Family names

In my side of the family you can find

  • Many common patronymes like Andersen, Christensen, Frederiksen, Hansen, Jensen, Larsen, Nielsen, Olsen, Pedersen, Rasmussen og Sørensen. Patronyme means named after the father, i.e. Andersen means “son of Anders” so it changed from one generation to the next.
  • and more unusual patronymes like Albrechtsen, Berthelsen, Børresdatter, Eliasen, Florentsen, Tolversen, Tygesen, Marquartsen / Marchussen.
  • More distinct family names: Backhausen, Behrendt, Bisterfeldt, Broholm, Duikweiter, Gerlach, Heinich, Hersleb, Huulegaard, Krag, Løvenbalck, Marcher, Mou, Pindsdag, Piil, Render, Stub, Vichelsøe. The origin of some of the names are explained below.

Backhausen – of german origin. The part Backhaus means a free standing building that was used for baking bread in some parts of Germany. It could be shared by all persons in a village. I have no idea why my ancestor Johann Backhaus from Hesse had this name. He arrived in Denmark in 1781 as a contract soldier.

Bisterfeldt is probably a locality in Germany (town or village). Exists also today. A few bakers in Copenhagen in the 18th century uses it. My Bernt Friderich Bisterfeldt may be born in Germany – or the german connection may be generations further back.

Broholm – is a Danish locality name connected to Broholm in Brylle parish on the Island of Fynen. In my family seen by persons working for the fleet in Copenhagen, living in Nyboder. Some Danish baptists come from this family. They are not connected to the priests wearing the same name.

Hersleb – family of priests originating from the village of Herslev near Kolding in Jutland. Very well documented family with many priests in Denmark and Norway and even a bishop. Names were often germanised, so Herslev turned into Hersleb.

Heinich has been spelled in several ways – the core of the name may be Heinks or Heinke. Johan Daniel Heinich reproted he came from Hildburghausen in Germany. Contract soldier from 1758 to his death in 1787 in Denmark.

Huulegaard is a funny family name taken after the larger farm called Huulegaard near to Lejre in Mid-sealand. Known for several merchandts in 18.century Copenhagen. The name combine “cave” and “farm”.

Løvenbalck has been reported as a family of noblemen before the Protestant Reformation in 1537. Originated from King Christoffer II around year 1300 with a few dubious links.

Marcher is a family name from Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. The locality of Western Mary or Vester Marie / Western Fields / Vester Marker. Several families with the same origin: Marker, Marcker, Marcher. Counting today in Denmark gives 580 Marcher, 46 Marcker, and 642 Marker in Denmark (year 2008). The name Märcher is of German origin, and not related, today 90 wearing this name. My Marcher line came from Rønne town by the Captain Clemens Christian Marcher, around year 1803. Transferred to my biological line by adoption later.

Vichelsøe or Wichelsøe come from the area around Odense on Fynen. My ancestor moved from Odense to Copenhagen around year 1780. The name belongs to the small Island named Vigelsø in The Bay of Odense. Today the names Vikkelsø, Vikkelsøe, Wikkelsø, Wikkelsøe, are carried by 180 persons in Denmark.

Duikweiter – this names is quite a mystery. Traced to Christian Duikweiter, found from 1810 in Hørsholm & Søllerød north of Copenhagen. He was working with textile dying at a factory making a.o. soldier uniform clothings. He came from Southern Slesvig, which is now part of Germany. Currently 17 Duchwaider persons in Danmark, all descendants from Christian – some of these re-claimed the right to the name in 1904. The name was originally Duchweiler.

Tolversen – a funny and rare patronym from the Hornsherred area. Mr. Tolver Nielsen born 1706 in Krogstrup, had 5 children with descendants. Curiously we have one genealogist in every of these 5 lines of the family! The meaning of the name is unknown, could be related to the number 12, or a customs officer.

Pindsdag – “Pentecost day”, a funny name from Nr. Vedby parish on the Island of Falster. Nicknames like this often adhered to a particular farmhouse. The same area holds nicknames like Render, Stub, Ræv and Piil (Grooves, Tree Stump, Fox, Willow). It was often combined with the patronyme, e.g. Søren Simonsen Pindsdag.