This is a Scandanavian surname -particulary relative to Finland and Sweden. Scandanavia has long been regarded as amongst the most civilised and democratic of societies, but it is also an area of many small villages and towns, scattered over a large area, and the last region in the Western Hemisphere to make a serious committment to fixed spelling surnames. Those surnames that existed before 1800 were almost all patronymics of the popular Andersson/Johansson type, based upon male Christian names. These applied to any male member a family, upto great grand children!. As there were only limited numbers of such names available, and in many small societies everybody had the same surname, and so individuals would be known locally by a nickname. The coming of the industrial revolution from about 1800 as well as migration to other countries, created a need for new form of identification. As it happens Germany had the a similar problem in their case with absorbing immigants mainly from the east. The Germans being resourceful people created what came to be known as 'Ornamental' surnames, and in different forms these spread to Scandanavia where today they represent the largest grouping. Ornamental names are simple in concept, can be applied to anybody, and are based on 'nature'. Nature is or was, all around people, largely unspoilt, and generally pleasant. To add to the creativity Ornamental names were in two parts, conjoined together at will, to create one name, but not one with an intentional meaning. In this case the popular Sjo meaning 'sea' is the first part, whilst the second 'strom' means 'storm'. On the face of it 'Sea storm' is quite logica,l but if so it is not intentional. Other examples such as Sjogren for instance, translates as 'Sea branch' which certainly has no meaning, whilst the popular Lundgren is an even better example. 'Grove twig' is quite meaningless. The point though is that the creators were trying all the time to produce pleasant sounding and fairly individualistic surnames, - and in this they succeeded. On the other hand historically it is difficult to give realistic first recordings. These require genealogy to trace individual families. Examples of early recordings are Axel Gabriel Sjostrom, a Finnish poet, 1794 - 1846, and more recently Victor Sjostrom of Sweden, 1879 - 1960, actor and film director.
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