What’s In A Name? Amber Jensen Dr. Meiser English 110 September 27, 2000 Whats in a Name? I have always been very proud of everything that I have accomplished in my life. I am proud of one thing more than anything else; my heritage. Ever since I was a child I was told all about my grandparents and their trek from Denmark to the United States.
I was curious what their homeland was like, but it never seemed to be a topic of discussion. My grandmother boasted the Danish flag in her home, and displayed little trinkets that said velkomen on them. My knowledge was limited to these few things I saw when I was a child. Since both of my grandparents had passed away, I started my research by picking up the phone and calling my father. My father, Larry Jensen, didnt know very much about Denmark either. He knew a few names from his family and their birth dates, so I started from there.
I hit the internet with my newly obtained knowledge and I searched for anything that could link me to my past. I did not find anything about any of my specific relatives, but I learned about how and why I got my last name. Apparently, Danish people did not have last names until the late 19th century when new laws were introduced forcing them to take on a surname. The common people of Denmark didnt use family names to identify themselves. Before it was required to have a last name, people used patronymics, meaning they took on their fathers first name with an ending to make their last name. It was also common for people in a town that was large to use their occupation or place of Jensen 2 residence as a last name.
Many of the girls would get the fathers first name with datter or dotter attached to it (meaning daughter of.) The boys would get their fathers first name with sen or son attached to it (meaning son of.) In Denmark, datter and dotter meant the same thing, just as sen, and son were the same thing (Origins of Danish Names). The name Jensen, meaning son of Jens, has many different spellings. The Dutch forms of Jensen are Jans, Johansen, Janse, Jansen, Janssen, Hoensen and Janzen. The root of all of these names comes from the stem or the variation of a stem, which is Jan. Jan translates into John, from the name Yochanan, which is Hebrew.
In Hebrew it meant Jehova’ has favored me with a son. The Latin language adopted it as Johannes, and during the early Christian era in Europe it was very popular as a given name (Origins of Danish Names). Elsdon C. Smith said that the name Jensen meant the son of Jens, which is a deviation of the name John, meaning gracious gift of Jehovan (247).
According to data recorded by Hamrick Software, Jensen is a widely popular name in the northern Midwest. In Wisconsin, 1 of every 300 people has the last name Jensen. In states such as Nevada, Idaho, and South Dakota, nearly 1 out of every 100 people have Jensen as their last name (Jensen Surname Distribution). This clearly shows the immigration patterns of the Danish people. According to my father and my grandfather, many Danish people came to the United States with few skills.
One of their few skills was farming. They went to these states because they had a better chance of being successful in their trade, and they obviously were (Jensen). In the Encyclopedia of Jensen 3 American Family Names, the name Jensen was ranked 239 on the poll of the most popular family names in the United States, showing that my last name is popular and widespread (Robb Chesler 308). When searching for my first name, I came across very bland answers to what my name meant.
Parenthoodweb says that Amber means reddish-yellow precious jewel. The name is Arabic in origin. A different source, Zelo.com, says that Amber means colored in an orange or yellow manner. Zelo.com also says that Amber has a French origin. Either way my name means essentially the same thing in any language. It is a simple name that describes hardened sap, a yellow color, and a jewel.
The Kaliban Philosophy says that my name means that I am responsible, expressive, inspirational, and friendly. Th Kaliban Philosophy also says that I am self-confident and that I do not often experience loneliness. In addition, it says that my name brings disappointment and emotional stresses from being too emotionally influenced by people that are important to me. In any respect I have a very interesting, yet common name. It is full of history and meaning. I am lucky to have such close relations to my past and to my family.
My Danish roots will always be an important part of my life. I plan on educating my children about their name and making sure they fully understand the depth and importance that comes with the name Jensen. American History.