Faroese Surnames

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Faroese Names.jpg

Primary Patronyms

As in the other Nordic countries, the use of primary patronyms (and sometimes matronyms) instead of surnames was common on the Faroe Islands until hereditary surnames became mandatory in Denmark in 1828.

To create a Faroese primary patronym, the suffix -son (= 'son') or -dóttir (= 'daughter') is added to the genitive form of the father's name. You will find the genitive forms of Faroese names in the grammar tables on the respective name pages.

Examples

Name Genitive Son's patronym Daughter's patronym
Sigurd Sigurdar Sigurdarson Sigurdardóttir
Jákup Jákups Jákupsson Jákupsdóttir
Jógvan Jógvans Jógvansson Jógvansdóttir
Arnfinnur Arnfins Arnfinsson Arnfinsdóttir

Danish Influence

The Faroe Islands have been a part of Norway, Denmark-Norway and Denmark since the Middle Ages and were therefore strongly influenced by Danish naming patterns (see Danish Surnames). This Danish influence is the reason why the most common surnames on the Faroe Islands are Danish secondary patronyms.

Farm Names

Some Faroese took a farm name instead or additionally to the (Danish) patronymic name.

See also