Recorded as Talquist but more usually Tallquist, and meaning "Tall-tree" or similar this is a Scandanavian surname which is particulary associated with Finland and Sweden. It is one of a large group which are known etymologically as "ornamental". These are surnames which may be locational, and hence associated with a particular place, but more often are purely designed to both look and sound nice, and where possible to extoll the virtues of nature. Curiously the Finnish and Scandanavian languages are quite different, but their choice of surnames is complimentary and closely associated, as Finland was for many years under the control of Sweden. Scandanavia as a whole was late in adopting fixed spelling hereditary surnames, and when it did from about the year 1700, it was found that as for instance in Wales, surnames were overwhelmingly patronymic. People were therefore encouraged by the government to design and adopt their own surnames. The popularity of this system has been such that in the late 20th century "ornamental" surnames now exceed in numbers the earlier patronymics. Examples of recordings from Finnish records include: Anna Tallquist, who was christened at Sammatti, on June 21st 1733, and John and Vilhelmina Tallquist, who were married at Nurmijarvi, on June 12th 1892.
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