Ramgren
Hi, I have some Swedish ancestors with the surname Ramgren and I can't find any info on the name. Does anyone here have any ideas? Thanks!
Tags:  Ramgren
vote up1vote down

Replies

This looks like one of a type of surname that is common in Sweden, i.e., one adapted by an ancestor which has no real meaning.
Until the beginning of the 19th century few Swedes had hereditary surnames, using a literal patronymic instead, so someone(male) called Johansson or (female) Johansdotir would be the children of one Johann, and the male's children would have his given name plus -son or -dotir.
In the early years of the 19th century the government ordered all Swedish citizens to adopt permanent family names. It must have feared that many people who end up with a few common patronymics (they did), and suggested people should create a family name of their own. A list of monosyllabic nouns drawn from nature was published, and people were encouraged to put two together to make a name.
Some of these names looked like real locative names, e.g., Eklund (oak wood)and Sjostrand (sea shore). Others made little sense, e.g., Blomkvist (flower twig).
The second component of Ramgren, 'gren' means 'branch', one of the words on the government's list. I don't know the meaning of the first component. It can mean 'paw' in Swedish, but I doubt that that's the meaning in this case. Sometimes people used a word not on the published list.
vote up1vote down
Thank you so much, Jim! This is what I suspected, but I couldn't figure out the "ram" component of the name. Google translate came up with "frame" but that didn't seem to make sense, like "paw". I haven't been able to trace my Ramgren line very far back, presumably because the family took this name in the 19th century. The swedes seem really great about record keeping - I wish there were a record of which families changed names and when.Thank you again for your help!
vote up1vote down
Out of curiosity I searched for 'Ramsson" as a surname, and found that there is such a name. This raises the possibility that Ram is a forename, or perhaps, a familiar or diminutive form of a forename.
vote up1vote down
This list of surname components give ram as a variant of ravn, meaning "raven".
https://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Surname_Elements_R
vote up1vote down
Wow, thank you so much for your help! So it may be Raven-branch - I like it. Now for the Björn side of the family... I've read that can be from a given name, a nickname, a place name, OR an ornamental name, so I'm sure I'll be back for help.Thank you again, and stay healthy!
vote up1vote down
Björn means "bear" (a number of Germanic words have -n variants). It's a common element of dithematic names, but also occurs on it's own, as a nickname, and of course in place names. The Beo- in Beowulf is an Anglicized short form (in the poem Beowulf is a Geat, from Gottland), which creates a wordplay (it reads as bee-wolf, i.e. bear).p b f and v followed by n frequently become mn>n if the intervening vowel becomes unvoiced, so Rafn becomes Ram, *sopnus becomes somnus (but without the -n stem remains sopor, sopio etc.)
vote up1vote down
You too, dear lady.
vote up1vote down