Monday, September 3, 2012

you can just call me Princess from now on

* disclaimer: I have no idea how accurate any of this is since I didn't do any of the research. In fact, it seems unlikely and now that I've made a brief sortie into the Land of Wikipedia and Google, appears to break down with generation 4 as Eadnoth 'The Staller' of Somerset doesn't appear in any of the lists of children of Svend II that I've looked at to compare against the list I have. But it also said his supposed father had something like 20 children mostly from concubines. I am just presenting this as it was presented to me. Unlikely as it probably is, I'll just live the dream anyway.

Generation 1 -

My most ancient forebear, Thorgils Sparkaleg Stybrjornsson, born 967 in Sweden had a son, Ulf, born 1000. Thorgils claimed to have been the son of Styrbjörn the Strong, a scion of the Swedish royal house, by Tyra, the daughter of king Harald Bluetooth of Denmark and grandson of Olaf Bjornsson (see the previous post). However, Thorgils' parentage may have been invented to glorify the royal dynasty founded by Ulf's son, Sweyn Estridson

Generation 2 -

Ulf Wolf Thorgilsson joined King Canute The Great's expedition to England and in 1015, married Canute's sister, Estrid, and was named the Jarl (Earl) of Denmark to rule when Canute was absent. He was also the foster-father of Canute's son Harthacnut.

When the Swedish king and the Norwegian king attacked Denmark in Canute's absence, Ulf convinced the freemen to elect Harthacnut king, since they were discontented at Canute's absenteeism. This was a ruse on Ulf's part since his role as Harthacnut's guardian would make him the ruler of Denmark.
When Canute learned what had happened, he returned to Denmark and with Jarl Ulf's help, defeated the Swedes and the Norwegians. Ulf's assistance did not, however, cause Canute to forgive Ulf for his coup.

At a banquet, the two brothers-in-law were playing chess and started arguing with each other. The next day, Canute had one of his housecarls kill Earl Ulf. However, accounts contradict each other.

Ulf was the father of Sweyn Estridsson, and thus the progenitor of the royal house that would rule Denmark from 1047 to 1375.

Generation 3 -

Svend II, Estridsson Ulfssonn 'King of Denmark', born 1019 in England, died 1076 in Denmark. He married the Queen of Denmark.

Svend grew up a military leader, and served under the king of Sweden for a time. He pillaged the Elbe-Weser area in 1040, but was caught by the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, who released him shortly thereafter.

Svend was made Jarl under Danish king Harthacnut, and led a campaign for him against Norway, but was beaten by Magnus I of Norway. When Harthacnut died in 1042, Magnus claimed the Danish throne and made Svend his Jarl of Jutland. Svend fought for Magnus, won a great reputation and had the Danish nobles crown himself as king in Jutland. He was defeated by Magnus and fled to Sweden.

The war between Magnus and Svend lasted until 1045. In 1047 Magnus died, having stated on his deathbed that his kingdom would be divided: Harald would get the throne of Norway, while Svend would be king of Denmark.

Generation 4 (don't worry, I'm not going to do all 36 generations, I just think these very early ones are so interesting. To me anyway, probably boring the hell out of all my readers) -

Here is where we leave the direct royal line as my next forbear was not a first son. Also, while I have been briefly trying to corroborate some of this, I could not find anything about him being the son of Svend II. I did however find one reference to him as a son of Ulf (Svend's father), making him Svend's brother, which would actually make this generation 3 rather than Svend.

Eadnoth 'The Staller' of Somerset was born about 1030 in Bristol, Somerset, England and died about 1068 in Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, England.

Eadnoth, "the Constable" of Somerset, was "Staller" to King Harold and to Edward the Confessor. He was also called Elnoth or Alnoth.
He appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1067) as Sheriff in 1057 in an account of an invasion from Ireland against Somersetshire and Ednoth, master of the horse, fought against them and was slain.

Names were fluid that far back, with many spellings for the same spoken word and the name Hardin or Harding doesn't come in until the next generation (gen 5) with his son Harding 'of Bristol' fitz Eadnoth and his son (gen 6), Robert fitz Harding, becomes the Baron of Berkeley.

My next (and last post) on the subject will be about that.


  1. Fascinating! Now I really am interested to see what I can find out.

  2. You were able to go back to 967? That's amazing. And Spark-a-leg is an awesome name. If I were you I would add that to my name. (Kerry Sparkaleg Bliss. yep.)

  3. "Sparkaleg" is what struck me, too! I read somewhere that if any of us go back far enough we're bound to be related to royalty and each other, because there were so few people back then. And there's sort of a records bias -- so few records were kept of ordinary people, we're drawn into the royal domain because that's where all the existing records are. My dad has traced us back to the middle ages, but no farther. Anyway, it IS cool, and if it's not 100 percent accurate, who cares? You know?

  4. I have never been much into this sort of stuff - but boy this sure is fascinating and may just peek my interest enough to make me go looking into the deepest, darkest secrets of my families.

    My aunt, by marriage, is completely fascinated by it all but I think it is because she is convinced that she is descendent from HIGH royalty. So far she can't get past the bootleggers and slave owners on her father's side. giggle

    Still - the names your family has unearthed, makes one wonder, doesn't it?

  5. Great! Now I know where Garrison Keillor's "Sons of Canute" came from.

  6. I think it's fascinating that you can trace your lineage that far back! Wow.

  7. It is fun to look this over.My name can raise some royal roots

  8. OK - so when is the book coming out?

  9. I think I sprained my tongue test-driving some of those names out loud.

  10. This is SO COOL! Of course you have Norse blood! You are such a bad ass.

    Very cool that this is all coming up now, since you achieved your snake powers. Very cool!

  11. Like I said before, if you go back far enough, there's bound to be some royal blood somewhere.

    Still, Princess it'll be from now on. Accept my humble obeisance.

  12. Oh, this is fascinating! I want even a hint of royal blood :). live the dream :)!

  13. I might be your long lost cousin. I'm a Harden. Interestly I did Ancestry DNA and eesulre were mostly Scandinavian, which lends some truth to this possible lineage. Have you done Ancestry DNA? Perhaps you're on my match list?

    1. Hi Anna. I tried to respond via email but the mail delivery system says your email is not valid.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.