Info about certain names

See also

In Denmark, and especially in the villages and parishes around Haderslev (Hammelev, Lunding, Maugstrup, Nustrup, Starup, Styding etc.) the surname Ravn seems to be very common. I have no knowledge as to how or why they got the name, but it is my conviction that all of them are not necessarily related. The more conscious of the name one is, the more it seems to appear, and as a matter of fact not only in the mentioned area, but all over the country. The Ravn family descending from Jørgen Ravn is the one I am interested in, since they are intermarried to the Muurmann family, and in the mid 1800’s the Muurmann family married into the Herbst family:

Jørgen Ravn (Ca. 1588 – Ca. 1638) x Unknown
Dorthe Jørgensdatter Ravn (i) (Ca. 1613 Wandling, Starup, Haderslev – Ca. 1653) x Jes Nissen (Ca. 1608 – Ca. 1653)
Jürgen Jessen Ravn (Ca. 1646 Lunding by, Sønder Starup, Haderslev, Haderslev – Ca. 1698) x Unknown
Dorreth Jørgensdatter (Ca. 1677 Lunding by, Sønder Starup, Haderslev, Haderslev – Ca. 1758) x Niels Sørensen (Ca. 1687 Lunding by, Sønder Starup, Haderslev, Haderslev – Ca. 1716)
Søren Nielsen Ravn (Ca. 1715 Lunding by, Sønder Starup, Haderslev, Haderslev – 6 maj 1782) x Lucia Maria Fredericsdatter (1713 Flaut by, Øsby, Haderslev, Haderslev – 15 dec. 1787)
Bodil Maria Sørensdatter Ravn (Ca. 1756 Hammelev, Gram, Haderslev – 1830) x Peder Jepsen (1754 Hammelev, Gram, Haderslev – 2 jun. 1792)
Ellen Ravn (10 sep. 1782 Hammelev, Gram, Haderslev – ) x Peder Christensen Muurmand (14 aug. 1782 Hammelev, Gram, Haderslev -)
Christen Pedersen Muurmand (12 aug. 1815 Hammelev, Gram, Haderslev – 4 dec. 1870) x Anna Catharian Juhl (15 sep 1816 Åbenrå -)
Christiane Muurmann (24 apr. 1844 Åbenrå -) x August Benjamin Herbst (31 aug. 1843 Ohra, Kreis Danziger Höhe, West Prussia – 19 aug. 1899)
August Herbst (26 feb. 1881 Utterslev, Sokkelund, København – 1938) x Anna Margrethe Sofie Christensen (9 jun. 1882 Sct. Olai sogn, Helsingør – 1928)
Svend August Herbst (26 jan. 1906 Sundby, Sokkelund, København -) x Marie Viola Iris Hansen (13 apr. 1907 Frederiksberg, Sokkelund, København – jan 1973)
Alice Herbst x Henrik Anders Emmerth Pedersen

After Svend August Herbst comes his daughter (my mother) etc., but my father’s family is also very interesting, especially on his mother’s side, where the Falkenstjerne family appears, and subsequently marries into the Høyer family, the latter name seems to be many different families or family branches,  – and like many other family names mentioned here – probably originates from Germany. As I gather still more information it becomes increasingly obvious to me, that there are probably not many Danes without German ancestors. 

I have recently discovered from Richard Schottlaender that the surname Herbst is actually of Jewish origin. However, in Richard Schottlaenders opinion, non-jews carried this name as well as jews, and I have never heard a single word about jews in my family, but who really knows? This image is from the German Jewish Surname Book:

The Swedish names in my family tree are all connected to my great grandmother on my mother’s side, Marie Petersson, who was born of Swedish parents, just like another family, the Bergquists. However, it is very likely that another family branch also originates from Sweden: The Falkenstjerne family on my fathers side. This one, however is rather tricky, as I have trouble confirming some of the relations between the Swedish and the Danish parts of this family.

The many German names in my tree originate from several people, among them August Benjamin Herbst, who came to Denmark from a small town called Ohra (now Orunia) outside Danzig in West Prussia, now Poland. He and his family are the ones my grandfather was searching for, namely his own ancestors.

Other German ancestors are Christian Gottlieb Høyer, Johan Christopher Dithmer, Frederich Anton Grelle, Paul Juhl, and Johann Eduard Julius Just Hansen, the latter descending from the same family branch as Severin Oppenhagen Hansen, mentioned below among the Americans.

The many Dutch names appear from one of my great grandfather’s brothers, who married Niel Schmidt, a female descendant of one of the many Dutch immigrants that came to Denmark. The Danish King Christian II invited a number of Dutch families to live on the island of Amager, just south of Copenhagen, with the purpose of growing vegetables and manufacturing cheese and butter, a skill that was – rightly so – believed to be far better evolved in the Netherlands, than almost anywhere else. Christian II granted the Dutch freedom of taxes and other privileges for a number of years. To this day, a large number of Dutch descendants live on the island of Amager, and elsewhere. There is even a large neighborhood of roads on the island with Dutch names: Adriansvej, Backersvej, Dirchsvej, Greisvej, Jansvej, Theisvej, Tønnesvej, Wibrandtsvej, Willumsvej.

What makes the Dutch names so interesting, and especially challenging to work with, is the fact that their commonly spoken and written language was ‘low German’, a mix between German and Dutch. And this went on for a long time, allegedly from the very beginning in the 1520es and until 1811, even in the church records (Source:,26310648). But the pedigrees that have been created in Denmark, by Danes, often show their names as ‘translated’ to Danish. An example:
Let’s assume that Dirck Freecs had a daughter, and let’s assume he called her Griet. She could be mentioned as Griet Dirck Freecs, Griet Freecs Dochter, Griet Frederiksdatter, Grith Freecsdatter or even Grete Frederiksdatter. These confusions can present quite the challenge when determining who is who, especially in the early days. But who doesn’t like challenges? Unfortunately, this might also be a cause for mistakes, but in the end all will be good, I hope.

The Americans in my family tree basically originate from 2 persons: Severin Oppenhagen Hansen, who emigrated to the United States in the 1860’s, and Charles Gustav Binderup who, like Severin Oppenhagen Hansen, was born in Denmark, but emigrated as a child together with his parents. Binderup became a tradesman, and later a democratic congressman, although not a very successful one. But there is another family name, which is interesting: Emmertsen, or as the Americans write: Emmertson. A sister of my fathers mothers father married Knud Emmertsen, who became a mormon, and moved to Utah, going by the name Knud ‘Bruce’ Emmertson. A couple of handfuls of American cousins are among the descendants of this family.

Names of special interest to me are Bergquist, Beuse, Binderup, Blichmann, Bly, Blythe, Bolen, Bothmann, Bruus, Bræraa, Capitain, Capitains, Dithmer, Eden, Emmertsen, Falkenstjerne (or Falchenstierna/Falckenstierna), Fines/Finis (all of which names I have called Fines), Foote, Glad, Golz (or Goll), Graham (or Grayham), Grelle, Graae, Grimaldi, Guasp, Guss, Hangelands, Hansen, Hejselbak, Herbst, Herndon, Hicks or Hix, Hjort, Huek/Hueks/Huck/Hucks/Hoeck/Hoecks (all of which names I have called Huck/Hucks), Høyer, Ingram, Jacobs, Jans, Jansen, Jeppesen, Jepsen, Jessen, Juhl, Junger, Jönsson, Jönsdotter, Kennedy, Kissinger, Knight, Krabbe, Kromann, Kurvemager, Lukenbill, Løber, Majors, Marlar, Marquess, Muurmann, Muxoll, Oppenhagen, Passer, PeterssonRavn, Snedker, Svane, Svanes, Strømberg, Theobalt, Thestesen, Thiedemann, Tiemanns, Tydsks, Ulspils, Wallace, Wass, Watson, Weile, Weir, Wiil, Windelboe, Wohlfahrt, Yawman, Åkesen, Aalsgaard, and many more.

It literally blows my mind thinking of the potential number of ancestors each of us have. If we assume there’s a new generation born every 25 years, and we think back to the birth of Jesus, we each have some 80 generations of ancestors since that time. With the number of ancestors doubling for every generation: You are 1 person, your parents were 2, their parents were 4 etc, the number we reach doing this interesting piece of math, equals 279 the result of which is this stunning figure: 604.462.909.807.314.587.353.088 and there’s no room for mistakes, except when interrelated people married. Counting siblings and their children, the number becomes even higher, even if we deduct the rather few families who share common ancestors.If we were to say it out loud in English, it would be called 604 sextillions, 462 quintillions, 909 quadrillions, 807 trillions, 314 billions, 587 millions, 353 thousand and 88 ancestors. As mentioned, this cannot be 100% correct, as some people who are already related would undoubtedly have married, and as such they cut down the number of ancestors. But still quite a number. In fact it convinces me we are all related somehow. And the number of genes you share with each of your parents are 50%, they each share 50% with each of their parents and so on. This means that every single ancestor of the incredible number above share genes with you; perhaps a very small amount since each of us have 25.000-30.000 genes, but still. In reality the number is continuously decreasing by half for every new generation, but it is still a never ending chain of genes. Amazing!

Famous people in my tree: 
Hans Tausen, Bishop, Bible-translator and known as “the Danish Martin Luther”. Ole Worm, Professor, physician and antiquary. Ole Rømer, Astronomer, engineer and chief of police.
Dirch Hartvig Passer, actor and comedian. Frederik Ferdinand Falkenstjerne, priest, politician and founder/leader of a “Folk High School” in Copenhagen. Vagn Falkenstjerne, teacher and litterature scientist. Bent Fritz Falkenstjerne, charge d’affairs (konsul) in several American states. Charles Gustav Binderup, politician and congressman in the United States. Plus a number of Royalties and Nobilities going back to the very first king of Denmark, and beyond.

Famous people or their relatives I have stumbled upon: 
In Vor Frue Sogn, København in 1670 Peder Wessel married Inger Pedersdatter ( This may have been a relative to Tordenskjold (1690-1720), perhaps the father?
In the church records of Nyborg, Vindinge, Svendborg, img. 483, a son of Birgithe Catrina Tordenschiold Wessel is baptized in 1748
In Vor Frue Sogn, København in 1699, Ole Rømer married Else Malene Bartholin, a daughter of Caspar Bartholin den Yngre ( This was his 2nd marriage. Else Malene Bartholin married Thomas Bartholin in 1726 after Ole Rømers death.
In Vor Frue Sogn, København in 1735, Caspar Bartholin married Else Worm (

Other names in my tree, or of general interest:
In Haderslev Amt, I have seen the last name Zoëga as witness to more than one baptism (christening) of children in my family tree. I really don’t know from where this last name originates, perhaps Italy, but it is for certain a name that has been represented in Denmark for many years, although this name does not exist in my own tree. In Vor Frue Sogn, København in the year 1645, Hans M. Zoëga married Barbara Eriksdatter (
See also the family board at ( about the kin of the tenant at Tørning Mølle, Matthias Zoega, who is a witness in 2 different baptisms in my tree.

Hans Christian Lohmann (, en søn af Jørgen Alexander Lohmann og Cathrine Mette Hølling.
Hans blev gift med Anne Cathrine From, datter af Thomas Jacobsen From og Margrethe Sophie Lorentsdatter Rigelsen. Anne Cathrine From blev født den 11 Sep. 1759 i Præstegård, Klemensker, Nørre herred, Bornholm, Danmark, dåb den 17 Sep. 1759 i Sct. Klemens kirke, Klemensker, Nørre herred, Bornholm, Danmark og døde den 19 Nov. 1823 i Knudsker by og sogn, Vester herred, Bornholm, Danmark.

Frederik Ludvig Zuschlag blev i 1789 gift med Lovise Augusta Oppenheim (

Om mit eget navn, Keld:
Ved Navnedannelse er Kedel et hyppigt an­vendt Led, hvortil det tidligere er blevet antaget, at Offerkedlen, dette hellige Kar, har givet Anledning. Dog er det jo muligt, at en anden tabt Betydning af Ordet laa til Grund derfor; senere i Middelalderen var således Kedelhat Navn paa Stormhuen, det fin­des som Tilnavn eller Slægtnavn for en “adelig Familie (Ketelhot). Som Forled møder det os paa Rune­stene i Mandsnavnet Kætilbjørn og Kvindenavnet Kætiløy, vi finder i Kong Valdemars Jordebog Ketildor, her altsaa knyttet sammen med Tor som i Torketil; som Efterled kommer det frem i Alfkel, Askel, Æskel, senere Eskil, Torkel, senere Terkel, og i mange andre Navne, der oprindelig havde en Endelse paa -ketil. Meget bekendt er endvidere Ordet i usammensat Skikkelse som Kjeld, et Navn, der ikke mindst vandt Yndest i Jylland, efter at Provst Kjeld i Viborg, der ivrigt havde virket for et Korstog mod de hedenske Vender, med Tilladelse af Paven var af Absalon ble­ven erklæret for en Helgen.
Kilde: “Mænds og Kvinders Navne i Danmark gennem Tiderne” af Johannes Steenstrup, 1918