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Författare Ämne: Origins of Name Molander?  (läst 684 gånger)

2022-01-29, 19:09
läst 684 gånger

Utloggad Mark Molander

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I have an ancestor named Anders Håkansson, who was born in Motala Sweden in 1720, who changed his last name to Molander after he was born.

I had been told long ago by a Swedish grandmother that my last name is derived from the "Mo" of "Motala", but have learned recently that Anders Håkansson Molander was at one time a miller, which can be spelled "Mölnare" in old Swedish, so that makes me wonder if he could have based his new last name on the word Mölnare and not from the parish Motala.  Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated!

Thanks, Mark Molander (8th generation Molander)


 


2022-01-29, 19:52
Svar #1

Utloggad Kalle Birgersson

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I think your grandmother was right, it's from Mo in Motala. It was a common practice to take a last name from the place you came from, much more common than taking it from the profession. Also, O and Ö might look simmilar but they sound very different.

2022-01-30, 16:14
Svar #2

Utloggad Mark Molander

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Thanks Kalle!

I really appreciate the explanation.  So, "Mo" for "Motala" it is!

- Mark

2022-08-21, 10:28
Svar #3

Utloggad Olof Molander

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Kalle Birgersson is wrong!
The name Molander is a version of the word for miller, Mjölnare.

Olof Molander

2022-08-21, 12:07
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Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi!

I think that the name Molander can be found at many different locations and therefor have different origins/meanings. One person with that name might have been a Miller but another one not. Perhaps Olof Molanders ancestors are the ones form Motala but perhaps they are not. At this moment I do not know that and therefor I can't say if his and Marks surnames have the same meaning . Mo in Motala seems like a possible explanation for a name. The word mo means a plain land of sand and gravel often with pine trees on it. But Mo in Motala might be something els according Wikipedia, it might be "Mot" a place where roads met.  I guess we would need to take a closer look at Anders Håkansson and see if we can find something there. Where did he live later on?

Klas

2022-08-21, 17:23
Svar #5

Utloggad Mark Molander

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In case these details help...
- Anders Håkansson was born 19 March 1720 in Hundsberg, Motala: 
https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/C0017122_00167#?c=&m=&s=&cv=166&xywh=2837%2C1004%2C2462%2C1146
- Anders Molander was for a time a miller, then he was an inspector.  He lived first in Duvedal's salvation mill in Vinnerstad, then in Lilla Hals in Motala parish.  One of his brothers also changed his last name to "Molander".
- He died in 1791 in Motala, perhaps in Lilla Hals:https://sok.riksarkivet.se/bildvisning/C0017124_00281#?c=&m=&s=&cv=280&xywh=3083%2C1735%2C3836%2C1862



2022-08-21, 17:43
Svar #6

Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi again!

I found some about the family here on Rötter's forum under the name Molander from:
 Äldre inlägg (arkiv) till 06 februari, 2010. By Gert Pålsson.
https://forum.rotter.se/index.php?topic=72748.0

"Håkan Larsson i Hunsberg, Motala hade 3 söner (som jag känner till) Lars, Claes och Anders, de 2 sistnämnda kallar sig för Molander men sonen Lars Håkansson som är mjölnare gifter sig med en änka 1738 i Hällegården, Motala, mera uppgifter om honom har jag inte. Claes är gästgivare i Husbyfjöl i Brunneby och Anders var en tid mjölnare sedan kallas inspektor och bodde först i Duvedals frälsekvarn, Vinnerstad sedan i Lilla Hals i Motala/ HL from Hunseberg, Motala had 3 sons (that I know of) Lars, Claes and Anders, the two last called themselves Molander but the son Lars, who is a miller, married a widow 1738 in Hällgården Motala, I do not have more about him. Claes is an innkeeperin at Husbyfjöl in Brunneby and Anders was for a while a miller later called inspector and first lived in Duvedals frälsekvarn, Vinnerstad (Parish) later in Lilla Hals Motala"

This corresponds to what you say.
So if this is correct two sons had the name Molander which might point to that it has nothing to do with the occupation miller. You were allowed to take surnames in the past and many non farmers did so. Molander could just be a name they liked, perhaps they knew someone with that name, or they lived at a place where there was a mo (sandy plain) or they thought it suited well because of Motala? If you can establish which son who tok it first and when you can see if it has something to do with the occupation miller/mjölnare. It is most likely not connected to the occupation miller, at least that is my guess.

Regards

Klas

2022-08-21, 18:23
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Utloggad Mark Molander

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Thanks for your quick reply!  I'll try to look into more of the details around when the name changed to Molander, and how it coincided with his brother's name change.  If he too became a miller perhaps it could be occupation based, but as pointed out it could alternatively be for a sandy spit of land, or for Motala.

- Mark

2022-08-21, 18:55
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Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi Mark!

Of what I understand, and mention above, his brother Claes was and innkeeper and not a miller. It was the brother Anders who was a miller for a while according Gert Pålsson, but Anders did not take the name Molander. So if that is correct two brothers took the same surname, Molander, without having the same occupation. But it is probably a good idea to check that up if you can, and see for your self that Claes was not a miller. If the brother Claes was not a miller I think that points to that it was not from the word Mölla or Mjölnare (mill and miller) Molander was inspired. If not their father was a miller?

Molander is a surname that not only existed in Motala and there about but in several places in Sweden and Finland during the past. Therefor it is not a direct connection between mo in Motala and Mo in Molander. I am not sure here but my guess is that "mo" in Molander comes from the special kind of sandy plain, often with pine trees and heather growing on it. Mo is a word that we know about in the old Norse language from the Viking Age. It is also used in Finland. But off course, because the brothers came from Motala, and they most certain did not know the exact meaning of mo in Motala (part of the word mot), they might have thought it sounded good to start their names with mo just as in their natvie place?


Regards

Klas

2022-08-21, 21:33
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Utloggad Klas Wallén

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It struck me when I was out fishing that there are several other surnames that ends with-ander like Erlander, Afander and Olander. So it is not mo that is the prefix but probably instead mol. Ander is a suffix/ending that means "man/human" from the Greek word for man, andros . But mol is not a common word today. It mean something like totally, fully or absolutely or a strengthening of an expression. So Molander would be something like "fully man/ true man". Still your ancestor and his brother might have taken that name because it started with mo, as in Motala.

Sorry for the many explanations but I hope my last one is clear :)


Klas

2022-08-22, 02:20
Svar #10

Utloggad Mark Molander

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Klas,

Please don't apologize!  I really appreciate all the speculations and ideas.

I kind of like the possibility that the "Mo" part of the name was from old Norse, and which was to honor the sandy-soil terrain with pine trees and heather, such as the one in the attached picture, which can be quite beautiful.  I'm wondering if there many "Mo"s like this within the Motala parish area?

Thanks, Mark


2022-08-22, 07:26
Svar #11

Utloggad Kalle Birgersson

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Motala is on the edge of the flat and fertile plain of Östergötland, an old sea floor, but I guess there might be some "mo" in the northern part of the parish. But I think that is to over-think the name, I still think they took it from Motala.

2022-08-22, 12:17
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Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi!

Yes a mo  can be a very beautiful place and if you think of that when you hear the name Molander that is good.
It is so difficult to know exactly what a name meant for them who lived during the 18th Century. The name Molander, if we are to analyze the meaning today, would probably be something like true man because it is an -ander name and we know that comes from andros the Greek word for man, and it has the prefix Mol and that means either absolutely, fully, or totally or it might be an strengthening of an expression. But if we look at the name Ölander and analyze it the same way we would get the -ander part with man but the prefix would be öl, which is Swedish for beer. So it would be a beer man  :)

Well I know about the origin for one family, my ancestors in Ölmstad Parish outside Jönköping. They came from the farm/settlement called Öland (not to be confused with the island Öland in the Baltic Sea). So they just took the first syllable -öl and created an -ander name. So it would be a man from Öland. Perhaps your ancestors just thought that Molander reminded them of Motala? And the meaning of mo in Motala is not fully clear, for them it might have been a mo?

We can often find moar (plural) where we can find ridges of sand and gravel, what is called eskers in English or rullstensåsar in Swedish, and there are several such eskers in Motala Parish and the surrounding area.

I think we can say that it is not most likely that your ancestors took the name because they were millers though.

Regards

Klas

2022-08-22, 14:54
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Utloggad Jörgen Tollesson

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Let's not complicate things...  :)

People could take any name they liked. We don't know for sure why someone took a certain name, we can only guess. If the name starts with the beginning of a place name, where that person was born or lived, it's not a wild guess that that is what gave the inspiration to the name. Or they could take a name that was inspired by another name they had seen - or rather heard. Or just make up a name that looks or sounds 'fancy'...  :)

The only thing we know for sure is that ordinary people did not speak Greek. So forget about andros. If a family came from a village called Öland and took the name Ölander, then of course they didn't take Öl- from Öland and added -ander from andros. They simply added -er to Öland.

Motala does not begin with mo, it begins with mot, a place where persons or roads möts (meet). The ending -ala is disputed, so let's not get in to that.  :)

There are many Molander families all over Sweden that are not related. And their respective ancesters who originally started to use the name can of course have done so for different reasons. Many of them were soldiers, so in their cases it's a soldier's name that they perhaps didn't even chose themselves.

In other words, we can't say that Molander, or any other name like that, actually "means" something. We can only try to guess why a person or family chose that name. And it's far more likely that Molander begins with Mo- plus the ending -lander (from land), than Mol- plus -ander (from andros).
Kontakt: http://www.arkivguiden.net/jts.shtml. | Ser gamla inlägg (före april 2016) underliga ut? Argumenterar jag mot mig själv? Saknas något i inläggen? Finns där något som inte borde vara där? Läs då om orsaken här: http://forum.arkivguiden.net/agf/disk/42626/62869.shtml#post16472.

2022-08-22, 15:03
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Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Jörgen

Well aprox: what I have discussed then. Almost everything you write we have discussed before in this thread: Motala probably having mot- as prefix, that we do not know why people took different names in the past, that there are several different families of Molander from all around Sweden (and Finland) and much more. And off course ordinary people did not knew the meaning of andros but I do not claim that either.
A name can have a meaning when we analyze it today and still people who took that might not knew about it. We know about the tradition in Sweden, to add -ander to names, it origins from the Medieval era and -ander comes from andros. Later on people continued that tradition but off course everyone did not knew about the origins The ones in Motala for example did not invent the surname Molander they chose it, perhaps because it reminded of Motala. You are very picky on others trying to help Jörgen.

Klas

2022-08-22, 15:46
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Utloggad Kalle Birgersson

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Let's not forget what grandma said about the name, she might have heard it from older relatives that heard it from the original Molander or maybe next generation

2022-08-22, 16:53
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Utloggad Mark Molander

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Everyone,

Thanks so much for the all the great information on the possible origins of the name.  I really appreciate all the ideas and history.  It's been fascinating.

Mark Molander

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