Last name origins & meanings:
- Danish and Norwegian: patronymic from the personal name
Olaf, Olav (Old Norse Óláfr,
Ólafr, variant Óleifr, earlier Anleifr,
from proto-Scandinavian elements meaning ‘ancestor’ + ‘heir’,
‘descendant’). Olaf has always been one of the most common
Scandinavian names; it continued to be popular in the Middle Ages, in
part as a result of the fame of St. Olaf, King of Norway, who brought
Christianity to his country c.1030. This surname, the second
most common in Norway, is also established in England, notably in the
Newcastle upon Tyne area.
- German (Ölsen): habitational name from any of several places so named, in Saxony,
Brandenburg, and the Rhineland.
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