Re: Trying to solve a mystery - Frans Oscar Wennersten 1861 - 1935
Many Swedes changed their names after emigrating from Sweden. They did everything from 'normalizing' spelling (e.g. Johannesson to Johnson) to translating (e.g. Löf to Leaf), to simply choosing an entirely new name. Your ancestor chose to translate the 'sten' part of the name, which means 'stone', and drop the 'Wenner'. (I can't find a meaning for 'wenner' in my dictionary. This is complicated by the fact that modern Swedish doesn't have a "W" so it would be spelled with a "V" but there is no word 'ven' or 'venn'.) Sometimes a name change was merely a matter of signalling that the family has a new life in a new country ... there is almost never anything sinister about it. However, if you go to look up his information in Swedish records, you will have to look under Wennersten (but it might also be Vennersten!).