A German colony in Jutland: the evidence of Christian names

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In 1760, invited by king Frederik V, immigrants came to Denmark from the
southern parts of Germany. Uninhabited moorlands in Jutland needed to be
cultivated and the German immigrants were offered a number of inducements
to settle in Viborg County. Many of the German immigrants settled in a single
parish, Frederik’s Parish. Here the German language was used for services in
the parish church until 1856. Thereafter German and Danish services alternated,
and from 1870 the church language was solely Danish.

This investigation shows that in 1801, after about 40 years in Denmark, the
immigrants’ descendants still use Christian names that are different from the
national Danish pattern. But in 1880 many of the descendants bear a particularly
Danish development of a Nordic name, a name from the saints’ calendar,
or a name from the Bible. The increase in these names took place in the 1850s
just after Denmark lost the war in 1848-50 against the German States, and
Danish nationalism had arisen throughout the country. For this reason the
descendants of the German immigrants had a need culturally or politically to
show their Danish identity through the names about 20 years before the language of the church services became exclusively Danish in 1870.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOnoma: Journal of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences
Volume46 (2011)
Pages (from-to)53-75
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 45773315