Swedish: Grisvard (name)

Kajeetah

Senior Member
French - France
Hi!
I hope my question is not totally out of scope.
My name is Grisvard, I'm French, and my grandfather used to tell us it was a Swedish name. His theory was that his ancester must have been a Swedish mercenary during the 30 years war (17th century) who had settled in the Vosges mountains.
Could he be right? I never did any research on that subject.
Thanks in advance for your answers. :)
 
  • Doesn't seem to be anyone in Sweden named grisvard at the moment based on SCB's statistics.

    The most obvious meaning of the name in Swedish is that it is a combined word of "gris" (pig) and "vard" (an old word for meal) but that seems like a weird choice for a name so I find that unlikely.
     

    Kajeetah

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thank you for your reply, I'm happy to learn that my noun sounds like "pork chops" in Swedish. :D
    My grandfather said it could mean "pig keeper" (with vard = guard) but he wasn't a linguist, so...
    Thanks again!
     
    My grandfather said it could mean "pig keeper" (with vard = guard)
    This reminds me of a discussion I had on another website (which I cannot find) about another name claimed to be Swedish, vardeman, vardiman, or something like that, which he though meant something like "fire fighter", and the closest I was able to find was the word "vårdman" which something like "fire guard" or a man who keeps order.

    Related or not, you could very well be right. It's difficult to find the meaning of these old words (at least for me) and the spelling might have changed.
     

    Kajeetah

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thank you very much!
    The same name with a W instead of the V can be found in Alsace, near the German border.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Some googling led me to this genealogy site:
    Individu : GRISVARD - Tofta, Gotland , Gotland, Suède - Relevés partenaires : acte de naissance, mariage et décès, reconstitution de famille. Consultez en ligne la plus importante source de relevés d'Etat Civil.

    I don't read French, but is seems to say that someone called Lars Grisvard came from the parish of Tofta, at the island of Gotland in Sweden.

    Some more googling revealed that in the parish of Tofta, Gotland, there is a fishing village called Gnisvärd (not Grisvard - but close enough).
    Gnisvärd - Wikipedia

    If your name comes from the village of Gnisvärd, and if Wikipedia can be trusted, the origins of the name is far more dramatic than looking after pigs:

    Gnisvärd is sometimes referred to as "Gnidsvärd", a combination of the Swedish gnid ("rub" or "wipe") and svärd ("sword"). The origin of this name is explained in old documents collected by the priest Hans Nielsön Strelow (1587 – 27 February 1656) and recorded in the 1633 chronicle Chronica Guthilandorum.

    According to the text, Gotland suffered badly from sea-borne attacks by German pirates during the 17th century. The pirates also occupied the two islands of Stora Karlsö and Lilla Karlsö, southwest of Gnisvärd. The Gotlandic chieftains finally had enough and united in a counterattack on the pirates. Gierre from Sjonhem and Bogke, supplied his brother Hangvar with 18 manned ships, and made him commander of the campaign. They sailed from Bogeviken and attacked the pirates at the two islands where they killed them all and burned their 80 ships. When they returned to land after a successful campaign, they wiped their swords clean of the blood of their enemies in the white sand at "Gnidesuerdshaffn"—Gnidsvärd.
     

    Kajeetah

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Wow thanks for the research! :):thumbsup:
    The earliest Grisvard I could find in France was born in 1609. He could have been the grandson of that born in Tofta. :D
    I'm not quite convinced by the Gnisvärd thesis; though only one letter differs, it's an important one (not a vowel) The other meaning my grandfather had in mind for our name was something with sword - the sword of Gry - which I find very unlikely. :D
    Thanks again for all this work, I hope one day I'll have time to go through Vosges villages' archives.
     

    Kajeetah

    Senior Member
    French - France
    After giving it some thinking and research I fear the GRISVARD of the genealogy document is just a misspelling of GNISVARD. :( The two places are too close for it not to be the same name.
     
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