I have been working on Finnish genealogy for many years, and have been taught by my relatives, including a genealogist cousin in Finland and others on other genealogical sites, that the proper nomenclature for surnames is both patronymic name and farm name/family name as the last name. It seems that most individuals I've interacted with on this site agree with this, as that's how almost ALL Finnish individuals have been entered.
However, there has been one individual going against this, stating that he has been taught that it's only patronymic, and deleting both names and alternate names with farm/family names involved. Interactions with him show he is only concerned about the names, rather than the full profile or any other Finnish research.
It seems as the Finnish Wiki page has conflicting thoughts on this.
My concern about having only patronymic is the incorrect merges that occur. I have literally spent hundreds of hours on correcting incorrect merges because newcomers to the site think that there is only one "Matti Juhonpoika" or "Matt Johansson" in all of Finland, and start merging them all together, ending up with one Matti with tens of wives...then start on other individuals. This has happened more times than I'd like to count, and is a huge headache to sort out.
Including the farm name/family name in the last name field helps the name stand out, helps to possibly alleviate incorrect merges, and helps those of us trying to correct incorrect merges trace where everything went awry, including making it easier to determine whose children belong to whom.
I agree with your comments completely. The same trouble arises in Norway and the wiki page on Norwegian names also has a lot of incorrect information about types of last names and how they were used. I hope you can get that other researcher to understand how important farm names are.3
@IronRangeVolunteerProject and @Gordon Collett , you both seem to know what you are talking about, so it would be very beneficial for other researchers if you could alter the relevant Wiki pages. (I am not connected with FamilySearch)
I know there are hurdles connected with this, you have to apply for and be accepted as a Wiki editor, and there may be formatting issues. However I write for another Wiki, and the formatting is a minor issue.
From the main Wiki page https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Main_Page there is a section on the left hand side of the page "Edit the Wiki"
From any Wiki page you can click on "View Source" (Top right hand corner) to see how the page has been formatted. If you are just altering text it is fairly straight forward, and there is an Help page for editing1
Add Denmark to your list of countries which add farm name to the patronymic name. And add me to the list of people who believe this is a very good suggestion. I have a story about ignorant Americans which shows how important it is NOT to ignore the farm portion of the name just because you don't know what it is.
In my case, a coincidence in names turned out not to be. GG grandma came to this country and had an odd, non patronymic surname in the 1900 US census. I was baffled as to what it was and even novice that I was, I was could see that it was an odd first name for her husband, father or father-in-law to have. Researching that name brought up nothing.
Fast forward to 2017. My 90 year old uncle and I are sharing family history stories to broaden my base of research. He told me that shortly after the end of WW II, while stationed in Germany, he got time off to visit Denmark to see his grandfather. In Denmark, the two of them went to the place of his grandfather's birth which was a farm where grandfather's parents (my gx2 grandparents) had lived and worked at the time. The place had almost the same name as the 1900 census. The coincidence hit me so hard at the time that I put all this in my "smart phone" notes so I could have that name with me always. (It's still there, many phones later.) My uncle had no explanation as to why she chose to have that farm name as a surname when she came to the USA, and told me to be careful in assuming that. Neither of us sorted out the connection and my uncle passed before I got to the bottom of the story. Fast forward several more years and I finally went to the Scandinavian Research Group in this community asking for help. A very kind lady explained in detail what was going on, and in fact found Danish records for me that she added to the person pages. That branch is still a brick wall, but not the wall it once was, stuck on a farm name.
It is very critical that this suggestion be looked at and acted on. My story shows just how much family history is in fact embedded in these Scandinavian surnames with the farm name.1
A few years I applied to be able to edit the wiki and made a bunch of improvements to the wiki page discussing Norwegian names including plenty of sources. Then someone reversed all my changes and locked the page. My wife, who is Norwegian, contacted someone at FamilySearch and whoever took out the information I added does not work for FamilySearch and they had no idea who the person was that made the changes. The page remains locked.
There seem to be a lot of myths out there regarding Scandinavian names. I think some of them stem from ancient genealogical "standards" required by paper forms and filing cabinets. I'd heard somewhere that for a time back in the 40's to 60's range FamilySearch required all Norwegians to be submitted with only the patronymic and only ending in -sen for both men and women for alphabetizing purposes. It's really hard to get ingrained "standards" to change. Norwegians actually had four different types of surnames and it is important to include the right type of name for any one individual.
One myth out there is that the patronymic ending -sen is Danish and Norwegian and -son is Swedish. In reality, -sen is only used in Norway because all the priests were Danish or educated in Denmark. I recently ran across a Norwegian book that was a collection of scholarly articles about Norwegian names that went over that topic and one researcher said that if people were using proper Norwegian, -søn is the correct ending. In the older parish registers you will actually find -sen, -ssen, -søn, -ssøn, -son, -sson, -zen, -szen. Also, -datter is Danish and -dotter is used in both Sweden and Norway.1
@Gordon Collett That is amazing information.1
Thanks for your input, @Gordon Collett, @MaureenE123, and @Gail Swihart Watson! Glad to see others are in agreement with the nomenclature!
Question is...how do I get the attention of the right people so we can make these changes? It's rather pressing, as the individual in question is obliterating the Finnish family tree. Without a Wiki page or reference to guide, I cannot force him to stop.0
@IronRangeVolunteerProject , in spite of Gordon's experience (which I think is appalling for the message it sends about FamilySearch's desire to improve the quality of information), all I can suggest is that you try and see if you can alter the Wiki information yourself.
My own view is that you cannot rely on anyone else to make Wiki changes, even if you request such changes be made.
Many years ago I made minor Wiki changes, in the days when anyone could edit the Wiki. Subsequent to that I requested that some Wiki changes be made, via the left hand side of the Wiki webpages, (not wishing to apply to be a Wiki editor). These changes were never made, and in fact I got no feedback at all, neither an acknowledgment of receipt, or any feedback as to why my suggestions were not considered worthwhile adding.
In addition, after many years of Community viewing, my view is that very rarely matters appear to be brought to the attention of the "right people".2
Will try that route, @MaureenE123; thanks for that suggestion! Sorry to hear your changes were not included in the Wiki - very frustrating.
@Gordon Collett Sorry to hear you've had a frustrating experience! Ridiculous the passive aggressiveness of locking you out, rather than reaching out to you to find the answer. Seems there are many of these types out there - the whole "my way or the highway". Interesting about the filing standards...not too helpful when there's so many with the same name! If I have a chance to edit, I can try to put in your suggestions - let's work together!
@Gail Swihart Watson Intriguing story! Thanks for sharing! The more information/names entered, the better!
I will try posting in the Nordic Countries group to see what people say there. Thanks again!0