There is an interesting mystery which I first learned from Olson family bible, which is in my possession. Johannes Olson[G] was born to Peder Johannesen[G] and Kari Johannesdatter[G] on 2 February 1843, in Norway.
We know this because Peder wrote it on the inside cover of the bible.
Peder Johanesen Moen er bokens eier og jeg er født har 1811 den 16. november og Meg Koner er født 1816 den 24 junnii og vaar elste datter Barbro er föd 1841 den 15 April og vaar sön Johanes er föd 1843 den anden febrůar og Ole vaar sön er föd 1849 den 22 september og vaar datter Rangnild er föd 1852 den 12 febrůar.
Peder Johnanesen og Kari Johanes datter Moen og var trede i Ekte Standen 1832 den 20 febrůar.
“Peder Johanesen Moen is the book’s owner and I was born in 1811 on November 16th and my wife was born 1816 the 24th of June and our oldest daughter Barbro is born 1841 on April 15th and our son Johanes is born in 1843 the second of February and Ole our son is born 1849 on September 22nd and our daughter Rangnild is born in 1852 the 12th of February.
“Peder Johnanesen and Kari Johane’s daughter Moen and went to the real state 1832 on the 20th of February.” (Translated by Wayne Saewyc 2018)
Now traditionally a Norwegian person’s full name is their given name, their patronymic (“So-and-so’s son/daughter”), and the specific farm region/district/name where they were born or live. (This last bit is a bit less rigidly followed. Variations I have found suggest parish of baptism, place where a couple married, and others were also used quite fluidly.)
So why is Johanes, son of Peder, known as Johanes Olson? That is mystery number one. Mystery number two is about his middle initial.
The Minnesota Historical Society death certificate index lists Johanes’s fullname as John A. Olson. Where the heck did this come from? Well, we don’t know yet, but he was living with his son Arthur Olson in the 1930 census, presumably Arthur was the informant for the death certificate.
But it was not part of Johanes’s name in 1843, because I tracked down a copy of his baptismal record. And from that I found the original record. That lists his correctly spelt name as “Johannes”. And there is no middle name there. Neither is there a patronym.
But there is a farm/district name. If you can figure out the correct spelling (solving the third mystery) I will give you my thanks. Rarihuis?