Heritage comes full circle

A few weeks ago I posted about my MtDNA and it’s connections to the Saami people of Northern Norway.  Although this connection is exceedingly ancient, it’s interesting that I probaby share some DNA similarities to my new in-laws. The wedding was wonderful and I’m officially a Stormoe. 

Stormoe is one of those names that was sort of “made up” by immigrants or immigration officials. In this case, the name was picked by the immigrant: Christ Stormoe, who was originally a Johanssen.  According to cenus records he immigrated to the U.S. in 1914 when he was roughly 20 years old. He came as contracted labor to a family in North Dakota, which had been a state since 1889, only  fives years more than Christ had been alive. 

Christ came to the U.S. after his family suffered an economic blow. They were fishermen in Meloy, Norway and also ran a “mail boat.”  Their boat was destroyed and three brothers were shipwrecked, only to be picked up several days later by another mail boat.  Christ came to the U.S. the same year.  I think from the research I’ve done so far that Christ probably lived on an island off the coast of Meloy. This is firmly in the arctic circle.

 “Stormoe” means two different things, depending on how you look at it.  “Stor” means “large” in Norweigian. “Mo” means “large plant.”  However, we think this name came from the combo of “Stor” and “øe” which means “island.” 

It is interesting how these things come around.  I’ve been separated from my Nordic roots for many thousands of years, but now I am reunited with them, so to speak, through my husband’s family.  

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Tipper said,

    How interesting. I love to read about how “our” names developed. My husband’s family just discovered that his Pressley name had been spelled Presley at one time (not as far back as you were refering too). Some kind of argument made one Presley add the s to distance himself from the others.


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