Erickson Surname Genealogy
tends to be the
American spelling of the Swedish Eriksson or the Norwegian and Danish
names that are common in Scandinavia. The
each case was the name Erik, derived from an ancient Norse word meaning
probably also from the same Germanic root as reich
meaning “to rule.”
rarely became hereditary in the manner of German or British surnames
18th century. In fact Erickson and its variants
have only really been in use as last names since around 1850.
In one family Andersson became Eriksson as
late as 1870.
Erickson Resources on
- Axel and Judith Erickson Family History
Ericksons from Sweden to Minnesota.
- Norwegian Genealogy
Ericksons from Norway to Minnesota.
- Erickson DNA Project
Erickson and Scandinavian variants DNA.
the son of Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer who was the first
to the Sagas, to discover
America. Around the year 1000 he
established a Norse settlement at Vinland, believed to be a spot on the
northern tip of Newfoundland.
emerged as the Norwegian and Danish patronymic surname.
Orm Eriksen was a Norwegian nobleman in Stavanger who led
a tax revolt which led to his execution in 1521. A notable later
bearer of the name was Erik Eriksen,
the Prime Minister of Denmark from 1950 to 1953. Today
there are an estimated 27,000 Eriksens
in Norway and a further 18,000 in Denmark.
Eriksson has been the Swedish spelling. Charlotta
Eriksson was one of the most
popular actresses in Sweden in the first half of the 19th
century. Axel W. Eriksson was a Swedish
hunter and trader in SW Africa later in the 19th century. And
Sven Goran Eriksson has been a Swedish football
manager of recent times. Today Erikssons
in Sweden number a sizeable 170,000.
started arriving in the US and Canada in the second half of the 19th
heritage in the far north of Scotland did leave some Erickson name
traces. Thus Laurence Erickson was
recorded at Breck
in the Shetland Isles in the year 1613. And
Erickson still appeared among the Shetland names in 1804.
Other Ericksons in Scotland and England were few
in number and of more recent arrival.
who was born in Newcastle in 1929 and became a foremost expert on
Soviet military history, had Swedish forebears.
America. The first
Erickson properly in America was probably John Ericksson who came to
the New Sweden
colony in Salem, New Jersey sometime in the 1660’s. He and his
wife Magdalena were parents to four daughters.
later John Ericsson, also from Sweden, was one
of the most famous inventors of the 19th century. Born
in 1803, he moved to the United
States and developed there the first steam turbine engine in
1839. In 1862 he built the famous ironclad warship known as the Monitor. He is also credited with developing the
first destroyer in
the mid-1800’s onwards Scandinavians began emigrating to the
Midwest, particularly to Minnesota.
was the home of the first Swedish settlers in Minnesota in 1850. Johannes Erikson arrived there several years
later. The Johannes Erickson House,
built by Johannes and his thirteen year old son Albert in 1868, is now
on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house was constructed with a gambel roof, a distinctive
Otto Erickson came to
Minnesota in 1868 where he became a potato farmer.
His son Edward built in 1915 another Erickson
building that is on the National Register – the Erickson farmstead near Isanti.
The next generation of these Ericksons
started Minnesota’s first gasoline refinery, the Northwestern Refinery
in 1939. The family ran gas stations and
convenience stores in Minnesota and elsewhere until their sale in 2017.
Erickson with four of their children departed Sweden for Minnesota in 1888. They settled at a farm near Dawson which they
as the era of free land was by that time over. In
1900 they moved north to land near Lowry where they were able to buy a
farm. Farming generally prospered until
when Johan’s son Axel was forced to sell the farm after the bank had
move into town at Lowry.
John E. Erickson was born
in Stoughton, Wisconsin in 1863, the son of Norwegian immigrants Erik
Erickson. He studied law in Kansas,
moved to Montana in 1893 and was elected as Governor of that state in
Sievert and Anna Erickson arrived in Chicago from Norway in 1863. One of their sons Nicholas settled in Montana. Another
son Albert worked in
the 1890’s in the silver mining town of Aurum, Nevada where he and his
family lived in a dirt-floor cabin. In
1904 they moved by covered
wagon to a small farm near Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. From
these humble conditions came Milton H.
Erickson – color blind, tone deaf and dyslexic – who is
today to have been the father of modern hypnotherapy.
John Erickson meanwhile arrived in 1871 and made his home in Emporia,
Kansas. He later owned and operated the Triangle Ranch in the
Kansas Flint Hills. Ole Erickson from Norway was an early settler
in Lyon county, Iowa in the 1870’s. His sons, T.O. and M.O.
Erickson, operated a large livery and sales barn in the county in the
Canada. New Sweden along the Rolling River area of
Manitoba was established in 1885 to attract Scandinavian
immigrants. Erickson was incorporated as a town there
in 1897. It was named after Albert Erickson, its first postmaster.
Oscar Erickson, born in British Columbia in 1898, fought in World War
One and survived, although losing both legs in the process. His
silver ID bracelet, lost on the battlefields, recently turned up in a
box of junk in Vancouver and was returned to the Erickson family.
Oscar was the father of the architect Arthur Erickson who designed the
Canadian embassy in Washington DC.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was a Norse explorer who,
around 1000, was the first European to reach America.
born in Sweden, developed in America the first steam
turbine engine in 1839 and in 1862 the famous ironclad warship known as
John E. Erickson served as Governor and Senator
of Montana from 1924 to 1934.
born Erik Homberger, came to America in 1933 and developed
famous theory of psychosocial development and the concept of the
Arthur Erickson, who was born
in 1924 and died in 2009, is considered one of the greatest architects
that Canada has ever produced.
Select Ericksons Today
- 43,000 in America (most numerous in Minnesota)
- 24,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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