" or something like that. At other times, the name appears to be a "joke name" about one or another quality of the man, sort of like a nickname "tiny" for a a huge man or similar. "Cupid" for example, presumably for a person that in Great Britain would have been derided as a "poodle faker" or something like that...

The Swedish navy produced some of the world's worst naval/maritime disasters: The Mars or Jutehataren of 173 guns burned and exploded at the 1st battle of Oland in 1564. The 64-gun Vasa infamously sailed some 1400 meters into Stockholm harbor before heeling over, capsizing, and sinking in 1628. At still another battle off Oland in 1676 the 126-gun (it actually only had 105 guns installed) Kronan, with the admiral aboard, attempted a crazy port-side turn in rough weather that caused the ship to capsize, and then the powder magazine exploded. So the Dutch, Danes, and Norwegians often derided Swedish sailors as farmers dipped in sea water. Nonetheless, to keep the crews topped up, it was actually townsfolk and even port city dwellers who were induced to join the navy. They were given "sailor names" with all sorts of nautical themes. Sweden also possessed an "army fleet" of specialized littoral warships suited for operations in the Baltic, but that was a part of the army, not the navy.
 

96PaCoK

Cadet
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
I have numerous ancestors that fought for our country. Two of which stand out to me, they are my 5th G GF, H. Engle who fought in the Revolutionary War and rose from a 17 year old private, to the rank of Lieutenant, serving in Capt Geo. Bronchers Co, Capt Caspar Dulls Co and Capt Sands co. Then there is My GGF in the 96th PA. with whom I share a Surname, he fought is some of the bloodiest battles of the CW, and mustered out as a Corp. Having shared that, I don't feel it matters if you have "direct linage" or not. I think that having some pride if you do is OK. However, what I take from it personally I would like to think, is, a sense of humility and strength. Which often comes to me when I'm stuck in traffic, or in a line, or in conversation with someone exposing how difficult these times are.
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
Sweden did not have inherited last-names/ surnames by law until 1901. Prior to that, only the first estate--the clergy--and the second estate--the nobility--had inherited surnames. Danes got last names by the 1820s. Norway held out until the 1920s. Iceland still uses the old Norse patronymic naming system. Thus, when Magnus has a daughter she is "Magnusdottir" while his son is Magnusson.

Eventually, some artisans and guilds and professions began to lend themselves to surnames, like much the rest of Europe. A peculiarity of Swedish surnames includes Finland, where Swedish speakers had their name, their patronymic (or matronymic in the cases of bastardy or children born outside of marriage), and the farm name. Unfortunately, and certainly vexing for modern-day genealogists, the farm name changed when the people moved. So it is often convoluted to follow ancestral movements in the church books!

In Sweden, a further wrinkle is that so-called "soldier's names." In Sweden, a group of peasant farms and households would be grouped together to make a "root"--the rotar. This group would have resented additional taxation and tithing, so instead, the group was to provide the king's army with a soldier. So a suitable lad would be induced to serve in the army, and the villagers would provide him with a croft or "soldattorp" cottage, and a barn. When he was called to service, whether at maneuvers, reviews, or actual war, the villagers in the "root" would help his wife and children with the farm work and so on. In the old Swedish army, it wouldn't do for an NCO or officer to shout an order to "Anders Andersson" and have half the company jump to their feet, so instead a "soldier name" was assigned, along with a number. The number was also assigned to their croft or cottage. So, for example, in my own family line, I had a falltjaeger or sharpshooter rifleman at a time most troops carried smooth-bore muskets. His name was--wait for it-- Jonas Jonsson. In the army, he became Nr. 79 Richter/Rikter--German for "judge." In turn, he decided his children would get that surname too. Other soldiers in my line include a corporal 83 Wenman (born Erik Larsson), his father Nr. 97 Duus, born Lars Eriksson, and 84 Orm, originally Anders Mansson, son of a tailor. Usually, a soldier-name is rather bellicose, something like "blank" or "blade" or even "carbin" or "pistol" or "shield" or "valor" or "bravery" or something like that. At other times, the name appears to be a "joke name" about one or another quality of the man, sort of like a nickname "tiny" for a a huge man or similar. "Cupid" for example, presumably for a person that in Great Britain would have been derided as a "poodle faker" or something like that...

The Swedish navy produced some of the world's worst naval/maritime disasters: The Mars or Jutehataren of 173 guns burned and exploded at the 1st battle of Oland in 1564. The 64-gun Vasa infamously sailed some 1400 meters into Stockholm harbor before heeling over, capsizing, and sinking in 1628. At still another battle off Oland in 1676 the 126-gun (it actually only had 105 guns installed) Kronan, with the admiral aboard, attempted a crazy port-side turn in rough weather that caused the ship to capsize, and then the powder magazine exploded. So the Dutch, Danes, and Norwegians often derided Swedish sailors as farmers dipped in sea water. Nonetheless, to keep the crews topped up, it was actually townsfolk and even port city dwellers who were induced to join the navy. They were given "sailor names" with all sorts of nautical themes. Sweden also possessed an "army fleet" of specialized littoral warships suited for operations in the Baltic, but that was a part of the army, not the navy.
This is fascinating!
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Sweden did not have inherited last-names/ surnames by law until 1901. Prior to that, only the first estate--the clergy--and the second estate--the nobility--had inherited surnames. Danes got last names by the 1820s. Norway held out until the 1920s. Iceland still uses the old Norse patronymic naming system. Thus, when Magnus has a daughter she is "Magnusdottir" while his son is Magnusson.

Eventually, some artisans and guilds and professions began to lend themselves to surnames, like much the rest of Europe. A peculiarity of Swedish surnames includes Finland, where Swedish speakers had their name, their patronymic (or matronymic in the cases of bastardy or children born outside of marriage), and the farm name. Unfortunately, and certainly vexing for modern-day genealogists, the farm name changed when the people moved. So it is often convoluted to follow ancestral movements in the church books!

In Sweden, a further wrinkle is that so-called "soldier's names." In Sweden, a group of peasant farms and households would be grouped together to make a "root"--the rotar. This group would have resented additional taxation and tithing, so instead, the group was to provide the king's army with a soldier. So a suitable lad would be induced to serve in the army, and the villagers would provide him with a croft or "soldattorp" cottage, and a barn. When he was called to service, whether at maneuvers, reviews, or actual war, the villagers in the "root" would help his wife and children with the farm work and so on. In the old Swedish army, it wouldn't do for an NCO or officer to shout an order to "Anders Andersson" and have half the company jump to their feet, so instead a "soldier name" was assigned, along with a number. The number was also assigned to their croft or cottage. So, for example, in my own family line, I had a falltjaeger or sharpshooter rifleman at a time most troops carried smooth-bore muskets. His name was--wait for it-- Jonas Jonsson. In the army, he became Nr. 79 Richter/Rikter--German for "judge." In turn, he decided his children would get that surname too. Other soldiers in my line include a corporal 83 Wenman (born Erik Larsson), his father Nr. 97 Duus, born Lars Eriksson, and 84 Orm, originally Anders Mansson, son of a tailor. Usually, a soldier-name is rather bellicose, something like "blank" or "blade" or even "carbin" or "pistol" or "shield" or "valor" or "bravery" or something like that. At other times, the name appears to be a "joke name" about one or another quality of the man, sort of like a nickname "tiny" for a a huge man or similar. "Cupid" for example, presumably for a person that in Great Britain would have been derided as a "poodle faker" or something like that...

The Swedish navy produced some of the world's worst naval/maritime disasters: The Mars or Jutehataren of 173 guns burned and exploded at the 1st battle of Oland in 1564. The 64-gun Vasa infamously sailed some 1400 meters into Stockholm harbor before heeling over, capsizing, and sinking in 1628. At still another battle off Oland in 1676 the 126-gun (it actually only had 105 guns installed) Kronan, with the admiral aboard, attempted a crazy port-side turn in rough weather that caused the ship to capsize, and then the powder magazine exploded. So the Dutch, Danes, and Norwegians often derided Swedish sailors as farmers dipped in sea water. Nonetheless, to keep the crews topped up, it was actually townsfolk and even port city dwellers who were induced to join the navy. They were given "sailor names" with all sorts of nautical themes. Sweden also possessed an "army fleet" of specialized littoral warships suited for operations in the Baltic, but that was a part of the army, not the navy.
And then there are all the exceptions!

The only thing that I've found approaching this confusion are the "dit" names of French Canada. One of my French-Canadian genealogical colleagues was rather funny about the American approach to names: a client of his asked: "Why can't the French simply follow the same English system? Any why couldn't they keep their records in English?" 😂
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
And then there are all the exceptions!

The only thing that I've found approaching this confusion are the "dit" names of French Canada. One of my French-Canadian genealogical colleagues was rather funny about the American approach to names: a client of his asked: "Why can't the French simply follow the same English system? Any why couldn't they keep their records in English?" 😂
Every naming system is frustrating to genealogists. If only our ancestors thought about their future descendants and the details they would need for making family trees!
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Every naming system is frustrating to genealogists. If only our ancestors thought about their future descendants and the details they would need for making family trees!
I think all of em' had more immediate concerns when they disembarked on to the shores of "The New World".

:smoke:

Within my family, the misspelling of our name over centuries by semi-literate government clerks became the greatest challenge for our family genealogists. Seems it was easier to sign tax documents as written ... and leave the local Court House ... rather than trying to argue with a clerk about correct spelling.

I can relate.
I feel the same way when dealing with the clerks at my local driver's license renewal office.

But I'm very impressed with our amateur family genealogists. ( all three of them).
They had been working diligently for decades, and came very close to same results of our current DNA records.

So @lupaglupa , it's very frustrating at times ... but continue the search.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
The strangest, and perhaps most egregious transformation of a surname in my family tree or brushy shrub lineage line involves the descendants of some Palatine Germans who came to Pennsylvania in the 1700s... Back in the Rhineland Palatinate, their surname was "Brach," indicating that way back in the Medieval Dark Ages, the ancestor was someone involved in breeding, raising, and training hunting dogs... Before too long their name began to change, and by the 19th century--you just can't make this up--the surname became an Americanized one: "Prough" pronounced, ultimately, as "Pro" like in "pro sports."

My paternal great grandfather came to the U.S. to work in iron mines with the patronymic "Carlsson" and the farm name "Fratt." Just "Carlson" in the USA. Not to be confused with a Dane or a Norwegian Carlsen or similar derivative... And so it goes...
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
The strangest, and perhaps most egregious transformation of a surname in my family tree
My Norwegian surname is long and difficult; it has been mis-spelled and mis-pronounced by Americans since the family immigrated. But the family refused to shorten or amend the name (the old line about "we'd rather fight than switch"). That is until now: both of my father and his brother used a form that they think sounds more English. I have reverted back to the original so I and my own brothers are continuing the old tradition of varying names in the same family!
 
Top