4    Apr 20130 comments

Surname of the week: ANDERSEN

On April 2, we celebrated Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday and International Children’s Book Day.

In honor of the Danish author and poet, we look at the surname ANDERSEN this week.

It is a patronymic surname from the personal name Anders, a vernacular form of Andreas. From the New Testament, the Greek name Andreas derives from andreios, meaning “manly” and aner, meaning, “man” or “male.”

Andreas was the first of Christ’s disciples. Various forms for this personal name throughout Europe are André (France) and Andrea (Italy).

It also gave rise to the northern Middle English name Andrew, which was absorbed in the surname ANDERSON. St. Andrew was also the patron saint of Scotland, making the surname popular in Scotland, under the spelling ANDERSON.

It was brought independently to North America by various bearers including 18th-century Scotch-Irish settlers in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In the United States, there are many spelling variants, such as the Swedish ANDERSSON and the Danish ANDERSSEN. Many Scandinavian immigrants to the US dropped the extra “s.”

At MyHeritage, there are 72,319 people with the surname ANDERSEN, and 6,986,164 records. ANDERSON has 15,879,555 records and 544,929 registered users with the surname.

Of MyHeritage members named ANDERSEN, 30% are from Norway, 29% from the US and 28% from Denmark. The most common given names are Hans, Anna, Karen and Anders.

Of MyHeritage members named ANDERSON, 68% are from the US,17% from Great Britain and 7% from Canada. The most common given names are Elizabeth, James, William and Mary.

Are you an Andersen or Anderson? Do you have any relatives with those names in your family tree? Search your roots and see where your family comes from. You might discover Scandinavian relatives!

Want to know the origins of your surname? Share with us in the comments below, or on FacebookTwitter or Google+ so we can help with your family history research.

As always, let us know what you discover about your ancestors and heritage. Share stories with us at stories@myheritage.com.

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