The story of our family...for my sons

Monday, January 16, 2012

George Washington wears our genes

1. Edward_III King of England (1312-1377) m. Philippe de Hainault (1311-1369)
2. John of_Gaunt Duke of Lancaster (1340-1398) m(3) Catherine Swynford ROET (1350-1403)
3. Joan de BEAUFORT (1375-1440)
m(1) Sir Robert de FERRERS Kt. 2nd Lord Ferrers (1373-1396)
4. Mary de FERRERS Lady of Oversley (1394-1457) m. Sir Ralph NEVILLE Kt. 2nd Earl of Westmoreland (-1457)
5. John NEVILLE Esq. (-1481) m. Elizabeth NEWMARCH
6. Joan (Jane) NEVILLE Lady m(1) Sir William GASCOIGNE Kt. (-1463)
7. Sir William GASCOIGNE Kt. (-1486) m. Margaret PERCY
8. Elizabeth GASCOIGNE m. Sir George TALBOYS Lord Kyme (1477-1538)
9. Anne TALBOYS m. Edward DYMOKE
10. Frances DYMOKE m. Sir Thomas WINDEBANK Kt. (-1607)
11. Mildred WINDEBANK (1584-1630) m. Robert READE (1551-1627)
12. George READE Colonel (1608-1674) m. Elizabeth MARTIAU (-1685)
13. Mildred READE (-1693) m. Augustine WARNER Captain (1642-1681)
14. Mildred WARNER (1670-1701) m. Lawrence WASHINGTON Captain (1659-1697)
15. Augustine WASHINGTON (1693-1743) m(2) Mary BALL (1708-1789)
16. George WASHINGTON (1732-1799)


The sagas (word originating from Old Norse) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, the battles that took place during the voyages, about migration to Iceland and of feuds between Icelandic families. They were written in the Old Norse language, mainly in Iceland.

The texts are epic tales in prose, often with stanzas or whole poems in alliterative verse embedded in the text, of heroic deeds of days long gone, "tales of worthy men," who were often Vikings, sometimes Pagan, sometimes Christian. The tales are usually realistic, except legendary sagas, sagas of saints, sagas of bishops and translated or recomposed romances. They are sometimes romanticised and fantastic, but always dealing with human beings one can understand.

The term saga originates from the Norse saga (pl. sögur), and refers to (1) "what is said, statement" or (2) "story, tale, history". It is cognate with the English word "say", and the German sagen. Icelandic sagas are based on oral traditions and much research has focused on what is real and what is fiction within each tale. The accuracy of the sagas is often hotly disputed. Most of the manuscripts in which the sagas are preserved were taken to Denmark and Sweden in the 17th century, but later returned to Iceland.

There are plenty of tales of kings (e.g. Heimskringla), everyday people (e.g. Bandamanna saga) and larger than life characters (e. g. Egils saga). The sagas describe a part of the history of some of the Nordic countries (e.g. the last chapter of Hervarar saga). The British Isles, northern France and North America are also mentioned. It was only recently (start of 20th century) that the tales of the voyages to America were authenticated.

Most sagas of Icelanders take place in the period 930–1030, which is called söguöld (Age of the Sagas) in Icelandic history. The sagas of kings, bishops, contemporary sagas have their own time frame. Most were written down between 1190 to 1320, sometimes existing as oral traditions long before, others are pure fiction, and for some we do know the sources: the author of King Sverrir's saga had met the king and used him as a source.

Norse sagas are generally classified as: the Kings' sagas (Konungasögur), Icelanders' sagas (Íslendinga sögur), Short tales of Icelanders (Íslendingaþættir), Contemporary sagas (Samtíðarsögur or Samtímasögur), Legendary sagas (Fornaldarsögur), Chivalric sagas (Riddarasögur) and Saga of the Greenlanders (Grœnlendingasögur).

The Kings' Sagas are of the lives of Scandinavian kings. They were composed in the 12th to 14th centuries. The Icelanders' sagas (Íslendinga sögur) are heroic prose narratives written in the 12th to 14th centuries of the great families of Iceland from 930 to 1030. These are the highest form of the classical Icelandic saga writing. Some well-known examples include Njáls saga, Laxdœla saga and Grettis saga. The material of the Short tales of Icelanders sagas is similar to Íslendinga sögur, in shorter form. The narratives of the Contemporary Sagas are set in 12th- and 13th-century Iceland, and were written soon after the events they describe. Most are preserved in the compilation Sturlunga saga. The Legendary Sagas blend remote history with myth or legend. The aim is on a lively narrative and entertainment. Scandinavia's pagan past was a proud and heroic history for the Icelanders. The Chivalric Sagas are translations of Latin pseudo-historical works and French chansons de geste as well as native creations in the same style.

Image: Queen Ragnhild's dream.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brother Chieftains

Hengest and Horsa, the brother chieftains who led the first Saxon forces which settled in England. The brothers said by Geoffrey of Monmouth to have originally been imported into Britain as mercenaries by Vortigern. In return for land to raise their families, the Saxon troops were to protect the land from invasion by the northern Picts and Scots. Instead, the Saxons got greedy and broke out of their enclaves, wreaking death and destruction upon the defenseless Britons, until rescued from total ruin by Ambrosius Aurelianus, who, according to Gildas, stemmed the Saxon tide for a time.

Hengest (also spelled Hengist), probably a Jute, from Denmark, is said by the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC)" to be the son of Wihtgils in a direct line from the god, Woden; the brother of Horsa and the father of Octha and Aesc. He is regarded by most, but not all, scholars as a genuine historical character. Some additional support for Hengest's historicity is to be found in a document called the "Finnesburh Fragment," part of a now-lost heroic poem, which mentions him:

. . .Then the stout warriors, Sigeferth and Eaha, went to one door and unsheathed their swords; Ordlaf and Guthlaf went to guard the other, and Hengest himself followed in their footsteps. . .
The fragment tells the story of a band of warriors who accompany the Danish prince, Hnaef, on a visit to his sister, Hildeburh, who is married to a man named Finn, the ruler of the Frisians. In a nighttime surprise attack, Finn's men kill Hnaef along with Hildeburh's sons (Hnaef's nephews) and overcome the other Danish warriors.

The epic poem, "Beowulf," in a digression from the main tale, contains more information about this event and from it we learn that, after Hnaef's death, Hengest assumed leadership of the Danes and became the servant of Finn, until he could take his revenge, the following spring.

The ASC has Hengest arriving in Britain in 449 and places his death in the year 488.

Monday, January 9, 2012

We once were Gods...

OK, it's time to clear up a few things...

(1) As I do our genealogy I strive to be as acurate as possible (dates must match mother, father and child). There are hundreds of "hints" and "family tree" entries that I won't touch.

(2) As I'm doing our Viking lines I'm finding alot of material and references that are coming from Nordic Sagas. I am using this info for our family tree because it's hard to determine fact from fiction. Sagas are oral histories that have been handed down through the art of storytelling since not many people had the ability to read or write (runes in this case). So the bottomline is that we are a family that goes so far back in history...we become mythical and that's kinda cool (see below: 818 BC mostly saga characters after about 700 AD).

Here's an example:

Brynhildr (sometimes spelled Brünnhilde, Brynhild) is married to Alfgeir, King of Vingulmork Vatnarsson in our family tree. She is also a shieldmaiden and a valkyrie in Norse mythology, where she appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some Eddic poems treating the same events. She may be inspired by the Visigothic princess Brunhilda of Austrasia (one of our relatives). The history of Brynhildr includes fratricide, a long battle between brothers, and dealings with the Huns.

She is also a big part of the cycle of four operas from Richard Wagner titled "Der Ring des Nibelungen",in fact he took Brünnhilde's role from the Norse sagas rather than from the Nibelungenlied. Brünnhilde appears in the latter three operas (Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung), playing a central role in the overall story of Wotan's downfall.

In Wagner's tale, Brünnhilde is one of the valkyries, who are born out of a union between Wotan and Erda, the personification of the earth. In Die Walküre Wotan initially commissions her to protect Siegmund, his son by a mortal mother. When Fricka protests and forces Wotan to have Siegmund die, Brünnhilde disobeys her father's change of orders and takes away Siegmund's wife (and sister) Sieglinde and the shards of Siegmund's sword, Nothung. She manages to hide them, but must then face the wrath of her father who is determined to make her mortal and put her into an enchanted sleep to be claimed by any man who happens across her. Brünnhilde argues that what she did was in obeyance of the god's true will and does not deserve such a fate. He is eventually persuaded to protect her sleep with magical fire, sentencing her to await awakening by a hero who does not know fear.

Read more at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Danish Viking lineage from 818 B.C.

818 B.C. Hadding King of Denmark (m) Princess Ragnhild (d) King of the Nitherians had Princess Ulfhild who (m) Scot and founded the Scottish name and had Frode King of Denmark and had Princess Swanhwid who married Regner the King of Sweden. 631 B.C. Regner the King of Sweden had 527 B.C. Hothbrod King of Sweden had Hother King of Sweden and Denmark had 486 B.C. Roric Slyngband (swing bracelet) King of Denmark had 431 B.C. Wiglek King of Denmark had 356 B.C. Wermund King of Denmark had 295 B.C. Uffe King of Denmark had 265 B.C. Danus II King of Denmark had Hugleik King of Denmark had 176 B.C. Frode II King of Denmark had 146 B.C. Danus III King of Denmark had 77 B.C. Fridleif I King of Denmark had 37 B.C. Frode III King of Denmark had 21 A.D. Fridleif II King of Denmark had 33 A.D. Frode IV King of Denmark had 79 A.D. Ingild King of Denmark had 102 A.D. Olaf I King of Denmark had Harold and Frode 112 A.D. Harold I King of Denmark was killed by Frode his brother but not before he had Harald and Halfdan (Frode V was king of Denmark until burned to death by nephews Harald and Halfdan - for revenge and/or the throne) 131 A.D. Halfdan II - King of Denmark and Sweden had Halfdan II who preferred to go a-viking and turned the throne over to his brother Harald II. Harald II was killed by Frode IV's son and Halfdan took the throne back. 141 A.D. Asmund - King of Norway had Ragnald King of Norway and Denmark had Princes Drota but was overthrown in Zealand, Denmark by Siwald whose son, Sigar reigned after him til 155 A.D. Princes Drota (m) Borgar a Champion and had 201 A.D. Halfdan King of Denmark (m) Princess Gurid had 261 A.D. Ivar Vidfadme King of Denmark had grandson Harald Hyldetland and Grandaughter who (m) Siward, King of Norway and had Ivar created mighty Danish Kingdom around the province of Skaane probably with the town of Lund as capitol. Ivar had grandson Harald Hyldetland 261 A.D. who rebuilt the Kingdom ~ 327 A.D. Olaf King of Denmark had Olaf II King of Denmark had Omund, King of Denmark had 367 A.D. Siward King of Denmark had Jarmerik King of Denmark had Broder King of Denmark had Siwald King of Denmark had Snio King of Denmark had several kings ruled before Bjorn took the throne including Hengest who was presumably King of the Jutes (Danes from Jutland) who in 449 A.D. landed on the shores of England and established the Jute Kingdom of Kent in England. This kingdom eventually included Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Sussex, London, Surrey, and the Isle of Wight 550 A.D. Bjorn King of Denmark had Harald V, King of Denmark had Gorm I, King of Denmark had Sigfred King of Denmark had Gudfred King of Denmark had 814 A.D. Hardeknud King of Denmark b. abt 814 A.D. in Hord, Jutland, Denmark had Olaf King of Denmark died in 810 A.D. so Gudfred's Nephew Hemming became King. Gudfred's next son Hardeknud was in line to become king. 840 A.D. Gorm III "The Old" Hardeknudsson King of Denmark b. 840 A.D. (m) Princess Thyra and had Princess Thyra (Daughter of Ethelred King of England?) also called Thyre "Danebod" (of Jutland) Haroldsdatter Queen of Denmark (she was born abt 844 A.D. Jutland, Denmark died abt 935 A.D. Jellinge, Vejle, Denmark buried Jellinghojene, Jellinge, Vejle, Denmark) they were married abt 897 A.D. 910 A.D. Harald King of Denmark aka Blaatand (Blue Tooth) b. 910 A.D. and (m) Queen Gyrithe (Cyrid) Olafsdotter, and the rest is history...

Sweyn Forkbeard

Picture: Sweyn and the Jomsvikings at the funeral ale of his father Harald Bluetooth.

Sweyn I Forkbeard (Old Norse: Sveinn Tjúguskegg; c. 960 − 3 February 1014) was king of Denmark and England, as well as parts of Norway. His name appears as Swegen in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

He was a Viking leader and the father of Cnut the Great. On his father Harald Bluetooth's death in late 986 or early 987, he became King of Denmark; in 1000, with allegiance of the Trondejarl, Erik of Lade, he was ruler over most of Norway. After a long effort at conquest, and shortly before his death, in 1013 he became the first of the Danish Kings of England.

On the northern edges of the relatively recent Holy Roman Empire, with its roots in Charlemagne's conquests hundreds of years prior to Sweyn's time, Sweyn Forkbeard had coins made with an image in his likeness. The Latin inscription on the coins read, "ZVEN REX DÆNOR", which translates as "Sven, king of Danes".

Sweyn's father, Harald Bluetooth, was the first of the Scandinavian kings to officially accept Christianity, in the early or mid-960s. According to Adam of Bremen, an 11th-century historian, Harald's son Sweyn was baptised Otto, in tribute to the German King Otto I, who was the first Holy Roman Emperor. Forkbeard is never known to have officially made use of this Christian name. He did not use it on the coins he proudly sent forth, and when he was given the English crown by the Witenagemot of Anglo-Saxon nobles, in 1013, he took the crown as King Sweyn.

Many details about Sweyn's life are contested. Scholars disagree about the various, too often contradictory, accounts of his life given in sources from his era of history, such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum, and the Heimskringla, a 13th-century work by Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson. Conflicting accounts of Sweyn's later life also appear in the Encomium Emmae Reginae, an 11th-century Latin encomium in honour of his son King Cnut's queen Emma, of Normandy, along with Chronicon ex chronicis by Florence of Worcester, another 11th-century author.

In some of the old sources, such as the Jómsvíkinga saga, Sweyn appears as an illegitimate son of Harald Bluetooth, raised by the legendary Jomsviking and Jarl of Jomsborg, Palnatoke. Sweyn is also depicted as a rebellious son, who led an uprising against his father in 987, and chased him out of the court, forcing him to abandon his kingdom. Harald apparently spent the rest of his days with the Slavs in Wendland, within modern-day Germany.

According to the chronicles of John of Wallingford, Sweyn was involved in raids against England during 1002–1005, 1006–1007, and 1009–1012, to revenge the St. Brice's Day Massacre of England's Danish inhabitants in November 1002. Historians have considered the massacre as similar to a large-scale ethnic cleansing of the Danes in England orchestrated by Æthelred the Unready. Sweyn was believed to have had a personal interest in the atrocities due to his sister Gunhilde being amongst the victims. Sweyn was active in Wessex and East Anglia in 1003–1004 but a famine forced him to return home in 1005.

Some scholars have argued that Sweyn's participation may have been prompted by his state of impoverishment after having been forced to pay a hefty ransom. He needed revenue from the raids. He acquired massive sums of Danegeld through the raids. In 1013, he is reported to have personally led his forces in a full-scale invasion.

The contemporary Peterborough Chronicle (also called the Laud Manuscript), one of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, states, "before the month of August came King Sweyn with his fleet to Sandwich. He went very quickly about East Anglia into the Humber's mouth, and so upward along the Trent till he came to Gainsborough. Earl Uchtred and all Northumbria quickly bowed to him, as did all the people of Lindsey, then the people of the Five Boroughs. He was given hostages from each shire. When he understood that all the people had submitted to him, he bade that his force should be provisioned and horsed; he went south with the main part of the invasion force, while some of the invasion force, as well as the hostages, were with his son Cnut. After he came over Watling Street, they went to Oxford, and the town-dwellers soon bowed to him, and gave hostages. From there they went to Winchester, and the people did the same, then eastward to London."

But the Londoners put up a strong resistance, because King Æthelred and Thorkell the Tall (see "The Long Ships" by F. Bengtsson), a Viking leader who had defected to Æthelred, were in the city, and held their ground against him. Sweyn then went west to Bath, where the western thanes submitted to him and gave hostages. The Londoners followed suit, fearing Sweyn's revenge if they resisted any longer. King Æthelred sent his sons Edward and Alfred to Normandy, and retreated to the Isle of Wight, and then followed them into exile. On Christmas Day 1013 Sweyn was declared King of England.

Based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, Sweyn began to organize his vast new kingdom, but he died there on 3 February 1014, having ruled England unopposed for only five weeks. His embalmed body was returned to Denmark, to be buried in the church he built in Roskilde. He was succeeded as King of Denmark by his elder son, Harald II, but the Danish fleet (Jomsvikings) proclaimed his younger son Cnut king. In England, the councillors had sent for Æthelred, who upon his return from exile in Normandy in the spring of 1014 managed to drive Cnut out of England. But Cnut returned and became King of England in 1016, while also ruling Denmark, Norway, parts of Sweden, Pomerania, and Schleswig.

His son Cnut and grandsons Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut ruled England for 26 years. After Harthacnut's death, the English throne reverted to the House of Wessex. Sweyn's descendents through his daughter Estrid continue to rule Denmark to this day. One of his descendants, Margaret of Denmark, married James III of Scotland, introducing Sweyn's bloodline into the Scottish Royal blood line. After James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne in 1603, Sweyn's ancestry was introduced into the English royal bloodline as well. Therefore, from 1603 on, all English and British monarchs are descended from King Sweyn of England, among others.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Emperors, empresses, kings and queens = 264 in the family and counting

These figures do not count lords, ladies, counts, contesses, dukes or ducesses. The countries include: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Flanders, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Russia, Gaul, Saxony, Germany, Carthage, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Holy Roman Empire, Wales, China, Italy, Bohemia, Poland, Hungry, Spain and Central Asia (Attilas' domain). It's amazing, but true, and the "family" still growing with now more than 8,000 members.