Harald I Hårfagre (Fairhair), King of Norway

Male Abt 870 - Abt 945  (~ 75 years)


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  • Name Harald I Hårfagre (Fairhair) , King of Norway 
    Suffix King of Norway 
    Born Abt 865-870 
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 945 
    Notes 
    • “HARALD, son of HALFDAN "Swarti/the Black" King of Vestfold & his second wife Ragnhild ([853/54] or 860-Hogaland 933, 934 or 940, bur Haugar in Karmtsund, near the church in Haugesund). The Historia Norwegie names "Haraldus Comatus" as son and successor of "Halfdanus…Niger", recording that he reigned for 73 years and had 16 sons. Snorre names Harald as the son of Halfdan "the Black" & his second wife. According to Snorre, Harald was ten years old when he succeeded his father as King at Vestfold. He conquered the area around Trondheim where Haakon Grjotgardson Jarl of Haalogaland accepted his overlordship. He was supported by the Jarl of Möre. The local rulers farther south joined forces against Harald, but were defeated in the naval battle at Hafrsfjord, after which Harald became ruler of all Norway as HARALD I "Hårfagre/Harfagri/Fairhair" King of Norway. He corresponded with Athelstan King of Wessex, and dispatched a mission to England led by Helgrim and OOsfrid who presented Athelstan with an ornate warship at York. During his lifetime King Harald divided his kingdom between his sons and gave them all the title king. He decreed the title hereditary in the male line, and that his descendants in the female line should have the title Jarl. He granted:
      Vingulmark, Raumarike, Vestfold and Thelamark to his sons Olav, Björn, Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils;
      Hedemark and Gudbrandsdal to his sons Dag, Hring and Ragnar;
      Ringerike, Hadeland, Thoten and their dependencies to his sons by Snæfrid;
      Hordaland and Sogn to his sons Hrorek and Gudrod;
      Halogaland, North More and Raumsdal to his son Eirik;
      his son Guthrom retained the lands which he already controlled;
      the land north of Trondheim to Halfdan "the Black", Halfdan "the White" and Sigrod.
      The division resulted in major disputes between his sons about who would inherit the overall kingship. The dating of this division is difficult to assess, but from the chronology of events recorded by Snorre it appears to have occurred before the birth of King Harald's son Haakon, which is dated to [919]. King Harald abdicated in 930 "when he was 80 years old" in favour of his son Erik, died three years later in 933, and was buried "under a mound at Haugar in Karmtsund, near the church in Haugesund".
      m firstly ASA Haakonsdatter, daughter of Jarl HAAKON Grjotgardson [Ladejarl] & his wife ---. Snorre records the marriage of King Harald and "Asa, a daughter of Earl Hakon Grjotgardson".
      m secondly GYDA, daughter of ERIK King at Hördeland & his wife ---. Snorre names "Gyda, daughter of King Eirik of Hordaland…brought up as foster-child in the house of a great bonde in Valdres", narrating that, when King Harald asked for her hand she refused, saying that she would only marry the person who ruled the whole of Norway, which inspired him to conquer the country. Snorre records their marriage in a later passage.
      m thirdly SVANHILD, daughter of EYSTEIN "Glumra" Jarl of the Uplanders [in Kristian and Hedemarken] & his wife ---. Snorre names "Snahild, a daughter of Earl Eystein" as one of the wives of King Harald.
      m fourthly SNEFRIED, daughter of SVASE the Finn & his wife ---. Snorre names Snæfried, the daughter of Svase the Finn, who ensnared King Harald with a magic potion which was effective even after her death. The spell was only broken when her body was burned on a funeral pyre at which time "serpents and lizards and toads and every species of venomous reptile continued to issue from it".
      m fifthly ALVHILD, daughter of RING Dagsson of Ringerike & his wife ---. Snorre names "lastly Ashild, a daughter of Hring Dagson" as one of the wives of King Harald.
      m sixthly ([894]) RAGNHILD Eriksdatter "the Rich", daughter of RÖRIK [Horik/Erik] [King of the Danes] & his wife --- (-[897). Snorre names "Ragnhild the Mighty, a daughter of King Eirik from Jutland" as one of the wives of King Harald, commenting that "it is said that he put away nine wives" when he married her. According to Snorre, "Queen Ragnhild the Mighty" lived three years after she came to Norway.
      Mistress (1): ---. The name of King Harald's first mistress is not known.
      Mistress (2): THORA Mosterstang, daughter of ---. Snorre names Thora Mosterstang "from Moster…connected with Kare Aslakson of Hordaland" as the mother of King Harald's son Haakon.
      In addition to the sons referred to below, the Historia Norwegie names "sextus Gunrodus…decimus Eusteinus, XI Iorundus, XIII Ynguar, XIV Truggui, XV Ringr, XVI Rolfr" as sons of "Haraldus Comatus". These sons are not named in the Sagas and have been omitted from this document.
      King Harald I & his first wife had four children:
      1. GUTTORM (-killed in battle after [915]). Snorre names "the eldest Guthorm, Halfdan "the Black" and Halfdan "the White"…twins and Sigfrod…fourth" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Asa. He was named after, and brought up by, "Guthorm the Duke" who ruled Viken and the Uplands in the king's absence. After the death of Guthorm's fosterfather at Tunsberg, King Harald installed his son Guthorm as chief in his place. In his father's division of territories, he was confirmed as king in the land from Glommen to Svinasund and Ranrike. He was killed by Solve "Klofe" while defending Viken against attack, dated from the chronology of the passages to after his father's division of his territories.
      2. HALFDAN "Swarti/the Black" (-Trondheim [932]). Snorre names "the eldest Guthorm, Halfdan "the Black" and Halfdan "the White"…twins and Sigfrod…fourth" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Asa. He fought alongside his brother Halfdan the White in Estonia. Under his father's division of territories, the land north of Trondheim was granted to Halfdan "the Black", Halfdan "the White" and Sigrod. After attempting to murder his half-brother Erik at a farm at Solve in More, Halfdan was reconciled with Erik after Guthorm Sindre intervened with King Harald. On his father's abdication in favour of Halfdan's half-brother Erik, Halfdan "also took a king's high seat" ruling over Tröndheim "with the consent of all the people". He died suddenly at a feast in Tröndheim 2 years later, "the general report was that Gunhild [wife of his half-brother Erik] had bribed a witch to give him a death drink".
      3. HALFDAN "Hvide/the White" (-killed in battle Estonia after [915]). Snorre names "the eldest Guthorm, Halfdan "the Black" and Halfdan "the White"…twins and Sigfrod…fourth" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Asa[68]. Under his fatheer's division of territories, the land north of Trondheim was granted to Halfdan "the Black", Halfdan "the White" and Sigröd. Halfdan "the White" was killed in battle in Eistland [Estonia], fighting alongside his brother Halfdan the Black, dated from the chronology of the passages to after his father's division of territories.
      4. SIGRÖD (-killed in battle Tunsberg 934, bur Tunsberg). Snorre names "the eldest Guthorm, Halfdan "the Black" and Halfdan "the White"…twins and Sigfrod…fourth" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Asa. Under his father's division oon of territories, the land north of Trondheim was granted to Halfdan "the Black", Halfdan "the White" and Sigrod. Sigröd was chosen as king at Tröndheim after the death of his brother Halfdan. After his father's death he took "all the revenues … of the Tröndheim country" with which his half-brother King Erik I was "very ill-pleased". The latter sailed for Tunsberg in Vike, where Sigröd had joined forces with his half-brother Olav, and defeated and killed the two of them.
      King Harald I & his second wife had five children:
      5. ALOF "Aarbod/Season-bettering". Snorre names "Alof…the eldest…their son Hrorek, then Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils" as the children of King Harald and his wife Gyda[74]. Snorre records that King Harald gave Jarl Thore his daughter "Alof, called Arbot" after the king confirmed him as Jarl of Möre. m ([890]) THORE Ragnvaldsson "Tause/the Silent" Möre-Jarl, son of [RAGNVALD "the Wise" Jarl of Möre in Norway & his wife Ragnhild].
      6. RÖREK. Snorre names "Alof…the eldest…their son Hrorek, then Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils" as the children of King Harald and his wife Gyda.
      7. SIGGTRYGG. Snorre names "Alof…the eldest…their son Hrorek, then Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils" as the children of King Harald and his wife Gyda. The Historia Norwegie names "Sigtrygr" as twelfth son of "Haraldus Comatus". Under his father's division of territories, Vingulmark, Raumarike, Vestfold and Thelamark were granted to Olav, Björn, Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils.
      8. FRODE. Snorre names "Alof…the eldest…their son Hrorek, then Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils" as the children of King Harald and his wife Gyda. Under his father's division of territories, Vingulmark, Raumarike, Vestfold and Thelamark were granted to Olav, Björn, Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils. With his brother Thorgils, he plundered Scotland and Ireland, becoming joint king in Dublin, where he was allegedly poisoned.
      9. THORGILS. Snorre names "Alof…the eldest…their son Hrorek, then Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils" as the children of King Harald and his wife Gyda. Under his father's division of territories, Vingulmark, Raumarike, Vestfold and Thelamark were granted to Olav, Björn, Sigtryg, Frode and Thorgils. With his brother Frode, he plundered Scotland and Ireland, becoming joint king in Dublin, sole king after his brother's death, until he was killed by the Irish
      King Harald I & his third wife had three children:
      10. OLAV Geirstadaalf (-killed in battle Tunsberg 934, bur Tunsberg). The Historia Norwegie names "Olauus" as third son of "Haraldus Comatus".
      11. BJÖRN. The Historia Norwegie names "Berno" as fourth son of "Haraldus Comatus".
      12. RAGNAR Rykkil. Under his father's division of territories, Hedemark and Gudbrandsdal were granted to Dag, Hring and Ragnar. m ---. The name of Ragnar's wife is not known. Ragnar & his wife had one child:
      a) AGNAR Ragnarsson. The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. m ---. The name of Agnar's wife is not known. Agnar & his wife had one child:
      i) RAGNAR Agnarsson. The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.
      King Harald I & his fourth wife had four children:
      13. SIGURD "Hrise" . Snorre names "Sigurd Hrise…Halfdan Haleg, Gudrod Ljome and Ragnvald Rettilbeine" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Snæfrid[90]. The Historia Norwegie names "Siwardus…Gigas" as sixth son of "Haraldus Comatus"[91]. Morkinskinna recites the descent of “Harald Sigurdarson” from “Harald hárfagri”, to “Sigurdr hrisi”, to “Hálfdan, father of Sigurdr sýr, the father of Haraldr”, adding that these ancestors were all “kings of Hringaríki in Norway”.
      14. HALFDAN "Haaleg" (-killed in battle [894]). Snorre names "Sigurd Hrise…Halfdan Haleg, Gudrod Ljome and Ragnvald Rettilbeine" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Snæfrid. The Historia Norwegie names "Halfdanus Hafoeta" as eighth soon of "Haraldus Comatus". Snorre records that, with his brother Gudred Liomi he surprised Ragnvald Mörejarl [ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy and Jarls of Orkney] in his hall in [894] and burned him alive. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Halfdan Long-Leg and Gudrod Gleam, King Harald´s sons by Snæfrid” attacked “Earl Rognvald of More, killed him and assumed his authority”, that Halfdan left for Orkney and “conquered the islands and set himself up as king over them”, Jarl Einar “fled the islands over to Scotland” but returned “later in the year…[and] came out as victor”, and that Halfdan´s body was found in the sea and mutilated (including graphic details of the mutilation). He was killed by Einar I "Turf-Einar" Jarl of Orkney after he invaded Orkney following the death of Jarl Ragnvald. The Historia Norwegie records that "Halfdan…Hafota" was murdered by the men of Orkney.
      15. GUDRÖD Ljome . Snorre names "Sigurd Hrise…Halfdan Haleg, Gudrod Ljome and Ragnvald Rettilbeine" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Snæfrid, recording that Gudröd requested his foster-father Thjodolf of Hvin to intercede with their father on their behalf. The Historia Norwegie names "Guthrodus" as seventh son of "Haraldus Comatus". He seized Möre after murdering Jarl Ragnvald but was expelled by his father and sent to Agder. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Halfdan Long-Leg and Gudrod Gleam, King Harald´s sons by Snæfrid” attacked “Earl Rognvald of More, killed him and assumed his authority”, but that Gudröd “gave himself up to his father”. Under his father's division of territories, Ringerike, Hadeland, Thoten and their dependencies were granted to his sons by Snæfrid. His boat was lost in a storm while he was travelling north to Rogaland while visiting his foster-father Thjodolf in Hvin.
      16. RAGNVALD Rettilbein. Snorre names "Sigurd Hrise…Halfdan Haleg, Gudrod Ljome and Ragnvald Rettilbeine" as the four sons of King Harald and his wife Snæfrid. The Historia Norwegie names "Rogualdus Recilbein" as ninth son of "Haraldus Comatusus", recording that he was reared by a sorceress "in prouincia Hatlandia" and became skilled in the same art. Under his father's division of territories, Ringerike, Hadeland, Thoten and their dependencies were granted to his sons by Snæfrid. He "allowed himself to be instructed in the arts of witchcraft and became an area warlock", being burned in his house as punishment by his half-brother Erik on the orders of their father who was "a hater of all witchcraft". According to the Historia Norwegie, he was reputedly drowned "in Hatlandia" on the orders of his father. m ---. The name of Ragnvald's wife is not known. Ragnvald & his wife had one child:
      a) ---. The names of Evind's parents are not known. m ---. One child:
      i) EYVIND Kelda (-drowned 998). Snorre names "Eyvind Kelda, a grandson of Ragnvald Rettilbeine, Harald Harfager's son", stating that he was a sorcerer and was drowned after being bound to a rock at Skrattasker as the tide came in, on the orders of King Olav.
      King Harald I & his fifth wife had four children:
      17. DAG. Snorre names (in order) "Dag, Hring, Gudrod Skiria and Ingigerd" as the children of King Harald and his wife Alvhild Under his father's division of territories, Hedemark and Gudbrandsdal were granted to Dag, Hring and Ragnar.
      18. RING. Snorre names (in order) "Dag, Hring, Gudrod Skiria and Ingigerd" as the children of King Harald and his wife Alvhild. Under his father's division of territories, Hedemark and Gudbrandsdal were granted to Dag, Hring and Ragnar. m ---. The name of Ring's wife is not known. Ring & his wife had one child:
      a) DAG Ringsson. King of Hedemark [960]. m ---. The name of Dag's wife is not known. Dag & his wife had three children:
      i) RÖREK (-1021). Snorre names "two brothers…Hrorek and Ring" as kings in Hedemark, recording that they supported the accession of King Olav Haraldson. King of Hedemark. He was blinded on the orders of Olav II King of Norway.
      ii) RING. Snorre names "two brothers…Hrorek and Ring" as kings in Hedemark, recording that they supported the accession of King Olav Haraldson. King of Hedemark. He was banished on the orders of Olav II King of Norway. m ---. The name of Ring's wife is not known. Ring & his wife had two children:
      (a) DAG Ringsson. The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. 1030.
      (b) EMUND Ringsson. The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. An official in Polotzk.
      iii) RAGNHILD. The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. m RAUD, from Österdalen.
      19. GUDRÖD Skirja. Snorre names (in order) "Dag, Hring, Gudrod Skiria and Ingigerd" as the children of King Harald and his wife Alvhild.
      20. INGEGERD. Snorre names (in order) "Dag, Hring, Gudrod Skiria and Ingigerd" as the children of King Harald and his wife Alvhild.
      King Harald & his sixth wife had one child:
      21. ERIK ([895]-murdered Stainmore Westmoreland 954). Snorre names "Eirik Blood-axe" as the son of King Harald and his wife "Ragnhild the Mighty". The Historia Norwegie names "Ericus…Blothex" as oldest son of "Haraldus Comatus", specifying that he succeeded his father as king. Snorre records that he was fostered by "the herse Thorer Hroaldson" after his mother's death, in a later passage that this was in the Fjord district. Under his father's division of territories, Halogaland, North More and Raumsdal were granted to Eirik. He succeeded in [930] on the abdication of his father as ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" Over-King of Norway. He conquered Viken in 934 after defeating his half-brothers Olav King of Viken and Sigröd King of Tröndheim at Tunsberg. His support diminished after the return to Norway of his half-brother Haakon, and he fled in [935/36] to Orkney where he established himself as king and took to piracy because he had little land. The Historia Norwegegie records that he was deposed after ruling one year and fled to England where he was baptised and appointed "toti Northimbrie comes" by King Athelstan. King Athelstan established him as vassal king at York in 939, on condition that he and his family accepted baptism. He was expelled from York in 940 by Athelstan's successor King Edmund I. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Turf-Einar” joined ex-King Eirik after he was expelled from Northumbria by Edmund King of England and that they sailed to the Hebrides, looted in Ireland and Strathclyde, until they were killed in battle against Olaf King of Northumbria. He returned as King of York after a Danish revolt 947-948, but was driven out in 949 by Olaf Sihtricson. After the latter was deposed, Erik became king of York once more 952-954 until the Northumbrians rose against him and defeated him. He was killed by Maccus son of Harald Sihtricsson King of Limerick. Simeon of Durham records that "the last of the kings of [Northumbria]…Eiric" was killed by "Muccus the son of Onlaf"[131]. m ([922]) GUNHILD, daughter of --- ([910/20]-after 970). The primary sources are contradictory concerning Gunhild's parentage. According to the Historia Norwegie, she was GUNHILD, daughter of GORM “den Gamle/the Old” King of Denmark & his wife Tyre, this source recording the marriage of "Ericus…Blothex" and "de Dania…Gunnildam…Gorms Stultissimi Danorum regis filiam ac Thyri" and sspecifying that she was "malificam et iniquissimam". According to Snorre, she was the daughter of Ozur "Tote", a Finn who lived in Halogaland, in a later passage stating that she was "clever with much knowledge and lively but a very false persoson and very cruel in disposition". Snorre names "Eyvind Skreyja and Alf Askman" as brothers of Gunhild, when recording that they joined the army of Harald Eirikson and were killed in battle. Her birth date range is estimated from her allegedly having nine sons by her husband, who were probably born in the range [935/50] if the indications in Snorre's narrative are correct. If this is correct, she was probably older than her brother Harald King of Denmark, assuming that her Danish oorigin is correct. Gunhild returned to Orkney with her sons after her husband's death[136], departing in [spring/summer] 955 for Denmark where her sons were granted fiefs by King Harald. The Historia Norwegie records that she returned with heer sons to "fratrem suum Haraldum regem Danorum" after her husband was murdered. After her son succeeded as king of Norway, she was known as the "King mother" and exercised considerable influence in governing the country. She returned to Orkney with her surviving sons after the defeat of her son King Harald in [965] at Limfiord. King Erik I & his wife had [eight] children:
      a) GAMLE Eriksson (-killed in battle Rastarkalv, island of Frei [955]). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. The Historia Norwegie names "Gamla" as second son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. Snorre records that "Gamle Eirikson" was somewhat older than the other brothers but "still he was not a grown man" when he and his brothers left Orkney for Denmark with their mother. The Historia Norwegie records that "Gamle filius Gunnilde" was hurled from a promontory into the sea "in prouincia Northmore in…insula Frethi loco Rastarcalf" while fighting his paternal uncle King Haakon. According to Snorre, he drowned while trying to reach his ship.
      b) GOTTORM Eriksson (-killed in battle Avaldsnes on Karmøy [953]). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. The Historia Norwegie names "Gorm" as sixth and youngest son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. The Historia Norwegie records that "duo filii Gunnilde…Gormr et Erlingr" were killed in battle "in…oppido…Fittium" while fighting their paternal uncle King Haakon.
      c) HARALD Eriksson (-killed in battle Limfiord near Hals, Jylland [965]). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. The Historia Norwegie names "Haraldum…Grafeld" as oldest son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. According to Snorre, in [955] he was adopted as foster son by Harald King of Denmark who "set him on his knee"[150], which implies that Harald was not yet an adult at the time. He defeated and killed his uncle in battle and succeeded him in 960 as HARALD II "Gråfeld/Greyskin" King of Norway. According to Snorre, his nickname was earned after he bought a grey skin from a trader from Iceland, all his retainers following his example. He was killed in battle by Harald "Guld-Harald" of Denmark who was plotting to become King of Norway. King Harald II had one iIllegitimate child by an unknown mistress:
      i) son . Snorre refers to, but does not name, King Harald's only son by a concubine.
      d RAGNFRED Eriksson (-after 970). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife Went to Orkney with his mother 954 on the death of his father. Joint King in Norway [960-967]. After his brother King Harald II was killed, he left with his mother for Orkney from where he continued to plunder Norway but was defeated by Jarl Haakon at the Thinganes, near Sogn and Hordaland.
      e) RAGNHILD Eriksdatter ). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. Orkneyinga Saga records that Gunnhild, widow of ex-King Eirik of Norway, arranged the marriage of their daughter Ragnhild to “Earl Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” before she and her sons left Orkney, which can probably be dated to [955] or soon after. Snorre records the marriage of "King Eirik's daughter, Ragnhild" and "Arnfin, a son of Thorfin Hausakljufer" at the time the king's sons left Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brothther Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”, but that she plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread, but that she finally married “Ljot the brother of Arnfinn and Havard”. m firstly ([954/55]) ARNFINN Torfinnsson, son of THORFINN I "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" Jarl of Orkney & his wife Grelad of Caithnesss (-murdered). He succeeded his father in [976] as Jarl of Orkney [and Caithness]. He was murdered on the orders of his wife. m secondly HAVARD Torfinnsson "Season-prosperous" Jarl of Orkney, son of THORFINN I "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" Jararl of Orkney & his wife Grelad of Caithness (-murdered, bur Stennis, Hrossey). He was murdered on the orders of his wife. m thirdly LJOT Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, son of THORFINN I "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" Jarl of Orkney & his wife Grelad of Caithness (-killed in battle).
      f) ERLING Eriksson (-murdered Trondheim [963]). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. The Historia Norwegie names "Erlingum" as fifth son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. Joint King in Norway. The Historia Norwegie records that "duo filii Gunnilde…Gormr et Erlingr" were killed in battle "in…oppido…Fittium" while fighting their paternal uncle King Haakon. According to Snorre, he was murdered in 969 by men of Tröndheim who were dissatisfied with the heavy penalties he had laid on them.
      g) GUDRÖD Eriksson (-murdered [Alrekstad] 999). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife The Historia Norwegie names "Gunrodum" as fourth son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. He went to Orkney with his mother in 954 on the death of his father. Joint King in Norway. He murdered King Tryggve Olavson. After his brother King Harald II was killed, he left with his mothher for Orkney. According to Snorre, he attempted an invasion of Norway in 999 but was killed. The Historia Norwegie records that "Gunrodum" was murdered "in uillula Alrecstadum" by "Torkellus Clypr" in revenge for raping his wife, but that his murder was avenged by "Erlingus Senex".
      h) SIGURD Eriksson "Sleva" [Snog] (-murdered Vors [965]). Snorre names (in order) "Gamle the oldest, then Guthorm, Harald, Ragnfrod, Ragnhild, Erling, Gudrod and Sigurd Sleva" as the children of King Eirik & his wife. The Historia Norwegie names "Siwardum Lioma" as third son of "Ericus…Blothex" & his wife. Joint King in Norway. According to Snorre, he was murdered in 965 by Herse Klyp in revenge for raping his wife. The Historia Norwegie records that "Siwardus" was murdered by the peasants of Voss led by "Wemundo Volubriot".
      King Harald I had one illegitimate daughter by Mistress (1):
      22. INGEBORG. Snorre names her, her husband and her daughter. m HALFDAN Jarl, son of ---.
      a) GUNHILD. Snorre names Gunhild as the daughter of Halfdan & his wife. In a later passage, he names Gunhild, daughter of Earl Halfdan and Ingebjorg, as the mother of Harek's father. The primary source which confirms the name of her husband has not yet been identified. m FIN Skjalge, son of ---.
      King Harald I had one illegitimate son by Mistress (2):
      23. HAAKON ([Alrekstad] [919]-[Alrekstad] 960, bur Saeheim, North Hordaland). Snorre records the birth of Haakon as King Harald's son by Thora Mosterstang, born after his father's division of territories. The Historia Norwegie names "Hacon" as second son of "Haraldus Comatus", recording that he was adopted by "Adalstanus rex Anglorum". Known as "Adalstenfostre/Athalsteins fóstri", he lived in England at the court of Athelstan King of Wessex, converting to Christianity there. According to Snorre, on hearing of his father's death in 934, he returned to Norway arriving in Tröndheim where he allied himself with Sigurd Jarl of Hlader "who was the ablest man in Norway" and was chosen as king by the people, at the age of 15. He conquered the Uplands in early 935 and Viken where he received the support of his nephews Trygve and Gudrod. His half-brother Erik "Blodøks/Blood-axe" fled to Orkney in the face of growing opposition to his rule, and he succeeded in 936 as HAAKON I "Godi/the Good" King of Norway. The Historia Norwegie records that "Hacone fratre suo" succeeded "Ericus…Blothex", who was deposed after ruling one year and fled to England. He defeated the Danes, who regularly plundered Viken, in Jutlaland. He attempted unsuccessfully to christianise Norway. According to the Historia Norwegie, he returned to the pagan religion. He initiated the coastal defence system of bonfires known as "leidang". He also established a system of courts oof appeal covering large districts of Norway. He was defeated in battle by the sons of his half-brother King Erik "Blodøks/Blood-axe". According to the Historia Norwegie, he received a mortal wound "in…oppido…Fittium" while fighting the sons of his brother King Erik, and died at his manor "Alrecstathi" [Alrekstad] where he had also been born. m ---. The name of King Haakon's wife is not known. King Haakon I & his wife had one child:
      a) THORA. Snorre names Thora as the only child of King Haakon, but includes no reference to her mother.”



      “King Harald I Hårfagre ... was the first King over all of Norway. Harald inherited three small domains in eastern, central, and western Norway from his father, Halfdan the Black, and set out to conquer the rest of the country, spurred-according to the saga tradition-by the refusal of another petty king's daughter to marry him until all of Norway was under his sway. After many years of campaigning, during which the chieftains of western Norway offered the most stubborn resistance, Harald gained his final victory in the Battle of Hafrsfjord, which probably took place around 885, although it may have been some years later. Once in power, Harald ruled with a strong hand and consolidated his realm. One result of his firm rule was the acceleration of the immigration that had begun shortly before to pioneer settlements in Iceland. Many chieftains also fled to the Western (British) Isles, from where they and their kinsfolk in the Orkneys, Shetlands, and Hebrides raided the Norwegian coast. Harald was finally compelled to send a punitive expedition across the North Sea to flush out these Vikings. For the same purpose he entered into an alliance with King Athelstan of England; but he made no actual conquests. In his old age Harald abdicated in favor of his eldest legitimate son, Eric Bloodaxe, who was deposed by his half brother Hakon I after a few years of misrule.

      From Snorre Sturlasson: Harald Hårfagre's Saga:
      3. OF GYDA, DAUGHTER OF EIRIE. King Harald sent his men to a girl called Gyda, daughter of King Eirik of Hordaland, who was brought up as foster-child in the house of a great bonde in Valdres. The king wanted her for his concubine; for she was a remarkably handsome girl, but of high spirit withal. Now when the messengers came there, and delivered their errand to the girl, she answered, that she would not throw herself away even to take a king for her husband, who had no greater kinggdom to rule over than a few districts. "And methinks," said she, "it is wonderful that no king here in Norway will make the whole country subject to him, in the same way as Gorm the Old did in Denmark, or Eirik at Upsala." The messengers thought her answer was dreadfully haughty, and asked what she thought would come of such an answer; for Harald was so mighty a man, that his invitation was good enough for her. But although she had replied to their errand differently from what they wished, they saw no chance, on this occasion, of taking her with them against her will; so they prepared to return. When they were ready, and the people followed them out, Gyda said to the messengers, "Now tell to King Harald these my words. I willl only agree to be his lawful wife upon the condition that he shall first, for my sake, subject to himself the whole of Norway, so that he may rule over that kingdom as freely and fully as King Eirik over the Swedish dominions, or King Gorm over Denmark; for only then, methinks, can he be called the king of a people."

      4. KING HARALD'S VOW. Now came the messengers back to King Harald, bringing him the words of the girl, and saying she was so bold and foolish that she well deserved that the king should send a greater troop of people for her, and inflict on heher some disgrace. Then answered the king, "This girl has not spoken or done so much amiss that she should be punished, but rather she should be thanked for her words. She has reminded me," said he, "of something which it appears to me wonderfuul I did not think of before. And now," added he, "I make the solemn vow, and take God to witness, who made me and rules over all things, that never shall I clip or comb my hair until I have subdued the whole of Norway, with scat (1), and duties, and domains; or if not, have died in the attempt." Guthorm thanked the king warmly for his vow; adding, that it was royal work to fulfil royal words.
      ENDNOTES: (1) Scat was a land-tax, paid to the king in money, malt, meal, or flesh-meat, from all lands, and was adjudged by the Thing to each king upon his accession, and being proposed and accepted as king.

      9. KING HARALD'S HOME AFFAIRS. King Harald then returned to Throndhjem, where he dwelt during the winter, and always afterwards called it his home. He fixed here his head residence, which is called Lade. This winter he took to wife Asa, a daughter of Earl Hakon Grjotgardson, who then stood in great favour and honour with the king. ...

      18. HRANE GAUZKE'S DEATH. King Harald went far and wide through Gautland, and many were the battles he fought there on both sides of the river, and in general he was victorious. In one of these battles fell Hrane Gauzke; and then the king took his whole land north of the river and west of the Veneren, and also Vermaland. And after he turned back there-from, he set Duke Guthorm as chief to defend the country, and left a great force with him. King Harald himself went first to the Uplandss, where he remained a while, and then proceeded northwards over the Dovrefjeld to Throndhjem, where he dwelt for a long time. Harald began to have children. By Asa he had four sons. The eldest was Guthorm. Halfdan the Black and Halfdan the White were twins. Sigfrod was the fourth. They were all brought up in Throndhjem with all honour.

      21. HARALD'S MARRIAGE AND HIS CHILDREN. ... King Harald had many wives and many children. Among them he had one wife, who was called Ragnhild the Mighty, a daughter of King Eirik, from Jutland; and by her he had a son, Eirik Blood-axe. He was also married to Svanhild, a daughter of Earl Eystein; and their sons were Olaf Geirstadaalf, Bjorn and Ragnar Rykkil. Lastly, King Harald married Ashild, a daughter of Hring Dagson, up in Ringerike; and their children were, Dag, Hring, Gudrod Skiriria, and Ingigerd. It is told that King Harald put away nine wives when he married Ragnhild the Mighty. So says Hornklofe: -- "Harald, of noblest race the head, A Danish wife took to his bed; And out of doors nine wives he thrust, -- The motherers of the princes first. Who 'mong Holmrygians hold command, And those who rule in Hordaland. And then he packed from out the place The children born of Holge's race." King Harald's children were all fostered and brought up by their relations oon the mother's side. Guthorm the Duke had poured water over King Harald's eldest son and had given him his own name. He set the child upon his knee, and was his foster-father, and took him with himself eastward to Viken, and there he was brought up in the house of Guthorm. Guthorm ruled the whole land in Viken and the Uplands, when King Harald was absent.

      21. HARALD'S MARRIAGE AND HIS CHILDREN. When King Harald had now become sole king over all Norway, he remembered what that proud girl had said to him; so he sent men to her, and had her brought to him, and took her to his bed. And these were their children: Alof -- she was the eldest; then was their son Hrorek; then Sigtryg, Frode, and Thorgils.


      Harald married Svanhild Øysteinsdatter, daughter of Eystein Glumra "The Noisy" Ivarsson, Earl Of Upland and Ascrida (Aseda) Ragnvaldsdatter, Countess Of Oppland, about 884. The marriage ended in divorce. (Svanhild Øysteinsdatter was born about 860 in Maer, Nord-Trondelag, Norway.)


      Harald next married Åsa Håkonsdatter about 875 in Norway. (Åsa Håkonsdatter was born about 862 in Norway.)


      Harald next married Snefrid Svåsesdatter, daughter of Finnen Svase and Unknown, about 875 in Norway. (Snefrid Svåsesdatter was born about 860 in Norway.)


      Harald next married Åshild Hringsdatter, Of Ringerike, daughter of Ring Dagsson, Of Ringerike and Unknown, about 908 in Norway. (Åshild Hringsdatter, Of Ringerike was born about 870 in Norway.)


      Harald next married Gyda Eiriksdatter, daughter of Eirik Of Hordaland and Unknown, about 880 in Norway. (Gyda Eiriksdatter was born about 850 in Norway.)


      Harald next married Ragnhild Den Mektige Eiriksdatter about 922 in Norway. (Ragnhild Den Mektige Eiriksdatter was born about 872 in Norway.)


      Harald next married Tora Mosterstang about 926 in Norway. (Tora Mosterstang was born about 900 in Norway.)”



      “It had been revealed to his mother in a dream that her progeny would flourish like a great tree with blood-red roots, green trunk, and snow-white branches which would cover the whole of Norway and lands farther afield. His first task [after the death of his father when Harald was 10], or rather that of his mother’s brother Guthorm, who acted as regent for a while, was to repel various of his father’s old enemies who saw in a boy’s accession their opportunity to throw off dependence and recover their former territories. Battles were fought, kings slain, realms subjugated, till eventually Harald was master of a much enlarged Vestfold, possibly including Ringerike, Hedemark, Gudbrandsdal, Hadaland, Toten, Raumarike, and northern Vingulmark.

      “…The two greatest men in Norway came to terms; Hakon [Grjotgardsson] strengthened his grip on the Trondelag and settled in as jarl of Hladir. In return he recognized Harald’s overlordship, an unirksome and not overmeaningful gesture, and Haralarald found himself free to marry Hakon’s daughter, enlarge his father-in-law’s already large patrimony, and wage war on the viking kingdoms in the west. On a longer view Harald had bolstered up the strongest challengers to the Yngling line, set a barrier across his descendants’ way to the unification of Norway, and ensured a more or less independent status for the Tronds, who would long remain the most rebellious and uncooperative section of the Norwegian realm.

      “Harald’s campaign against the Vestland was a long, arduous, and interrupted affair. He had a more or less unified Vik and a more or less pacified Trondelag behind him, but he was now confronted by a warlike aristocracy and a breed of sea-goinng pirates who had long been raiding west over sea and taking toll of their Norwegian neighbours, too. It would be a minority of them who were not prepared to fight for stakes of all or nothing. There was much bitter fighting as Harald attacked and removed his many obstacles on the west coast on the way to the final reckoning at Hagrsfjord. The sea battle fought there was among the most decisive in medieval Scandinavian history. A confederacy of disaffected kings and jarls throughoout the south-west drew a host together and encountered Harald’s fleet where it lay ready for battle in a little fjord west of Stavanger. Not for the first time Harald had moved faster than his foes. The fight was long, hard, and costly on both sides, but Harald emerged the unquestioned victor.

      “…There have been many attempts to determine the year of the battle. Traditionally the three principal dates of Harald’s life were long held to be c. 850 for his birth, c. 872 for Hafrsfjord, and c. 932 for his death. … They are now judged to be too early. … A consensus of recent opinion would place Hafrsfjord earlier than 900, but not before 885.

      “…Harald was strong-willed and energetic, with a need and desire for riches; but he had sense and judgement, too. Once the initial and deliberately punitive fur trade of the north and all imports from Iceland paid him a toll; his private holdings were large, and the sequestrated estates of the Vestland Vikings on which he lived in later life presented him not only with land and tenants but with the material profits of generations spent in piracy at home and overseas….He would in any ccase be tempted to remove from Vestfold in the Oslofjord to the famed Viking territories of the south-west, because it was they that most needed to feel his hard and steadying hand. He lived in style there, with his headquarters at Avaldsnes on Karmøy, but making royal progresses by land or water to other main farmsteads of his. His court moved with him, whose skalds and warriors and material splendour would quickly become part of his legend.

      “…During his long life (he lived into his eighties) Harald fathered many sons, some of them to Norway’s bane. Some sources say there were twenty of them, the Historia Norwegiæ names sixteen, Eyvind Skalaspillir (Despoiller of Skalds or Plagiarist) in his panegyric on Hakon the Good calls him one of nine, and this is likely to be right.

      “…Then Harald died, and was buried in a mound on Karmøy or by Haugasund in Rogaland, where he had long chosen to live, the greatest king that Norway had ever known.”, , [1, 2, 3]
    Person ID I9615  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 

    Father Halvdan Svarte “The Black” GUDRØDSSON, King of Norway,   b. Abt 824, Vestfold, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 865, Randsfjorden, Hadeland, Oppland, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Mother Ragnhild SIGURDSDTR,   b. Abt 838, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3359  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Åsa HÅKONSDTR,   b. Abt 862, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 875  Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Guttorm HARALDSSON
     2. Halfdan Svarte HARALDSSON
     3. Halvdan Hvit HARALDSSON
     4. Sigfrod HARALDSSON
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3419  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Gyda EIRIKSDTR,   b. Abt 850 
    Married Abt 880 
    Children 
    +1. Ålof “Årbot” HARALDSDTR,   b. Abt 881
     2. Rørek HARALDSSON,   b. Abt 882
     3. Sigtrygg HARALDSSON,   b. Abt 883
     4. Frode HARALDSSON,   b. Abt 884
     5. Torgils HARALDSSON, KING OF DUBLIN,   b. Abt 885
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3416  Group Sheet

    Family 3 Svanhild EYSTEINSDTR,   b. Abt 860, Maer, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 884 
    Divorced Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
    +1. Olav Geirstadaalf HARALDSSON,   d. 934
     2. Bjorn Kyoband “the Merchant” HARALDSSON
     3. Ragnar Rykkil HARALDSSON
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3418  Group Sheet

    Family 4 Snefrid SVÅSESDTR,   b. Abt 860, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 875 
    Children 
    +1. Sigurd “Hrise” HARALDSSON, King of Norway,   b. Abt 912, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 937, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 25 years)
     2. Halfdan Hålegg HARALDSSON
     3. Gudrod Ljome HARALDSSON
     4. Ragnvald Rettilbeine HARALDSSON
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3420  Group Sheet

    Family 5 Åshild, of Ringerike,   b. Abt 870, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 908 
    Children 
     1. Dag HARALDSSON
     2. Hring HARALDSSON
     3. Gudrod Skirja HARALDSDTR
     4. Ingegjerd HARALDSDTR
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3421  Group Sheet

    Family 6 Ragnhild DEN MEKTIGE EIRIKSDTR,   b. Abt 872, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 922  Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Eirik I Bloodaxe HARALDSSON, King of Norway
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3422  Group Sheet

    Family 7 Unknown MISTRESS 
    Children 
     1. Ingebjørg HARALDSDTR
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F4724  Group Sheet

    Family 8 Tora MOSTERSTANG,   b. Abt 900, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 926  Norway Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Håkon I The Good HARALDSSON, King of Norway
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2014 
    Family ID F3423  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 875 - Norway Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 922 - Norway Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 926 - Norway Link to Google Earth
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  • Sources 
    1. [S48] Ancestors of the Obrocks of Quincy, Illinois., Obrock, Paul E., Dr..

    2. [S49] A History of the Vikings, 2nd edition., Jones, Gwyn., (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001.).

    3. [S87] Foundation for Medieval Genealogy., Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Trustees..