Wednesday, August 26, 2015

HUSEBY Surname History

In United States, the Huseby name is not as common as it is in Norway. Huseby is an ancient name literally meaning “house by the town.” However there is a connotation that is not as readily apparent. During Viking times, Huseby was an administrative center of the ancient royal families. The kings organized their realm by installing an ombudsman on each Huseby farm to administer their royal properties in the area. Whenever there was a royal entourage of nobles and soldiers, they would stay at the Huseby farms and conduct their business. Then they would gather enough supplies to reach the next Huseby farm. Since these were royal properties, these farms were neither small nor poor. Therefore Huseby came to represent a “farm with several fine houses.” The word, “hus,” may also have meant a garrison or fortified farm. For example, the Akershus in Oslo was the name of its royal fortress. So it is easy to understand how this definition could have come to be.

There are about 52 Norwegian farms and estates with variations of the name of Huseby. In Sweden, there are another 70 farms and Denmark has eight farms. The name can even be found in the Orkney Islands and in other places like Estonia where Vikings used to travel. These are the different spellings of the name: Husebye, Husabø, Husaby, Husby, Husebø, Husebo and Husbø. In America, you can also find it changed to Huesby. Since we don’t have the letter “ø” in English, you may find the letter changed to “oe” as in Husaboe or Huseboe. Although Norway did not have a strong medieval society during the Middle Ages, some Huseby farms may have been owned by the church. But with the Reformation, these properties were confiscated by the king and sold to replenish their national treasuries.

[SOURCE: Steinnes, Husebyar. Cited by Ancient Faces (Accessed 25 Aug 2015).]


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