View Full Version : Meaning of Antus

23-08-10, 19:41
I have been researching my great grandmothers side of the family from Finland and have come up with the following:

Anna Lisa Isaksdotter born Sep 1887
Her parents are:
Isak Jakobsson born Apr 1848 and Lisa Abrahamsdotter born Jan 1848.
They were all born in Maxmo.

Then someone on Finlander Forum kindly gave me a Talko pedigree chart for Anna Lisa which stated the names as:
Antus Anna Lisa Isaksdotter, Skeppars Isak Jakobsson and Borgmastar Lisa Abrahamsdotter.

Then I received a copy of Anna's passport from the US State Department today and Anna's parents are listed as Isak and Lisa Antus.

I'm wondering if anyone has a clue as to the means of Antus in these situations and what the beginning names of the pedigree from Talko mean.

June Pelo
23-08-10, 21:48
It might originally have been a place or farm name. This website explains the use of farm names as last names. http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~syli/geneo/farmnames.html

24-08-10, 02:09
You can see the Antus farm in Maxmo here:


Just enter Antus in the first search box and enter Maksamaa or Maxmo in the second box.

Then select the top choice it provides in the pull down menu.

Then you can either see a map or select the aerial image of the place.

24-08-10, 03:06
The Antus name is in Hasse Andtbacka's collection:


Also, in HisKi you can see that Antus / Antusbacka / Antusback is a farm name in the area mentioned above.

24-08-10, 17:45
I understand that Antus is a farm name and that some people used farm names as last names.

Can it be assumed that all the names in front of my relatives names are all farms? ex. Skeppars, Borgmastar, Radman, Ryss, Stenkull...?

And why would Anna's parents last names be listed as Antus, but her last name is listed as Isaksson?

And how are farms chosen? Because Anna's farm is Antus, but her parents are listed as from Skeppars and Borgmastar. And she only lived in Finland for 23 years and then came to the US as a single woman.

I suppose these questions may never be definitively answered.

June Pelo
24-08-10, 20:22
I'll try to answer some of your questions. I can only speculate, not knowing anything about the family. Isak Jakobsson Antus could have come from Skeppars before moving to Antus, thus he dropped the Skeppars name and took the Antus farm name. His wife Anna Lisa Abrahamsdotter Borgmästars could have lived on Borgmästars farm before marriage, and she took the Antus name when she and Isak moved to Antus.

The unique feature of Scandinavian surnames is the predominance of the patronymics in all four countries. It simply means that a child's surname was made up of the father's first name with an added -son or -dotter. The daughter of Isak became Isaksdotter; a son would become Isaksson. The practice came to an end around 1875.

There were really no laws to regulate the use of surnames until around 1900 and thus anybody could take another surname than the patronymic. It was customary to add the name of the farm to one's name, and if the person moved to another farm the new name was adopted and the old name was dropped. This applied to people living on farms. Those living in cities didn't follow this custom.

Many emigrants dropped their farm names when they came to the US, and used a version of their patronymic name as a last name. Anna was born as Anna Isaksdotter and while living at Antus she used the Antus name. When she emigrated she dropped the farm name and adopted her last name from her patronymic name, chosing Isakson. I'll attach an article that discusses the use of surnames, etc. after emigration. I'm assuming your ancestors were Swedish-speaking Finlanders, based on their names and residence.