Carla Olson ~ Name Surprise

On March 31, 2005 I received a response to my query to a genealogy research specialist in Goteborg, Sweden. I was trying to get detail regarding Carla Ingrid Maria Edberg and Fritz Werner Olsson. As Olsson is a common name I need to supply them with some additional information about Fritz. Much to my surprise, however, this was the reply I received regarding Carla. (Please excuse the broken English from the Swedish researcher.)

“We have search Carolina Ingrid Maria Edberg in the database “EMIGRANTEN”, Emibas which is based upon the emigrants in the church recovrds of Goteborg and we have find Carolina Ingrid Maria Edberg, born 1892 aug 20 in Goteborgs Garnisons parish. She left Sweden 1911 oct 23 from the Goteborgs Christine parish to London, England.”

The story told to my mother, Joyce, by Gramma Olson, was that when she was a girl she did not like her name because it was not like the other girls in Sweden who had beautiful Swedish names. Apparently, her mother’s sister had been to Italy and came back with some names and Carla was named so. Well, with that story from Gramma and with this bit of research directly from the parish records, we find a “Carolina”. The locale is correct, as is the birthdate, and the place to where she moved, London, England. This is where Carla lived and worked for a Dr.’s family as a governess. She told me this story herself when I was a teenager and asked her. Oh, how I wished I had asked her more and written it down. Judy Olson also confirmed recently that Carla and her sister, Edith, had gone to England. Carolina is an Italian name derived from the German name Karla. I believe we can determine from this information that Gramma Olson’s name, whom I am named for, was originally Carolina and that upon immigration or shortly after she changed her name to Carla.

By the way, Olson was formerly spelled Olsson as it is written on the inside of Grampa’s Bible which I have in my possession.  Often, immigrant’s would simplify the spelling of their name when coming to America.

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About Carla Gade

Carla is a historical fiction novelist and webmaster. She is also a family historian and has been an adult education instructor of HTML and Genealogy Online. She lives in New England with her family.
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