Cumberland Family Software

Cumberland Family Tree Genealogy Software
Southwest Norway, Medieval Scandinavia and Ancient Genealogy

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Norway and Medieval Scandinavian Genealogy

Ira J. Lund

In tracing my mothers lineage from Stavanger, Norway , I have collected tens of thousands of names of people who lived primarily in Rogaland and Vest-Agder counties of southwest Norway . Several of these lines are connected with the nobility and royalty of the Middle-Ages, some of which claim ancestry all the way back to Mythological and Biblical times.

A subset of my core Rogaland and Vest-Agder genealogy is now posted on this web site which can be accessed via the "Search" button to the left or via one of the "Interesting Lines" below. Also available for a fee is a GED or CFT file with this data that will allow you to merge with your own database.

Click here to view the online database starting with my mother Frida Rage.

Click here to Search the database

Also available: "My Ancestry: From History to DNA to Evolution", by Ira J. Lund. An interesting short article tracing my ancestry from known historical to DNA testing and the Evolutionary Family Tree. This is a free PDF available for anyone interested. Click here to view the PDF.

Data included in the Norway / Medieval Scandinavia Tree on this web site

  1. Direct ancestors of my mother, their siblings, children and related lines from multiple sources: my families records, bygdebok, internet searches, LDS FamilySearch website, other peoples databases that were shared with me.
  2. Extracts from several Bygdebok from Rogaland and Vest-Agder Counties in Norway. This could include family fragments that are not tied to the main tree in the database. As I worked on my genealogy I often simply entered entire farm families into the database and often was able to connect them to the main tree later.
  3. Extracts from other published books on royal families - some in my possession.

Below is a breakdown of the type of data in my database. Between 95-100% of the "Recent" genealogy is from Norway. The Medieval is heavy with Scandinavian and to a lesser extent other Western European nobilty and royalty.

Category Approx. Count % Total
Recent: since 1500 AD. Likely correct. 37,500 67%
Medieval: 500-1500 AD. Mostly correct. 14,200 25%
Ancient: pre-500 AD. Some legendary 3,750 7%
Mythological: may not be true 250 0.5%

Data not included on the web site, but contained in my Master CFT database

  1. Recently living people, either living or recently deceased. There will be very few people in my shared database (online or GED/CFT) that were born after 1900. There is not a single living person in the online database.
  2. Very distantly related lines of people I have helped with genealogy, whose line eventually tie into the same Medieval lines of my ancestry. This (as well as #3 below) includes a lot of medieval nobility from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and to a lesser extent France and Spain.
  3. Ancestry lines of some of my relatives by marriage.
  4. Those people in my fathers Tree (also on this web site) [Click on "Lund Family Genealogy"on the menu.]

Thus, I may actually have some more information in my Master database that you would be interested in that may not be online. Send me an email with details and I can check.

What is so great about this database?

  • Perhaps this is the largest linage-linked database of people in Rogaland and Vest-Agder Counties that you can find.
  • The database is not a mere skeleton with lists of names only. For people since 1500 birth dates and places are 100% complete. At least the most likely date and location has been estimated where missing - indicated by a source with my name as the estimator. In addition many individuals contain other event dates and places as much as possible. Even if the date is off by a few years, it at least helps locate the person in time since the database covers thousands of years.
  • The database is heavily documented. Every individual and every event has been tagged with a source, so you will always know where I got my information. There are also numerous notes: commentary or short life sketches - some in Norwegian, some in English.

What are the issues with this database?

There is no guarantee that there all data is 100% correct and accurate. In fact, I can almost guarantee that there are mistakes made by myself or my sources. Very few of my sources are true Primary Sources (ie actual documents from the time the events occurred). Almost all of my data is third-hand, so use the data with full knowledge of possible erroneous data. If you do find mistakes or would like to contribute information, remember that my primary interests are:

  1. Rogaland, Vest-Agder and south Hordaland Counties in Norway from about 1500 thru present.
  2. Medieval Scandinavian, especially Norwegians genealogies from 1500 on back to distant past. I also have a keen interest in Iceland of the Saga period.
  3. All ancient genealogies from the earliest time to Medieval, especially those lines that tie to Western Europe.

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Distant Norwegian Ancestors: We Are All Related

After doing some interesting mathematical calculations, it does become quite evident that it is almost certain that any person of European descent is probably descended from Medieval European Royalty. Consider, for instance, that every generation doubles - two parents for everyone. Assuming an average of 25 years per generation, four new generations are born each century. Within just 20 generations (about 1500 AD) each of us would have had more than 1 million ancestors. It is likely that there were fewer than a million inhabitants in the entire country of Norway in 1500. And after 40 generations (1000 AD) each of us would have more than one trillion direct ancestors!

Of course, with all the intermarriages which are certain in every genealogy, you will really never have that many unique ancestors - which makes sense, because there certainly weren't a trillion people living on the earth in 1000 AD.

Since the better documented genealogies are the royal lines, it is no wonder that the ancestral lines easiest to trace are those of the royalty, who are most surely the ancestors of everyone with Nordic and European ancestry.

This is why I say: We are all related!

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Interesting Lines in my Norwegian Database

Here are just a handful of interesting people in my database, usually with short stories of their lives. Most of these are also written about in "Distant Norwegian Ancestors" ebook discussed above. All of these people are ancestors of mine and very likely most of them are ancestors of all other Western European people today.

  • Medieval Norway
    • Birgitta "den Hellige" Birgersdatter Lejon The the patron Saint of Sweden who had many visions and founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines) at Vadstena, Sweden.
    • Ramborg Knutsdatter Lejon (Løve) the grandaughter of St. Birgitta, who married Gard Toreson of Garâ, Talgje (an island north of Stavanger) and thus her many descendants still in Rogaland and beyond (such as America).
    • Gaute I Erlingsson Bjarkøy Tolga (Talgje) first mentioned in history in 1275 as one of King Magnus Hâkonsson's noble men. His ancestry is from other famous men from Bjarkøy Island in northern Norway (old Halagoland).
    • Odd Sevatson (Sjovatsen) Fevoll This man born about 1475 in Hjelmeland, Rogaland, Norway, one of the richest men in his day. He certainly has so many descendants in Rogaland today that I would not be surprised if every person with roots in Rogaland can trace their ancestry to him.
    • Gaut Aalesson of Ornes (Ænes or Urnes today) He lived at Ornes in Sogn, and he probably constructed the Urnes Stave Church (stavkirke), one of the most famous still standing in Norway today (the one in the photo at top of this web page).
  • Medieval and Ancient Scandinavia
    • Odin (Woutan, Woden), King of Scandanavia Yes, maybe this guy is mythical, or maybe just legendary, but Snorri Sturluson tells us how he and his people migrated from the Black Sea area to Scandinavia (dates between 200BC to 200AD). His many sons were the ancestors of all the Anglo, Saxon, and Scandinanvian Kings of the Middle Ages (which lineage is all shown in my database) and discussed in "Distant Norwegian Ancestors".
    • Yngve-Frey "Sun God" Njordsson The ancestor of the Yngling dynasty of Sweden and Norway. His father, Njord, came from Asaland with Odin to settle Scandinavia. Not only are Odin and Njord's descendants shown in my database, but also their ancestors.
    • Beowulf (Bjor) Ecgtheowsson Yes, this is the real Beowulf, of whom the famous Anglo-Saxon poem is about, who was born about 475 AD.
    • Harald I "Hârfagre" "Fair Hair" Descended from the Ynglings, Harald was the first King to become King of all Norway. Previous Kings ruled only smaller local areas.
    • Ragnar Lodbrok One of the more famous legendary Viking Sea Kings.
    • Aud (Auþur) "den Djuptenkte" "the Deepminded" Aud was a strong Nordic woman who took her family to Iceland as one of the first settlers. Her story is told in the Laxardal saga.
    • Harald III "Hardrâde" Got very wealthy serving in the Varangian Guards at the Byzantine court. Had also married one of Yarslavs daughters, at Kiev (current Ukraine).
    • Rurik (Ryurik), Grand Duke of Novgorod Rurik, the original Swedish "Rus" was invited by the Slavic people at Novgorod to be their ruler. Thus the rulers of Novgorod and Kiev (the precursors to modern Russia) were really vikings.
    • Vladimir I "the Great", Grand Duke of Kiev A descendant of Rurik, with ties to Byzantium, converted the Russians to Eastern Christianity.
    • Constantin VII Porphyrogenitus, Emperor of Byzantine Empire with most of the Byzantine Emporers are in the database. With the Vikings and Rus having ties to Constantinople there were marriages that brought their descendants into Scandinavia and Sweden.
  • Medieval England (and Others)
    • Boudica (Victoria), Queen of Iceneans The famous Queen of the Icene Tribes in Britain (with Celtic ancestry) who fought the Romans. (That reminds me there are a lot of Roman Emporers in my database also. But I can't list everyone. They're in the database.)
    • Arthur of the Round Table And you thought he was all fantasy! You might find Lancelot in the database as well as others like Tristan and Isolte.
    • Alfred "the Great", King of England Whose pateranl ancestry can be traced back to Odin as mentioned above. Alfred, was King of Wessex (southern England) and is often shown in the line of direct Kingly descent for the current English royalty.
    • Brutus (Brut), First King of the Britains Legendary man not far removed from Troy (of the famous Trojan War). He is supposed to be the first man in Britain (where Britain got its name). His sons all traced in the database, the ancestors of later Welsh and English Kings (like King Lear of Shakespeare fame).
    • Joseph of Arimathea Ever heard of the legend of the Glastonbury Thorn? Joseph, the uncle of Mary the Virgin, who went to England, whose daughter Anna, married Bran Fendig.
    • Jesus "the Christ" of Nazareth There have always been interesting legends about Jesus wife and children. All here in the database.
    • Muhammad "The Prophet" Another famous religious leader. So how did he get here? Well, consider that the Caliphs who ruled after him spread across Northern Africa and eventually into Spain and intermarried with the Spanish nobility and royality, who of course intermarried with Nordic nobility and royalty who eventually became our common ancestors.
    • Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emporer The one continental European I will mention. All his ancestors (including Attila the Hun whose ancestry traces to China) as well as Charlemagne's near descendants are in the database.
  • Ancient Lines

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Norwegian Bygdebok

The Norwegian Bygdebok are an interesting phenomenon, which I have not seen in nearby Denmark (which I would also like to research). Almost every community in Norway has created these books, which tell the local history of their community. The "Gard, Ætt og Folk" sections typically comprise the main areas of these books and trace the ownership of each farm, including family connections and children, from the earliest records down to the present. These books were composed beginning about the 1930s on down to as recent as the last few years. These books would be considered a secondary source record, since they are often derived from the primary records of the churches, civil records and even personal interviews with current farm residents. But they certainly make Norwegian genealogy research so much easier (if you can learn even a few Norwegian words.).

Send an email if you would like me to look up someone in the bygdebok. I will provide you with simple information from the book. I may be open to creating a database or adding to your CFT database for you based on the extend of work needing to be done. Price to be negotiated. Depending on your interest I may load complete families or farms from the bygdebok I have to the online database and GED/CFT files. So let me know what you are interested in.

Hardcover printed books in my possession:

  • Lian, Oddleif. Austad, Gard og Folk. (Edgar Høgfeldt AS, Kristiansand S: 1994).
  • Lian, Oddleif. Lyngdal, Gard og Folk. (Levert av S. Bern. Hegland A.S. - Flekefjord: 1984).
  • Klev, Âdne Fardal. Spangereid - vest for Lenesfjorden Gard og Folk. (Edgar Høgfeldt As, Kristiansand 1999).
  • Engen, Sigleif. Lagmannsætta: Gard Toreson Ætta frâ Sør-Talgje i Rogaland. (Reproteknikk, Stavanger: Oct 1984). This book is the First section from Vol 2 of the Forsand bygdebok.

In addition I have reasonably easy access to several books from the locations below:

  • Rogaland County: Bjerkreim, Egersund, Hetland, Forsand, Hjelmeland, Rennesøy, Sand, Suldal, Sola, Time
  • Vest-Agder County: Greipstad, Spind, Sogne, Sør-Audnedal, Tveit, Tysvær

My local library has also been very good at getting me access via inter-library loans to almost any bygdebok available, although it sometimes takes several weeks or even months to get them.

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Click on the link below to go to Haakon in my database, the child carried by the two skiers in the picture above.

Haakon IV "the Old", King of Norway


Click on the link below to go to Erling Skjalgsson in my database, the main protagonist in this historical fiction novel.

Erling Skjalgsson of Sola, King of Rogaland







LITTLE NORWAY, Wisconsin

National Register of Historic Places






NORDIC FEST
Decorah, Iowa





Hjemkomst Center
Moorhead, Minnesota






Kensington Runestone Museum
Vikings in Minnesota!





The Largest
Scandinavian Festival
in America!




Cumberland Family Software --- Contact: iralund@cft-win.com