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Member Since 06 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active May 28 2017 05:31 PM

Topics I've Started

Family Surname Keeps Changing

13 May 2017 - 07:25 AM

How does everyone else handle a situation like this.  My ancestors are from Finland where surnames were often taken (and changed) depending on the farm where they lived and worked.  My 2x great grandfather's surname was Kelhala at birth and later changed to Tiitto (before moving to the US and "Americanizing" his surname).  My 3x great grandfather was Kelhala, 4x great grandfather was Ukonsaari, and 6x great grandfather was Korpi, all paternal relatives.  You can see that the surname is not passed down the line, which makes for much confusion when searching records.  Even the father's name on parish records is listed simply as "Nils Jacobsson" (Nils, the son of Jacob) with the farm name of Korpi (or Corpi) at the top of the parish record.  What I've done so far is just list the surname as recorded at birth by the record of the father listed in the Finnish archive.  If the family moves and later shows up on church records with a different surname due to relocation, I've added that as an alternate name.  To add even more confusion to the story, Finnish females often had no surnames and were listed in birth records and parish records as simply Maria Johansdotter.  I've given them the surname of the father based on HIS surname from the family farm location at time of HER birth.  Whew!