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Scandinavian Y-DNA

  • 2913 members

About us

The Scandinavian Y-DNA Project is a geographic project.

This project is open for Y-DNA results from all the Nordic countries, as well as those only suspected of having origin in the area.

Scandinavia = Denmark, Norway, Sweden

Nordic countries = Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland


Genealogy in the Nordic countries relies on knowledge of patronymic names. A patronymic name (Latin: pater=father) is a name constructed from the father’s given name. In Norse custom patronyms and matronyms were formed by using the ending -son to indicate “son of”, and -dotter for “daughter of”. This name was used as a descriptive name for most Scandinavians. The -sen versions are mainly Danish or Norwegian, the -son versions are Swedish or Norwegian.

The patronymic system gradually disappeared and was replaced with a family last name system in all three Scandinavian countries:

  • Denmark during 1828-1904
  • Sweden around 1900
  • Norway in 1923

Families would then choose a name, either a patronymic in recent use, a farm name (Norway) or place name from the family history, a soldier name (Sweden) or other to be their hereditary last name.

Iceland still uses a patronymic naming system.

In Finland there were both old surnames (Savo, Savolax), and a patronymic system combined with farm names and place names. More on Wikipedia.

Which Projects?

To get the most out of your DNA test results, you should join multiple projects. Different projects will give you different perspectives about your ancestry. Since one can normally not rely on hereditary surnames in the Nordic countries, matching and Y-DNA genealogy can not be based on having names in common. Geographical projects are therefore of much better use. 

  • Haplogroup Projects: You should always join the different projects for your haplogroup, whether confirmed or predicted. Haplogroup projects are often the best source of information about which upgrades might help your search. They also give you perspective on your ancient ancestry.

  • Geographic Projects: You should always join a geographic project, if you know your ancestors' European origins. The Scandinavian project is a geographic project. When you join the Scandinavian project you should also join the country project for your specific ancestry, if you know it. For Nordic families geographic projects give you the best chance to find your distant relatives.

  • Surname & Family Projects: Surname projects are useful for families that adopted hereditary surnames between 1100 and 1400. Most Nordic families did not adopt hereditary last names until relatively late, so surname projects have limited value for them. However, if you have an old surname a surname project might be useful.

  • Related Projects: Related projects focus on different ethnic and cultural groups. These projects can give you other perspectives about your ancestry. Consider joining those that are relevant to your family.

  • Special Note: If your earliest known male line ancestor did not live in a Nordic country but you are curious about a possible Nordic origin, you are welcome to join the Scandinavian project but you might get more benefit from joining one of the related projects, such as the Viking project. 

Recommended Country Geographic Projects
Y-DNA Haplogroup Projects

Y-DNA Haplogroup Projects are recommended in addition to geographic projects. All members, and especially those who also wish to explore their deeper ancestry (beyond genealogy and historical sources), are encouraged to join their relevant Y-haplogroup projects.