• Hi,

    Not sure if this is in the right spot. Hope so. My family name is Ottonen. My name is Sheila. My parents and grandparents came from Finland in the late 50's to Canada. We can find few relatives there and can only go back as far as our great-grandfather, then there is nothing. Where did they come from before Finland.? Does any one know if there are any other Ottonen's in Germany.? Are we some of the last ones.? For sure there is not many. Why.?

  • Hi Sheila,

    your Finnish Ottonen's have nothing to do with the German Ottonen, which are a dynasty between 919 and 1024.

    Your family name Ottonen is formed as many Finnish names with the ending -nen. For instance the family Rantanen has got its name because the ancestors dwelled on a beach = ranta, the Mäkinen family originally dwelled on a mäki = hill.

    For the first part of your name I found only: otto = overtaking. For instance used in the word ottotytär = adoptive daughter. Regarding this the first Ottonen could be adopted. But big warning: I am not sure, if this the right trace. Another idea is, if the name could go back to the German first name Otto, but I do not know, if Finnish names could be formed in that way, similar to Swedish names as Gustavsson = Gustav's son. Seeing Sepponen going back to the first name Seppo or Juhanen derived from Juhani it seems to be possible.

    The ending -ing you asked for in the other thread does not mean "viking" but a family or a kin as you can see from the Liudolfings going back to Liudolf but also from many German family names of today. But their origin can be so far back and the same names could arise on different places, so that the families must not be related.

    There is no Ottonen in the German online phonebook. I am quite sure, your research has got the right place in Finland.

    Kind regards

  • Thank-you for your info. Xylander.

    It is very interesting for sure. I have never looked into my last name till now and I am sure that we are the liudolfinger ottonens from Germany. I know this will sound very strange,... I know someone that is very clairvoyant and she says that we are this family from a long time ago. She can see that far back, but.... Who can prove that.? DNA.? It would be an interesting adventure. :D

  • Da nutzt aber alle Hellseherei nichts. Der Familienname einer finnischen Familie Ottonen hat absolut nichts mit den Ottonen zu tun. Diese hießen ja nicht mit Familiennamen Ottonen, sondern sie wurden erst in der Neuzeit so benannt, da es in der Familie drei Kaiser mit dem Namen Otto gab.

    Der Vorname Otto war auch bis ins 20. Jh. sehr stark verbreitet und von diesem Vornamen haben sich auch viele erbliche Familiennamen abgeleitet. Familiennamen existieren aber in Deutschland erst seit ca. dem 15./16. Jh., in den nordischen Ländern noch viel später, teilweise erst seit dem 17. und 18. Jh. Zuvor wechselten die Nachnamen in jeder Generation und bzw. sie wechseln auch heute noch recht häufig von Generation zu Generation. Der Familienname hat also überhaupt gar nichts mit dem Dynastengeschlecht der Liudolfinger zu tun. Das Ottonen-Geschlecht starb bereits im 11. Jh. aus, da es keine männlichen Nachkommen mehr gab. Eine DNA-Probe würde also nicht nutzen, außerdem müsste man dazu auch eine DNA der Kaiser Otto haben und die gibt es nicht.

    Mein Rat, nicht auf Hellseher verlassen, die können sich auch mal irren, sondern gründliche Ahnenforschung betreiben ;) .

    Viele Grüße

    "Der Mensch kennt sich selbst nicht genügend, wenn er nichts von seiner Vergangenheit weiß." Karl Hörmann

  • Translation:

    Clairvoyance doesn't really help. The family name of the finnish family OTTONEN has nothing at all to do with the Ottonen. Their family name wasn't Ottonen, but were just called this in more recent times, as there were three emporors named Otto.

    The forename Otto was very wide-spread right up to the 20th. century and many inherited family names have arisen as derivatives of OTTO. Family names only exist in Germany since approx. 15th/16th century and in northern countries, much later, sometime beginning in the 17th. und 18th centuries. Before then, the surname changed with every generation and often still does so nowadays, from generation to generation. So the family nae has absolutely nothing to do with the Liudolfinger lineage. The OTTONEN lineage died out in the 11th. century as there were no male progeny. So a DNA sample wouldn't help there either - besides which, you would also need a DNA sample from Kaiser Otto and there isn't one.

    My advice: don't rely on clairvoyants- they can also get it wrong sometimes - but just rely on solid family history research.


    Hi Princess,

    Welcome to the forum :)

    I've added a translation of Hina's reply and would like to add to her remark here:


    the surname changed with every generation and often still does so nowadays,

    The most common example is "son of .." then becoming the "surname" of the next generation.
    Johann-sen, John-son, Johann-sohn, etc
    In wales: "ap David", etc = son of David, In jewish familes: "ben David", son of David; Scotland "Mac ...", Ireland "O'...." etc

    More on Patronymics here: (english) and (deutsch)


  • Thank-you for the translation, very appreciated.

    Some info from Wikipedia:

    Ingolfr Arnarson - first permanant Nordic settler of Iceland, around 874, or earlier.

    Liudolf - re: olf in names.

    The name Ingolf, similiar to the name Adolf, that means "aristocratic wolf" translated as "royal or kingly wolf".

    Liudolfinger - Nordic, Viking. I still see the dolf and the fin, as being finn or nordic. I wonder about the Liu part of the name, maybe french.?

    Ezzonen - Ottonen

    Conrad I, duke of Bavaria, from 1049 to 1053. He was of the Ezzonen family, his parents being Liudolf.

    I found out today, that my brother has done some research into the name Ottonen, as far as the 17th century. He says the Ottonen's were adoptive parents, and would adopt children.



    Edited once, last by Princess ().

  • Hi Sheila,
    so the first possibility mentioned above, concerning adoption, seems to be the right one. Don't be disappointed to loose the Liudolfinger theory, I think in Finland you will find thrilling stories enough.
    Kind regards

    I found out today, that my brother has done some research into the name Ottonen, as far as the 17th century. He says the Ottonen's were adoptive parents, and would adopt children.

  • The name Liu dolfin ger, very interesting indeed. I found the name Dolfin of Cumbria, could be a connection to the Liudolfingerottonen. I will be back with more.

  • Oh my god! What a confusion....

    Please follow the proposal of Hina and make solid family research!!! :!:

    Please: no mix-ups!

    PS. Isn`t a Dolphin a fish??????????? Maybe you are related with Flipper? 8o


    Und was ich nicht ändern kann, da bleibe ich weiter dran... (Herbert Grönemeyer)

    Edited 2 times, last by assi.d. ().