Girsback - English to Finnish
My family last name is Girsback. I do not know the Finnish spelling for this and I imagine it was changed when my ancestor came over from Finland, to make it easier to pronounce. Any help on the Finnish spelling would be great.
Tags:  English, Finnish
vote up1vote down

Replies

The name was Girsback when your ancestor came to the US from Finland but as you can see at tinyurl.com/lcobxn4, his given name was Emil, his wife was Olga and his son was Adolph which are definitely not Finnish. It sounds like they were German Russians previously and that the original surname was probably Gersbach (see tinyurl.com/m9ll38b) which comes from the name of several places in Germany and Austria (see tinyurl.com/m5levoa).
vote up1vote down
Swedish maybe? A fair proportion of Finns had Swedish surnames, a result of being subject to Swedish rule. Later many of these translated their Swedish surnames into Finnish, a procedure that may have begun after your ancestor emigrated.
vote up1vote down