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    Donada (Anleta, Thora Donada) was the daughter of Malcolm II. She married Findláich, Mormaer of Moray. Child: Macbeth ___________ DONADA . The primary source which confirms h...
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  • Rognvald Slagbrellir (deceased)
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  • Magnus 'Mangi' Slagbrellir (b. - 1184)
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Sub-Project of MEDIEVAL SCOTLAND

MEDIEVAL ORKNEY

The foundation of the medieval Orkney state, allegedly in the late 9th century by Norse settlers who were granted the title “jarl” by the Norwegian kings, and the succession of Norwegian leaders in the islands until the mid-12th century is described in Orkneyinga Saga[781]. This work was probably written not long after 1200 and predates Snorre´s Heimskringla, although the precise evolution of each work is complicated because the later reviser of Orkneyinga Saga made use of Snorre´s text[782]. The Saga provides genealogical details which purport to link the successive jarls of Orkney into a single family whose ancestry is traced back to “Earl Rognwald the Powerful”, a leading supporter of Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway[783]. However, no corroboration has been found in other primary sources to indicate that the individuals whose exploits are narrated in the early chapters of the Saga were actual historical figures. They are placed against an authentic historical backdrop, as the Saga recounts their supposed interfaces with the early Norwegian kings whose existence can be corroborated from other sources. However, the narrative is embellished with colourful adventures and reported dialogue which, while ensuring that the work is a compulsive read, do not create confidence in its historical accuracy. In addition, even it could be established that all of these early Jarls of Orkney were truly historical figures, the emphasis on social continuity in the narratives of the Sagas suggests that reported family relationships could have been simplified or even fabricated by the author in order to emphasise the impression that succession was seamless within the same family.

Precise chronology also presents a significant problem in the early chapters of Orkneyinga Saga, which adds to the sense that it is a work of historical semi-fiction. This problem of chronology is best illustrated by working backwards through the generations from Jarl Thorfinn “the Black”, whose date of birth is fixed with some accuracy in the text, which records that he was five years old when Jarl Sigurd, his father, was killed in Ireland in the battle of Clontarf, dated in other primary sources to 1014. Thorfinn is reported in the Saga as his father´s youngest son, and as having much older brothers, which suggests that his father was born in [965/70]. Working backwards through the family, with a suggested cumulative 20 to 30 year spread between generations, Thorfinn´s paternal grandfather (named Hlodvir in the Saga), great-grandfather (Thorfinn) and great-great-grandfather (Einar) would likely have been born in [935/50], [905/30] and [875/910] respectively. Orkneyinga Saga records Einar as a “grown man” when his legitimate brothers were born. However, the dating of the death in battle of the oldest of these legitimate brothers is estimated to the early 870s, consistent with the dating of other parts of the narrative of the Saga (details of Einar´s ancestors are recorded in the document NORWEGIAN NOBILITY). The arithmetic therefore fails to compute, clearly demonstrating the likelihood of one missing generation in the Saga´s narrative, if not two, assuming that the individuals were related at all.

The inevitable conclusion is that the tight family network of Jarls of Orkney, described in such detail in the Sagas, is unlikely to be accurate and that the relationships in the first few generations of this family at least should be treated with considerable caution. As with all the Sagas, it is impossible to distinguish the precise point where fiction gives way to historical fact in the narrative. For purposes of presentation in this document, the generation of Jarl Thorfinn “the Black” has been selected as a reasonable transition point. The descent of the family is therefore shown in two parts in this chapter. Part A shows what is described as “uncertain early lineage” which represents the first four generations as described only in Orkneyinga Saga. Part B sets out the later generations descended from Jarl Thorfinn which appear to have a greater chance of historical accuracy. (Cawley's Medlands)



OVERVIEW

A. NORWEGIAN JARLS of ORKNEY [893]-[1030] – UNCERTAIN EARLY LINEAGE


1. RAGNVALD "the Wise", son of EYSTEIN "Glumra/Clatterer" Jarl in Norway & his wife ---] (-[894]).

a) for other children: see Cawley’s NORWEGIAN NOBILITY.

b) HALLAD . m ---. The name of Hallad´s wife is not known. Hallad & his wife had one child:

i) THORE.

(a) THOR-RID .

m THORGILS, son of THORBEORN Loke & his wife

c) EINAR "Turf-Einar” .

m ---. The name of Einar´s wife is not known.

Einar [& his wife] had [three] children:

1. ARNKEL (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954).

2. ERLEND (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954).

3. THORFINN "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" ([910/20]-[soon after 977], bur Hoxa, North Ronaldsway).

m ([941]) GRELAD of Caithness, daughter of DUNGAD [Duncan] Mormaer of Caithness & his wife Groa.

Thorfinn & [his wife] had [seven] children:

a) daughter .

i) EINAR "Klining/Buttered-Bread" (-murdered).

b) daughter.

i) EINAR "Hardchaft/Hard-Jaw" (-murdered).

c) ARNFINN Torfinnsson (-murdered Murkle, Caithness ----).

m ([954/55]) as her first husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Queen Gunhild Gormsdatter.

d) HAVARD Torfinnsson "Season-prosperous" (-murdered, bur Stennis, Hrossey).

m as her second husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney.

e) LJOT Torfinnsson (-killed in battle).

m as her third husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow firstly of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney and secondly of HAVARD Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney

f) HLODVIR Torfinnsson ([945/50]-[988], bur Hofn, Caithness).

m EITHNE, daughter of KIARVAL King of Ireland & his wife ---.

Hlodve & his wife had [three] children:

i) SIGURD "Digri/the Stout", ([965/70]-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014).

m firstly ---. The name of Sigurd´s first wife is not known.

Sigurd & his [first wife] had four children:

1. SOMERLED (-[1015/20]).

2. BRUSI (-[1030/35])

a) RAGNVALD Brusason ([1010/15]-Dec 1046, bur Papa Westray).

3. EINA "Rangmund/Wrymouth" (-murdered Sandwick [1023/25]).

4. HUNDI [Hlodvir] ([990]-[996/1000]).

m ([1005 or after]) --- of Scotland, daughter of MALCOLM II King of Scotland & his wife ---.

Sigurd & his second wife had one child:

5. THORFINN "the Black" ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch).

ii) SVANLAUG or Nereid.

m (Orkney 990) GILLI Jarl of the Hebrides 988-1014.]

iii) daughter.

m HAVARD (-winter 988/89). Steward of Caithness for Jarl Sigurd. Killed by Jarls Melsnati and Hundi, who were defeated when Jarl Sigurd attacked them in revenge.]

g) SKULI Torfinnsson (-killed in battle).

Einar had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

4. THOR-DIS.

m Thor-gar THORGAR, son of ---.


2. SIGURD "Riki/the Mighty" (-[892], bur Sydero, Dornoch Firth).

[One child:] (Cawley's Medlands)

a) GUTHORM (-[893]).

B. NORWEGIAN JARLS of ORKNEY [1030]-1156


THORFINN "the Black", son of SIGURD "Digri" Jarl of Orkney and Caithness & his wife Donada of Scotland ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch).

m ([1045/50]) [as her first husband,] INGIBJÖRG Finnsdatter, daughter of FINN Arnesson [later Jarl of Halland in Denmark] & his wife Bergliot Halfdansdatter ([1030/35]-).

Thorfinn & his wife had [three or more] children:

1. PAUL Thorfinnsson, son of THORFINN II "the Black" Jarl of Orkney & his wife Ingibjörg Finnsdatter (-in prison Bergen 1098, bur Bergen).

m --- Haakonsdatter, daughter of HAAKON Ivarsson & his wife Ragnhild Magnusdatter of Norway.

Paul & his wife had children:

1. HAKON Paulsson (before [1070]-Orkney [1126]).

m ---. The name of Hakon´s wife is not known.

Hakon & his wife had one child:

a) PAUL (II) Hakonsson "the Silent" (-after 1137).

Mistress (1): HELGA, daughter of MODDAN

Hakon had three illegitimate children by Mistress (1):

b) HARALD [I] "Slettmali/Smooth-spoken" (before [1090]-[1131]).

m ---. The name of Harald´s wife is not known.

Harald & his wife had one child:

i) ERLEND Haraldsson (-murdered Damsay Dec 1156).

c) INGIBJÖRG .

m [as his second wife], OLAV Bitling King of Sodor and Man 1097-1098 and 1103-1153, son of ---.

Olav & his wife had one child:

i) GODROD.

m ---. The name of Godrod´s wife is not known.

Godrod & his wife had one child:

(a) RAGNVALD Godradarson . King of Man and the Isles.

d) MARGARET (before [1115]-).

m firstly ([1133]) as his second wife, MADDAD

m secondly ERLAND "Ungi/the Young" (-killed 1156).

2. THORA

m HALLDOR, son of BRYNIOLF Camel & his wife –

3. INGRID

m EINAR

4. HERBJÖRG

5. RAGNHILD

2. ERLEND Thorfinnsson (-in prison Trondheim [Nidaros] 1098, bur Trondheim).

m THORA,

Erlend & his wife had four children:

a) ERLING (-[Ulster [May] 1103]).

b) St MAGNUS Erlendsson (-murdered Egilsay 16 Apr [1117], bur Christchurch at Birsay, transferred to Kirkwall Cathedral).

c) GUNHILD.

m (Spring 1099) KOL Kalisson, son of KALI of Agdir in Norway & his wife ---. Lenderman in Agder.

Kol & his wife had two children:

i) KALI [Rognvald] ([1100]-murdered Force, Calder, Caithness 20 Aug 1158, bur St Magnus Cathedral).

m ---. The name of Kali-Rognvald´s wife is not known. Kali-Rognvald & his wife had one child:

(a) INGIGERD

 

m (Sutherland Spring 1156) ERIK Slagbrellir, son of ERIL Streita & his wife Audhild [daughter of Thorliot].

Erik & his wife had [seven] children:

(1) HARALD Eriksson "Ungi" ([1156]-killed in battle Wick 1198).

(2) MAGNUS Mangi (-killed in battle near Fimreite on Sognefjord 15 Jun 1184).

(3) ROGNVALD.

(4) INGEBIORG.

(5) ELIN.

(6) RAGNHILD.

(7) daughter .

ii) INGIGERD.

m JON Petersson, lenderman in Sogne.

d) CECILIA.

m ISAAC

Erlend had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

e) JADDVOR

3. son or sons (-young).


------------------------

DETAILED DESCENT OF THE JARLS OF ORKNEY

A. NORWEGIAN JARLS of ORKNEY [893]-[1030] – UNCERTAIN EARLY LINEAGE


1. RAGNVALD "the Wise", son of EYSTEIN "Glumra/Clatterer" Jarl in Norway & his wife ---] (-[894]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Eystein the Clatterer, father of the wise counsellor Earl Rognwald the Powerful…”, adding that “Earl Rognwald campaigned with King Harald Fine-Hair who gave him charge of North More, South More and Romsdale”[784]. Snorre names "Ragnvald Earl of More, a son of Eystein "Glumra" when recording that he had become a supporter of King Harald who had invested him with the districts of North More and Raumsdal[785]. Snorre records that he was created Jarl of North and South Möre and of Raumsdal in Norway by Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway after his victory at Solskiel [869] against Hunthiof King of Möre and Nokve King of Raumsdal[786]. Orkneyinga Saga and Snorre both record that King Harald granted Shetland and Orkney to Ragnvald in compensation for the death of his son Ivar[787]. The Historia Norwegie records that "principi Rogwaldi" crossed the Solund Sea, destroyed the peoples of the Orkney islands, in the days of "Haraldi Comati regis…Norwegie"[788]. Snorre records that Ragnvald was ambushed in his hall and burned alive by Halfdan Haaleg and Gudred Liomi, two of King Harald's sons[789]. (Cawley's Medlands)

a) for other children: see Cawley’s NORWEGIAN NOBILITY.

b) HALLAD . Orkneyinga Saga names “Hallad, Hrollaug and the youngest Einar” as “natural sons” of “Earl Rognwald”[790]. Snorre names "Hallad, the second Einar, the third Hrollaug" as the three sons of "Earl Ragnvald" by concubines, adding that they were all "grown men" when their legitimate brothers were still children[791]. Jarl [of Orkney]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald sent “his son Hallad west to the islands” after hearing of the death of his brother and nephew, and that Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway gave “the title of earl” to Hallad who “came to Orkney and took up residence on Mainland”[792]. Snorre records that Earl Ragnvald installed his son Hallad as Jarl of Orkney after the death of his brother Sigurd, but that he resigned the earldom and returned to Norway[793]. Orkneyinga Saga records that, following complaints by farmers about Viking raids, Hallad “tiring of his rule, gave up the earldom and went back to Norway as a common landholder” which “made him a laughing stock”[794].

m ---. The name of Hallad´s wife is not known. (Cawley's Medlands)

Hallad & his wife had one child:

i) THORE. Are´s Landnama-book records that "Thor-rid the daughter of Thore, the son of Earl Hallad, the son of Rogn-wald Earl of More" married "Thor-gils…"[795]. (Cawley's Medlands)

(a) THOR-RID . Are´s Landnama-book records that "Thor-rid the daughter of Thore, the son of Earl Hallad, the son of Rogn-wald Earl of More" married "Thor-gils of Thor-gils-stead in Deep-frith, the father of Coll", son of "Thor-beorn Loke…the son of Bead-mod of Scut [who] went to Iceland and took in settlement Deep-frith and Gruoch-ness, up to Gowe-frith", and names their descendants[796].

m THORGILS, son of THORBEORN Loke & his wife ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

c) EINAR "Turf-Einar” . Orkneyinga Saga names “Hallad, Hrollaug and the youngest Einar” 797]. Snorre names "Hallad, the second Einar, the third Hrollaug" as the three sons of "Earl Ragnvald" by concubines, adding that they were all "grown men" when their legitimate brothers were still children[798]. Jarl [of Orkney]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald sent his “youngest son Einar” to “the islands” after his brother Hallad returned to Norway and that Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway gave “the title of earl”, adding that his mother was “slave-born on each side of her family”, and stating that he killed “Thorir Tree-Beard and Kalf Scurvy” and succeeded in imposing his authority in Orkney where “he was the first man to dig peat for fuel…at Tarbat Ness in Scotland”, and that he “was tall and ugly…and…one-eyed”[799].] 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)[810]. Orkneyinga Saga records that the ensuing dispute with King Harald was settled by payment of a tax of “sixty gold marks” to the king, which Einar paid “out of his own pocket on condition that he should hold all the estates [in Orkney] in fee”[811]. It should be noted that there are considerable chronological difficulties with the career of Turf-Einar and his sons, as reported in Orkneyinga Saga. The starting point for the analysis of these problems is the date of the battle in Northumbria in which Turf-Einar´s two oldest sons were killed, which can with reasonable accuracy be placed in the early 950s. If these two sons were at least in their late thirties or forties when they died (a difficult assumption to make considering that they had no reported direct heirs), their births could not be placed before [905/15] at the earliest. The likelihood would then be that their father, Turf-Einar, was not born much earlier than [975/95]. The difficulty is that this date is completely incompatible with (a) the fact that the illegitimate sons of Ragnvald were reported as “grown men” when their legitimate half-brothers were children, and (b) that the date when Ivar, the oldest legitimate son, was killed is estimated to [874] - (see Cawley’s NORWEGIAN NOBILITY for further details concerning the reported events in the lives of Turf-Einar´s ancestors). (Cawley's Medlands)

m ---. The name of Einar´s wife is not known.

Einar [& his wife] had [three] children:

1. ARNKEL (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[812]. Snorre names "Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Earl Torfeinar" when recording that they accompanied King Eirik "Blodøks" from Orkney to plunder the Hebrides and Ireland, but were defeated and killed with King Eirik[813]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Snorre records that "Arnkel, Erlend and Thorfin Hausakljufer" succeeded their father but that the first two were killed "in a war expedition"[814]. 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 [815].] (Cawley's Medlands)

2. ERLEND (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[816]. Snorre names "Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Earl Torfeinar" when recording that they accompanied King Eirik "Blodøks" from Orkney to plunder the Hebrides and Ireland, but were defeated and killed with King Eirik[817]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Snorre records that "Arnkel, Erlend and Thorfin Hausakljufer" succeeded their father but that the first two were killed "in a war expedition"[818]. 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 [815].] (Cawley's Medlands)

3. THORFINN "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" ([910/20]-[soon after 977], bur Hoxa, North Ronaldsway). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[820]. Snorre names "Thorfin Hausakljufer, a son of Torfeinar" when recording that he was Jarl in Orkney when the islands were invaded by the sons of King Eirik "Blodøks" [821]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Sole Jarl of Orkney 954, and 955-976. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Thorfinn Skull-Splitter…died in his bed” and was “laid in a burial mound at Hoxa in North Ronaldsway”[822]. The Complete Peerage estimates Thorfinn´s death to “soon after 977” which appears broadly consistent with the events in which his children are reported as involved[823].

m ([941]) GRELAD of Caithness, daughter of DUNGAD [Duncan] Mormaer of Caithness & his wife Groa. Snorre names "Grelad, a daughter of Earl Dungad of Caithness…[and of] Groa, a daughter of Thorstein Raud" as mother of the five sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[824].]

Thorfinn & [his wife] had [seven] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) daughter . If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:] (Cawley's Medlands)

i) EINAR "Klining/Buttered-Bread" (-murdered). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter” 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[825].] (Cawley's Medlands)

b) daughter. If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:] (Cawley's Medlands)

i) EINAR "Hardchaft/Hard-Jaw" (-murdered). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter” 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” who “had Einar Hard-Mouth put to death”[826].] (Cawley's Medlands)

c) ARNFINN Torfinnsson (-murdered Murkle, Caithness ----). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[827]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild [mother of Ragnhild] and her sons returned to Orkney[828]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[829]. He succeeded his father in [976] as Jarl of Orkney [and Caithness]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”[830].

m ([954/55]) as her first husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Queen Gunhild Gormsdatter. 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[831], 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 ex-king's sons left Orkney[832]. She married secondly her brother-in-law, Havard Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother 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”[833]. She married thirdly her brother-in-law, Ljot Jarl of Orkney.] (Cawley's Medlands)

d) HAVARD Torfinnsson "Season-prosperous" (-murdered, bur Stennis, Hrossey). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[834]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[835]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[836]. He succeeded his brother as Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that Havard was killed by his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” at “Stenness on Mainland”[837].

m as her second husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Gunhild Gormsdatter. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother 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”[838]. She married thirdly her brother-in-law, Ljot Jarl of Orkney.] (Cawley's Medlands)

e) LJOT Torfinnsson (-killed in battle). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[839]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[840]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[841]. He succeeded his brother as Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that, after the death of “Skuli, Ljot´s brother” whose invasion of Orkney was repelled, “Earl Ljot took over in Caithness” and defeated “Earl Macbeth [who] came north from Scotland with a large army…at Skitten in Caithness” but died from his wounds after returning to Orkney[842]. It is assumed that “Earl Macbeth” was not the future Scottish King Macbeth, who was Mormaer of Moray in the early 1030s, but an earlier earl of the same name who has not yet been identified in other primary sources. Otherwise the chronology of Orkneyinga Saga must be even more shaky than appears, and the family relationships of the Jarls of Orkney as described therein even less likely to be correct.

m as her third husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow firstly of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney and secondly of HAVARD Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Gunhild Gormsdatter. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother 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”[843].] (Cawley's Medlands)

f) HLODVIR Torfinnsson ([945/50]-[988], bur Hofn, Caithness). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[844]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[845]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[846]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “after Ljot´s death, Hlodvir took charge of the earldom”, presumably indicating Ljot´s brother but this is not explicitly stated in the text, recording that “he died in his bed” and was buried “in a burial mound at Ham in Caithness”[847].

m EITHNE, daughter of KIARVAL King of Ireland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Hlodvir” married “Eithne, the daughter of King Kjarval of Ireland”, adding in a later passage that “Sigurd´s mother was a sorceress”[848]. Hlodve´s supposed father-in-law has not been identified among known Irish kings.

Hlodve & his wife had [three] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) SIGURD "Digri/the Stout", son of [HLODVIR Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney & his wife Eithne of Ireland] ([965/70]-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). Orkneyinga Saga names “Sigurd the Stout” as the son of Hlodvir and his wife, adding that he “took over the earldom” after his father died[856]. Snorre names "Sigurd the Thick" as the son of Hlodver[857]. His birth date is estimated from the fact that his older sons were already sufficiently mature in 1014 to be placed in charge of Orkney by their father when he left for war in Ireland. He succeeded his father in [988] as Jarl of Orkney and Caithness. He defeated Findlaech Mormaer of Moray before 995 at the second battle of Skidmoor in Caithness, consolidating his power on the Scottish mainland. Orkneyinga Saga records Sigurd´s battle against “a Scottish earl called Finnleik”[858]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Olaf Tryggvason” pressured Sigurd to accept baptism and returned to Norway with Sigurd´s son as a hostage[859]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd went to Ireland “five years after the Battle of Svoldur” to support “King Sigtrygg Silk-Beard” against “King Brian of Ireland”, and left “his elder sons in charge of the earldom”, but was killed in the battle in which King Brian was killed[860]. Snorre records that "Sigurd the Thick" went to Ireland and fell "in Brian's battle"[861]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m firstly ---. The name of Sigurd´s first wife is not known. Sigurd & his [first wife] had four children:

1. SOMERLED (-[1015/20]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[866]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[867]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that Somerled “had the shortest life” of the brothers, “dying in his bed”[868]. (Cawley's Medlands)

2. BRUSI (-[1030/35]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[869]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[870]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney, and disputed the share of his deceased brother Einar with his half-brother Thorfinn. Orkneyinga Saga records the death of “Brusi”, dated from the context to after the death of Malcolm II King of Scotland[871]. m ---. The name of Brusi´s wife is not known. Brusi & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) RAGNVALD Brusason ([1010/15]-Dec 1046, bur Papa Westray). Orkneyinga Saga names “Rognvald” as son of Brusi, adding that he was two years old when his father took him to Norway after the death of his brother Einar[872]. A later passage records that Olaf II King of Norway kept Ragnvald in Norway when his father returned to Orkney and that “at an early age he grew to be tall and strong…and he stayed with King Olaf for a long time”[873]. As King Olaf´s reign ended in 1028, this passage is inconsistent with Ragnvald having been two years old when he arrived in Norway. The best estimate that can be made is that Ragnvald must have been at least 15 years old in 1030, so must have been born in [1010/15]. Snorre names Ragnvald son of Earl Bruse when recording that he was given as a hostage to Olav King of Norway in 1021, and accompanied the king into exile in Novgorod[874]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Rognvald Brusason” took part “in the battle of Stiklestad in which King Olaf the Saint was killed” (elsewhere dated to 29 Jul 1030), then travelled to Novgorod “where King Jaroslav gave them a kindly welcome”, before returning to Norway with King Magnus II (who succeeded in 1035), and eventually sailing to Orkney to claim his father´s inheritance[875]. Morkinskinna records “Rognvaldr Brúsason…a very valiant and popular man” as leader of the “Russian defence forces” under “King Yaroslav”[876]. Morkinskinna records that Magnus King of Norway “put Rognvaldr Brúsason in authority to the west in Orkney and gave him the title of jarl” but that “great strife broke out between Rognvaldr jarl and Thorfinnr jarl his uncle”[877]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald left Orkney to seek help from Magnus King of Norway after a dispute with his uncle, was defeated when he returned to Orkney, succeeded in expelling Thorfinn after returning with a second invasion fleet, but was murdered by Thorfinn´s forces, and buried at “Papa Westray”[878]. The Complete Peerage dates Ragnvald´s death to Dec 1046 but does not cite the primary source on which this is based[879]. (Cawley's Medlands)

3. EINA "Rangmund/Wrymouth" (-murdered Sandwick [1023/25]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[880]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[881]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that Thorfinn unsuccessfully claimed a share of Orkney from his half-brother Einar after the death of their brother Somerled, but that “when Earl Thorfinn came of age” he reasserted his claim and a settlement was reached through the intervention of their brother Brusi[882]. Assuming that he came of age when around 15 years old, this event would be dated to [1023/24]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Einar was killed at “Sandwick” by Thorkel Amundsson[883]. It is difficult to date this event precisely, but references in the text to “King Olaf” must indicate Olaf II King of Norway who ruled from 1016 to 1028. (Cawley's Medlands)

4. HUNDI [Hlodvir] ([990]-[996/1000]). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Olaf Tryggvason” pressured Sigurd to accept baptism and returned to Norway with Sigurd´s son “Hvelp or Hundi…baptised…[as] Hlodvir” as a hostage, adding that “Hlodvir didn´t live long” and that his father refused to pay homage to King Olaf after his son died[884]. He was taken to Norway as a hostage by Olaf Tryggvesson [995], baptised as Hlodve, but died there soon after[885]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ([1005 or after]) --- of Scotland, daughter of MALCOLM II King of Scotland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Sigurd” married “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots” (whose succession is recorded in 1005)[862]. Snorre records the marriage of "Sigurd the Thick" and "a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm"[863]. It appears unlikely that Sigurd´s wife could have been King Malcolm´s daughter Donada (as shown in many secondary sources, including the Complete Peerage[864]) if it is correct that Donada´s recorded husband Findlaech was killed in 1020 and that their son was born in [1005][865]. [Note – It is perfectly possible that Sigurd took Donada from Findlaech, long before Findlaech died – Sharon] (Cawley's Medlands)

Sigurd & his second wife had one child:

5. THORFINN "the Black" ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch). Orkneyinga Saga names “Earl Thorfinn” as the son of Sigurd and his wife “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots”, adding that his father sent him to Scotland “to be fostered by the King, the boy´s maternal grandfather” when he left for Ireland, and that he was five years old when his father was killed[886]. Snorre names Thorfin as son of "Sigurd the Thick" & his wife, recording that he was five years old when his father was killed[887]. He succeeded [1030] as sole Jarl of Orkney. (Cawley's Medlands)

- see below.

ii) SVANLAUG or Nereid.

m (Orkney 990) GILLI Jarl of the Hebrides 988-1014.] (Cawley's Medlands)

iii) daughter.

m HAVARD (-winter 988/89). Steward of Caithness for Jarl Sigurd. Killed by Jarls Melsnati and Hundi, who were defeated when Jarl Sigurd attacked them in revenge.](Cawley's Medlands)

g) SKULI Torfinnsson (-killed in battle). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[851]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[852]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[853]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Skuli, Ljot´s brother” was given “the title earl by the King of Scots”, before going north to Caithness from where he sailed to Orkney to claim the islands, but was defeated and fled “first over to Caithness and then south to Scotland” and later killed[854]. The uncertain chronology of events recorded in Orkneyinga Saga make it difficult to be certain about the identity of the Scottish king in question, although Kenneth II (who ruled from 971 to 995) appears the most likely possibility. It is interesting to note that the text does not specify that Skuli was made “Earl of Caithness” just earl without a territorial epithet, reminiscent of the position in many other European countries at the time where the title was not linked to the landholding.] (Cawley's Medlands)

Einar had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

4. THOR-DIS. Are´s Landnama-book records that "Earl Turf-Einar begat a daughter in his youth…Thor-dis" who married "Thor-gar Cloven-foot, their son was Einar [who] went to the Orkneys to see his kinsmen, but they would not receive him as their kinsman…he sailed to Iceland…", and names their descendants[855].

m Thor-gar THORGAR, son of ---. (Cawley's Medlands)



2. SIGURD "Riki/the Mighty" (-[892], bur Sydero, Dornoch Firth). Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald gave “all the islands” (indicating Shetland and Orkney from the context) to “his brother Sigurd, the forecastleman on King Harald´s ship” and that Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway gave “the title of earl” to Sigurd who remained in the islands after the king returned to Norway[800]. Jarl [of Orkney]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd “joined forces with Thorstein the Red, the son of Olaf the White and Aud the Deep-Minded” and together conquered “the whole of Caithness and a large part of Argyll, Moray and Ross”, Sigurd building “a stronghold…in the south of Moray”[801]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd defeated and beheaded “Mælbrigte Earl of the Scots” but that he died from an infected wound because a tooth in Mælbrigte´s head, strapped to Sigurd´s saddle, scratched his leg, and was buried “in a mound on the bank of the River Oykel”[802]. The Complete Peerage identifies the place as “Sydero on the Dornoch Firth at the estuary of the Ekkialsbakki”[803]. The Complete Peerage dates Sigurd´s appointment as Jarl to [875] and his death to [892][804], but there seems no basis for either date apart from internal consistency with its reconstruction of events in the lives of this family. Both dates should therefore be considered as extremely approximate.]

a) GUTHORM (-[893]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd was succeeded by his son “Guthorm who ruled the earldom for a year but died childless”[805]. Jarl [of Orkney]. According to Snorre´s Harald Harfager´s Saga, Sigurd died “without children” but his Saga of Olaf Haraldson names Guthorm as son of Sigurd, recording that he succeeded his father as earl for one year[806].] (Cawley's Medlands)




B. NORWEGIAN JARLS of ORKNEY [1030]-1156


THORFINN "the Black", son of SIGURD "Digri" Jarl of Orkney and Caithness & his wife Donada of Scotland ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch). Orkneyinga Saga names “Earl Thorfinn” as the son of Sigurd and his wife “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots”, adding that his father sent him to Scotland “to be fostered by the King, the boy´s maternal grandfather” when he left for Ireland, and that he was five years old when his father was killed[888]. Snorre names Thorfin as son of "Sigurd the Thick" & his wife, recording that he was five years old when his father was killed[889]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “his grandfather King Malcolm of Scotland” gave “Caithness and Sutherland…[with] the title earl” to Thorfinn and “appointed counsellors to govern with him”[890]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Thorfinn unsuccessfully claimed a share of Orkney from his half-brother Einar after the death of their brother Somerled, but that “when Earl Thorfinn came of age” he reasserted his claim and a settlement was reached through the intervention of their brother Brusi[891]. Assuming that he came of age when around 15 years old, this event would be dated to [1023/24]. This suggested age of majority appears confirmed by a later passage in Orkneyinga Saga which records that “at fifteen [Thorfinn] began leading raiding expeditions abroad”[892]. He succeeded [1030] as sole Jarl of Orkney. He disputed the succession of Duncan I King of Scotland in 1034, joined forces with Macbeth Mormaer of Moray, and obtained dominion over the whole of northern Scotland after the latter's accession in 1040[893]. Having given 1/3 of Orkney to his nephew Ragnvald II in 1036, he expelled the latter in 1046 and became sole Jarl once more. Orkneyinga Saga records the death of Thorfinn “towards the end of the reign of Harald Sigurdarson” (who was killed in 1066) and his burial “at Christchurch, Birsay” which he had built[894]. His date of death is not consistent with the birth of Duncan II King of Scotland, son of Thorfinn's wife by her second marriage, in 1060, unless Thorfinn repudiated his wife before he died. [Or she ‘repudiated’ him / was taken as war ‘booty’ by Malcolm Sharon](Cawley's Medlands)

m ([1045/50]) [as her first husband,] INGIBJÖRG Finnsdatter, daughter of FINN Arnesson [later Jarl of Halland in Denmark] & his wife Bergliot Halfdansdatter ([1030/35]-). Orkneyinga Saga names Earl Thorfinn´s wife as “Ingibjorg, the Earls´-Mother, daughter of Earl Finn Arnason” and niece of Kalf Arnason [895]. Snorre names "Ingebjorg, the earl-mother…a daughter of Fin Arnason" as wife of Earl Thorfin[896]. Morkinskinna records that “Thorfinn jarl [of] Orkney” was married to “Kálfr´s sister Ingibjorg Árnasdóttir” at the time Kalf Arnesson fled Norway[897]. The chronology is certainly tight for Ingibjörg to have been Kalf´s niece, if it is correct that she was already married when Kalf fled Norway, which must be dated to [1040/42] from the context in Morkinskinna. Her birth date is estimated on the basis of the estimated birth dates of her mother and her older son, both of which are restricted. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ingibjorg the Earls´-Mother” (widow of Thorfinn) married “Malcolm King of Scots, known as Long-neck” (Malcolm III "Caennmor/Bighead" King of Scotland) and that “their son was Duncan, King of Scots, father of William”[898]. There must be considerable doubt about whether this can be correct. Ingibjörg's [first] husband died in [1060/65]. King Malcolm's marriage to Queen Margaret is dated to 1070, three years after her arrival at the Scottish court. Although this provides sufficient time after the death of her first husband for the king to have married Ingebjörg, and for Ingebjörg to have died, the chronology for the birth of two sons would be tight. In addition, it is unlikely that either of these sons was born after [1065], as explained in the document SCOTLAND. If the king had really married Ingibjörg during this time, and if she had given birth to two sons, the absence of any reference to her in either Scottish or English sources is all the more surprising. It is possible that King Malcolm's marriage to Ingibjörg (if it did take place) was more Danico, implying concubinage rather than regular marriage, but this does not change the chronological difficulties. The one puzzle which remains, if the Saga is not correct, is why the author would have fabricated this detail. (Cawley's Medlands)

Thorfinn & his wife had [three or more] children:

1. PAUL Thorfinnsson, son of THORFINN II "the Black" Jarl of Orkney & his wife Ingibjörg Finnsdatter (-in prison Bergen 1098, bur Bergen). Orkneyinga Saga names “Paul and…Erlend” as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood[932]. He succeeded his father [1065] as Joint Jarl of Orkney, jointly with his brother. Morkinskinna records that Harald III King of Norway sailed to Orkney en route for his invasion of England in 1066 and “recruited the aid of Jarl Thorfinn´s sons Páll and Erlendr”[933]. He may have fought with his father at Stamford Bridge 1066[934]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway “seized the Earls, Paul and Erlend” on his arrival in Orkney, “sent them east to Norway, and made his own son Sigurd overlord of the islands with regents to govern the earldom”, adding in a later passage that Paul “was buried at Bergen”[935]. He was deposed and imprisoned in 1098 by Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway, and died in Bergen according to Snorre[936]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m --- Haakonsdatter, daughter of HAAKON Ivarsson & his wife Ragnhild Magnusdatter of Norway. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” married “a daughter of Earl Hakon Ivarsson”[937]. (Cawley's Medlands)

Paul & his wife had children:

1. HAKON Paulsson (before [1070]-Orkney [1126]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Hakon” as son of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife[938]. It is extremely unlikely that Hakon was born before [1070], given the estimated birth date of his granddaughter Margaret (see below). Snorre names "Hakon, a son of Earl Paul" when recording that "a year or two after King Magnus's fall…[he] came from Orkney" and was given the earldom of Orkney by Kings Eystein, Sigurd and Olav, before sailing back to Orkney[939]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Hakon left Orkney for Norway where he visited “King Olaf the Peaceful…towards the end of Olaf´s reign” (King Olaf´s death is dated to 1093) before sailing east to Sweden and “King Ingi Steinkelsson”[940]. He was appointed Joint Lieutenant for Sigurd Magnusson King of Orkney and the Isles, when the latter returned to Norway in 1103 on his accession as king. He was installed in [Spring 1105] as Jarl of Orkney by King Sigurd. He ruled as Joint Jarl from Spring 1108, when his cousin Magnus Erlendsson was installed as Jarl of ½ Orkney. He later quarrelled with his cousin, took him prisoner on Egilsay and had him killed. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Hakon Paulsson died in his bed in Orkney”[941]. m ---. The name of Hakon´s wife is not known.

Hakon & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) PAUL (II) Hakonsson "the Silent" (-after 1137). Orkneyinga Saga records that earl Hakon “had another son Paul…the Silent”[943]. He succeeded his father in [1126] as Joint Jarl of Orkney and Caithness, jointly with his half-brother, sole Jarl after the latter's death in [1131]. His second cousin, Kali-Ragnvald, rebelled in 1135 and demanded a half share of Orkney. In revenge for being refused, the latter seized Shetland in 1136, but Paul [II] defeated him in Yell Sound 27 Jun 1136. The following year he again seized the Shetlands, and captured and deposed Paul [II] in 1137.(Cawley's Medlands)

Mistress (1): HELGA, daughter of MODDAN of Dalr in Caithness & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga names “Helga” daughter of “a farmer…Moddan…living in the Dales of Caithness” as “Earl Hakon´s mistress”[942]. Her stepson banished her and her sister Frakok to the latter's estates in Helmsdale, Sutherland after the death of her son [1131]. (Cawley's Medlands)

Hakon had three illegitimate children by Mistress (1):

b) HARALD [I] "Slettmali/Smooth-spoken" (before [1090]-[1131]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga[944]. It is unlikely that Harald was born later than [1090] if the estimated birth date of his daughter Margaret is correct. He succeeded his father in [1126] as Joint Jarl of Orkney and Caithness, jointly with his half-brother. Orkneyinga Saga records that he died after trying on a poisoned garment prepared by his mother and intended for his half-brother Paul[945]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ---. The name of Harald´s wife is not known.

Harald & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) ERLEND Haraldsson (-murdered Damsay Dec 1156). Orkneyinga Saga names “Erlend” as son of “Harald Smooth-Tongue” when recording that he was reared by Frakok, sister of his paternal grandmother[946]. Eystein II King of Norway gave him permission in Autumn 1151 to administer ½ Orkney during the absence of Jarl Kali-Ragnvald, but he was unable to impose his claim. He was recognised as Earl of ½ Caithness by Malcolm IV King of Scotland 24 May 1153, in opposition to his first cousin Harald Maddadsson, during the absence of Jarl Kali-Ragnvald. He was invested as Jarl of Orkney in 1153 by King Eystein II, invaded Orkney and defeated Jarl Harald [II] at Kiarrek-Stadir 28/29 Sep 1154, forcing him to surrender his share of Orkney. He was dispossessed of Orkney by Jarl Kali-Ragnvald in Sep 1156 after the latter's return. After a brief revival as Jarl following his defeat of Jarl Harald [III] 24 Oct 1156, he was once more defeated by Kali-Ragnvald and killed. (Cawley's Medlands)

c) INGIBJÖRG . Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga, adding that Ingibjörg married “Olaf Tit-Bit King of the Hebrides”[947].

m [as his second wife], OLAV Bitling King of Sodor and Man 1097-1098 and 1103-1153, son of ---.

Olav & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) GODROD. His parentage is deduced from the Orkneyinga Saga which records that the mother of “Rognvald Godrodarson, King of the Hebrides” was “Ingibjorg, Earl Hakon Paulsson´s daughter”[948].

m ---. The name of Godrod´s wife is not known.

Godrod & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

(a) RAGNVALD Godradarson . King of Man and the Isles. Orkneyinga Saga records that the mother of “Rognvald Godrodarson, King of the Hebrides” was “Ingibjorg, Earl Hakon Paulsson´s daughter”[949]. William "the Lion" King of Scotland sold Caithness to him after the battle of Wick in 1198. He lost Caithness to Harald [II] Maddadsson Jarl of Orkney in 1200. (Cawley's Medlands)

d) MARGARET (before [1115]-). Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga[950]. It is unlikely that Margaret was born after [1115] if it is correct that her son was born in 1134. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Margaret Hakon´s-Daughter” married “Earl Maddad of Atholl”[951]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Erlend the Young” abducted Margaret from Orkney and took her to Shetland, and that her son eventually granted permission for their marriage[952]. m firstly ([1133]) as his second wife, MADDAD [Madach] Earl of Atholl, son of --- (-[1142/52]). m secondly ERLAND "Ungi/the Young" (-killed 1156). (Cawley's Medlands)

2. THORA Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Thora married “in Norway…Halldor, the son of Brynjolf Camel” and that their son was “Brynjolf, the father of Halldor who married Gudrid Dag´s-Daughter”[953].

m HALLDOR, son of BRYNIOLF Camel & his wife –(Cawley's Medlands)

3. INGRID Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Ingrid married “Einar Vorse-Raven”[954].

m EINAR Vorsa-Krakr. (Cawley's Medlands)

4. HERBJÖRG Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Herbjörg was the mother of “Ingibjorg the High-born, who married Sigurd of Westness, their sons were Hakon Pike-Staff and Brynjolf” and [daughter?] Sigrid, [mother?] of “Hakon the Child and of Herborg whom Kolbein Heap married”[955]. m ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

5. RAGNHILD Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Ragnhild was mother of “Benedikt, father of Ingibjorg, mother of Erling the archdeacon” and “a daughter… Bergljot, who married Havard Gunnason, and their sons were Magnus, Hakon Claw, Dufniall and Thorstein”[956]. m ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

2. ERLEND Thorfinnsson (-in prison Trondheim [Nidaros] 1098, bur Trondheim). Orkneyinga Saga names “Paul and…Erlend” as the two sons of Jarl THORFINN II and his wife Ingibjörg who survived childhood[902]. He succeeded his father in [1065] as Joint Jarl of Orkney, jointly with his brother. Morkinskinna records that Harald III King of Norway sailed to Orkney en route for his invasion of England in 1066 and “recruited the aid of Jarl Thorfinn´s sons Páll and Erlendr”[903]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway “seized the Earls, Paul and Erlend” on his arrival in Orkney, “sent them east to Norway, and made his own son Sigurd overlord of the islands with regents to govern the earldom”, adding in a later passage that Erlend “had died and been buried at Trondheim”[904]. He was deposed and imprisoned in 1098 by Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway, and "died of sickness at Nidaros and is buried there" according to Snorre[905]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m THORA, daughter of SOMERLED Uspaksson & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson” married “Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson”, adding that “the mother of this Ospak was Thordis, daughter of Hall of Sida”[906]. She married secondly Sigurd of Paplay. Orkneyinga Saga records that “his mother was married…to a man called Sigurd” when her son Magnus returned to Orkney, adding that she and her second husband had a son “Hakon Karl…[and] a farm at Paplay”[907]. (Cawley's Medlands)

Erlend & his wife had four children: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) ERLING (-[Ulster [May] 1103]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Erling and Magnus” as the two sons of “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson” and his wife “Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson”[908]. Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga states that “according to some people, Erling, the son of Earl Erlend, was killed in the battle of the Menai Straits, but Snorri Sturluson says that he met his death with King Magnus in Ulster”[909]. (Cawley's Medlands)

b) St MAGNUS Erlendsson (-murdered Egilsay 16 Apr [1117], bur Christchurch at Birsay, transferred to Kirkwall Cathedral). Orkneyinga Saga names “Erling and Magnus” as the two sons of “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson” and his wife “Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson”[910]. He was installed as Jarl of ½ Orkney in Spring 1108 by Eistein I Magnusson Joint King of Norway. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Magnus” was killed on the orders of his cousin Hakon “two days after St Tiburtius´ Mass…1091”, after ruling Orkney jointly for seven years, and was buried on “Mainland…at Christ Church”[911]. He was put to death by his cousin Hakon Paulsson Joint Jarl of Orkney, with whom he had quarrelled. Canonised. m ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “St Magnus Earl of Orkney” married “a girl from the noblest family there in Scotland” but that they lived together for ten years without consummating the marriage[912]. (Cawley's Medlands)

c) GUNHILD. Orkneyinga Saga names “Gunnhild and Cecilia” as the two daughters of “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson” and his wife “Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson”[913]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway “gave Earl Erlend´s daughter Gunnhild in marriage to Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson, in compensation for the death of his father”, adding that her dowry was “some property in Orkney including a farm at Paplay” and that the couple “settled down on his estate at Agder”[914].

m (Spring 1099) KOL Kalisson, son of KALI of Agdir in Norway & his wife ---. Lenderman in Agder.

Kol & his wife had two children: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) KALI [Rognvald] ([1100]-murdered Force, Calder, Caithness 20 Aug 1158, bur St Magnus Cathedral). Orkneyinga Saga names “Kali and…Ingirid” as the two children of “Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson” and his wife[915]. Invested as Jarl, given the name Ragnvald and ½ Orkney in 1129 by Sigurd I Jorsalafari King of Norway. The latter's successor, Magnus IV "the Blind", cancelled the gift in [1130]. Harald "Gilli" King of Norway invested him as Jarl of ½ Orkney in Spring 1135. Jarl Paul refused to give up any territory to him. In revenge Kali-Rognvald seized the Shetlands, but his men were defeated in Yell Sound 27 Jun 1135 by Jarl Paul. He seized the Shetlands again in 1137, and captured and deposed Paul, becoming Jarl of all Orkney and Caithness. He granted ½ Orkney in 1139 to Harald Maddadsson. Leaving Harald in charge of Orkney, he sailed for Palestine in 1151, returning in Dec 1155. He was murdered by Thorbiorn Clerk. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Rognvald died on the fifth day after the Feast of the Assumption” and was buried “at St Magnus´ Cathedral”[916]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ---. The name of Kali-Rognvald´s wife is not known. Kali-Rognvald & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

(a) INGIGERD. Orkneyinga Saga records the marriage of “Earl Rognvald…his daughter Ingerid” and “Eirik Stay-Brails”[917].

 

m (Sutherland Spring 1156) ERIK Slagbrellir, son of ERIL Streita & his wife Audhild [daughter of Thorliot].

Erik & his wife had [seven] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

(1) HARALD Eriksson "Ungi" ([1156]-killed in battle Wick 1198). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald” as the three sons of “Eirik Stay-Brails”, adding that King Magnus Erlingsson gave Harald the title Jarl[918]. Invested with his grandfather's ½ of Orkney by Magnus V Erlingsson King of Norway, although he did not press this claim against Jarl Kali-Ragnvald. He obtained a grant of his grandfather's half of Caithness from William "the Lion" King of Scotland[919]. He asserted his claim to Orkney after this was regranted to him by [Sverre] King of Norway. Jarl Harald Maddadson rejected his claim and defeated him at the battle of Wick in 1198. (Cawley's Medlands)

(2) MAGNUS Mangi (-killed in battle near Fimreite on Sognefjord 15 Jun 1184). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald” as the three sons of “Eirik Stay-Brails”, adding that Magnus was killed with Magnus V Erlingsson King of Norway “at Sogn”[920]. (Cawley's Medlands)

(3) ROGNVALD. Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald” as the three sons of “Eirik Stay-Brails”[921]. (Cawley's Medlands)

(4) INGEBIORG. Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Eirik Stay-Brails”[922]. m GUNNI . Their son Snaekoll Gunnisson murdered John Jarl of Orkney in 1231. (Cawley's Medlands)

(5) ELIN. Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Eirik Stay-Brails”[923]. (Cawley's Medlands)

(6) RAGNHILD. Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Eirik Stay-Brails”[924]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild, the sister of Earl Harald the Young” married “Lifolf Pate”[925]. m HLIFOLF Skalli of Sutherland. Chief Counsellor of his brother-in-law Jarl Harald III. (Cawley's Medlands)

(7) daughter . According to the Complete Peerage, Gillbride Earl of Angus married as his second wife "the heiress of the earls of Caithness", in another passage stating that she was "sister of Harald Ungi Earl of Caithness"[926]. No primary source is cited in support of these statements and it is possible that this marriage, and the supposed parentage of the bride, are entirely speculative, in an attempt to explain the transmission of the half of the earldom of Caithness to Earl Gillbride´s son Magnus. Skene says that "the probability is that the half of Caithness which belonged to the Angus family was that half possessed by the earls of the line of Erlend, and was given by King Alexander with the title of Earl to Magnus, as the son of one of Earl Harald "Ungi"´s sisters" and that "the Norwegian name of Magnus indicates that [Earl Magnus] had a Norwegian mother"[927]. He cites no primary source either and the implication is that Skene is speculating on all the points which he makes. Concerning the supposed parentage of Earl Magnus´s mother, it appears unlikely that Magnus´s right to Caithness was derived from the junior branch of the comital family of Orkney/Caithness, to which Erik Slagbrellir belonged, as they ceased to hold any interest in the county after 1198, while Magnus´s grant appears to be dated to the 1230s (as discussed more fully below). A more sensible suggestion is that, assuming Magnus´s right to Caithness was inherited from his mother, she was related to the last Earl John, who died in 1232, and whose rights would have been divided between his two heiresses. m as his second wife, GILLBRIDE Earl of Angus, son of --- (-[1187]).] (Cawley's Medlands)

ii) INGIGERD. Orkneyinga Saga names “Kali and…Ingirid” as the two children of “Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson” and his wife[928].

m JON Petersson, lenderman in Sogne. (Cawley's Medlands)

d) CECILIA. Orkneyinga Saga names “Gunnhild and Cecilia” as the two daughters of “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson” and his wife “Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson”, adding that Cecilia married “Isaac” and that they had “two sons Eindridi and Kol”[929].

m ISAAC, son of ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

Erlend had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

e) JADDVOR . Orkneyinga Saga names “Jaddvor” as “natural daughter” of “Earl Erlend Thorfinnson”, adding that she “had a son…Borgar”[930]. m ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

3. son or sons (-young). Orkneyinga Saga names “Paul and…Erlend” as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood, implying that other sons died young[931]. http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm#_Toc268450047 (Cawley's Medlands)]



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