The Name Game Continued

Did you ever wonder where all the names ending in “son” came from? Well, before there were last names (they’ve only been around for 500 years or so), everybody just went by their first name. Then it became important to distinguish between John, James’ son and John John’s son. So you had names like John Johnson. Following this same logic John Johnson’s son John should be named John Johnsonson. However, luckily, nobody followed this logic and they stopped at one “son.” One way to determine whether a first name was around 500 years ago or not is to determine whether there is a last name with a son attached. Obviously, the name “John” was around because there is a “Johnson.” There doesn’t seem to be any “Arthursons” or “Rogersons” so I would conclude that these names are newer. This is how we do “name archeology,” to coin a phrase. The following is a list of “son” names (non-exhaustive) and also first names that don’t seem to have resulted in having “son” attached to them. Some Scandinavian names end in “dottir” to indicate that the lineage goes down the female line, but we won’t go into that.

Johnson OlafssonNilssonLarson
WilsonPeterson PaulsonJeffrie’s son (Jefferson)
Jameson (Jamison) Harry’s son (Harrison)Robertson Williamson
Gary’s son (Garrison)Edwardson DennisonBenson
Gustavson FergusonDick’s son (Dixon)(No Arthurson)
(No Michaelson)(No Markson) (No Lukeson)(No Rogerson)