The Bay of Bothnia, in the northernmost waters of the Gulf of Bothnia, is part of the Baltic Sea. Today, it divides the eastern coastline of Sweden, and the western coast of Finland, however in the 16th century, Oulu (Swedish: Uleåborg), Ii (Swedish: Ijo), and Kemi were all within the Kingdom and Sweden. These river ports, from the 13th century on, allowed merchants to trade in the products of sealing, including blubber (Herva and Salmi, 2010), furs, dried and salted pike, and salted salmon (Herva, Ylimaunu and Symonds, 2012). Hence, it is not surprising to find foreigners being recorded in the harbour tax registers, including the names of merchants and the ports their ships visited.
For name construction purposes, it is interesting how these apparently "Russian" names were recorded by scribes fluent in Swedish. Although the merchant's are described in the tax registers as being "Ryss" or "Russian," some of the names used are clearly Scandinavian, such as Håkon. Some of these bynames, like "Rigason" appear to be locative bynames with the addition of -son, while in other cases the meaning of the name elements are unclear.
Audén (1980; 167) notes the names have not been normalised.
The data from Audén was extracted and sorted into two lists; names listed by frequency, and names listed in alphabetical order.
The three most popular names in the registers were Eloijs, Håkon, and Iffuan, with four examples of each.
|Names by Frequency|
|Damus Wasilson Ryss||Ii||Patronymic from the Russian personal name Vasilii.|
|Eloijs Hakonsson Ryss||Oulu||Possibly a form of the name Elogius?|
|Elox Ryss||Kemi||Possibly a form of the name Elogius?|
|Eloys Maximason||Kemi||Possibly a form of the name Elogius? Patronymic from the Russian personal name Maksim.|
|Frantz Ryss||Kemi||Note: Frantz is listed as originating from Strengenes, Norway.|
|Hakon Jacopson Ryss||Oulu||Scandinavian personal name Hakon. Patronymic from the Russian personal name Iakov.|
|Håkon Maximason Ryss||Oulu||Scandinavian personal name Hakon. Patronymic from the Russian personal name Maksim.|
|Iffuan Leuosson Ryss||Oulu||Russian personal name Ivan. Patronymic may be from the Russian personal name Lavosh.|
|Iffuan Saffuoson||Kemi||Russian personal name Ivan. Patronymic may be a diminutive of the Russian personal name Sevast′ian|
|Jacop Rigason||Kemi||Russian personal name Iakov. Byname may be indicating the merchant originated in Riga.|
|Juda Nesterson||Kemi||Russian personal name Iuda, and patronymic from the personal name Nester.|
|Kariill Iffuanson Ryss||Oulu||Russian personal name Karil, and patronymic from Ivan.|
|Michill Torasi Ryss||Ii||Russian personal name Mikhail, and an unknown byname.|
|Musta Thero Ryss||Oulu||This may be a Finnic nickname, from musta "black".|
|Petter Kwrillson Ryss||Oulu||Russian personal name Petr, and patronymic from the personal name Karil.|
|Påuell Jacopson Ryss||Kemi||Russian personal name Petr, and patronymic from the personal name Iakov.|
|Riko Person Ryss||Ii||Unknown given name. Patronymic from the Russian personal name Petr.|
|Siffrid Timoskson Ryss||Oulu||His given name is a form of Siegfried. Patronymic from the Russian diminutive personal name, Timoshko?|
|Sitare Håkonson Ryss||Oulu||Personal name is possibly from the name Isidor? Patronymic from the Scandinavian name Hakon.|
|Sspire Dauidson Ryss||Ii||Possibly a diminutive of the name Spiridon? Patronymic from the Russian personal name David.|
|Staffan Elosi Ryss||Ii||Personal name from Russian Stepan, byname may be an unmarked patronymic from the personal name Elogius?|
|Staffan Matzon Ryss||Oulu||Personal name from Russian Stepan, patronymic from the Russian personal name Mats.|
|Staffan Ryss||Kemi||Personal name from Russian Stepan.|
|Wassill Iffuanson Ryss||Oulu||Given name is the Russian personal name Vasilii, patronymic from the Russian personal name Ivan.|
|Wasill Rigason Ryss||Ii||Given name is the Russian personal name Vasilii. Byname may be indicating the merchant originated in Riga.|