Search billions of records on

Sekse & Årvig Family Genealogy


Sekse Family tree

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

1865-census for Kvindherred

Sons of Norway

Scandinavian Food

Hardanger Fjord

Traditional dress

Norwegian Stave Churches

Norway Facts

Norwegian author Sigrid Undset

Lutefisk site

Lutheran site


Why are we Petersons?

   I suppose I should explain to everyone why so many of us carry the last name Peterson.

   Well in Norway they used to have a Patronymic naming system. For example if you are a girl and your fathers name was Peder your last name would have been Pedersdatter, and if you were a boy it would have been Pedersson. The reason it became Peterson is because when the Norwegians came to America the people who were responsible for recording names could not make out what these foreigners were saying so they wrote what they heard or thought they heard.

   Now if I have you thinking who could Peter be, Well he is the father of our original male immigrant Askjel Pedersson Aarvig, Peder's name was Peder Helgesson Pile. Which brings me to another thing, the last name behind your patronymic would have been the name of the farm you were from. Peder was born on the Pile farm which was in the Kvinnherad parish off the Hardanger Fjord. If you want to know our female immigrant Askjel's wife her name was Torbjørg Jonsdatter Sekse, the Sekse farm was located in Ullensvang parish in Norway, also off the Hardanger Fjord. If you visit the Årvig family tree link you will see how many of these folks I have listed for you. Also when you married you kept your name and your children carried the name of their father.

   The last tidbit I will share really quickly with you is the way a child received his or her first name.Because of this system of naming it was not uncommon to have more than one child named the same thing!

  • 1st son  = Fathers father
  • 2nd son = Mothers father
  • 3rd son = Father
  • 4th son = Fathers grandfather
  • 5th son =Mothers grandfather
  • 1st daughter =Fathers mother
  • 2nd daughter =Mothers mother
  • 3rd daughter =Mother
  • 4th daughter =Fathers grandmother
  • 5th daughter =Mothers grandmother