Name: Bjorn "The Merchant" Underking of VESTFOLD 1 2
ALIA: Bjorn /Haraldsson/, Underking of Vestfold
Birth: ABT 875 in Vestfold, Norway
Death: ABT 927 in Murdered by brother Eric "Bloodaxe" at Sacheim, Norway 2
Under-king in Vesfold, owned merchant ships. [Ancestral Roots]
DEATH: Murdered by his brother Eric "Bloodaxe"
MISC: He ruled over Westfold, and usually resided in Tnsberg where many merchant ships came and went. He had merchantmen who sailed to other lands and brought things back for him. The medieval historian, Snorri Sturluson describes him as a shrewd man with a calm disposition who engaged in little warfare. He is said to have had a good marriage.
Bjrn's half-brother, Eric ("Bloodaxe"), while on the road and in need of provisions, came to Bjrn, demanding to be given the taxes due their father, saying he would deliver the taxes to their father for Bjrn who usually took care of that himself. Bjrn refused to give him the revenue. The two fought, and Bjrn was killed. The name of his wife is unknown.
Note: I have the "classic" ancestry for Bjorn, and, as such, is supported by many sources. I include many such "classic" lines for other medieval Scandinavian people. These pedigrees are not accepted by many genealogists because they rest on sources such as the lyrics contained within various sagas as well as other "unreliable" sources. The following post from Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemann AT yahoo.com, contains comments on this ancestry which cast many doubts as to its proven validity:
Bjørn was subking in Vika, the area around the Oslo fjord. His nickname Farmand or Kjørmann (Merchant) states that he used to travel a lot around on trading. [Ref: Hevard Moe 17 Jan 1996 msg to Gen-Medieval]
Research note: "Ahh, so you wouldn't accept Bjorn the "Merchant" as a son of Harold Fairhair? See, e.g., Ancestral Roots, line 243A-18". [Ref: Roger Tansey 5 Jun 2000 message to soc.genealogy.medieval]
"No. This is another line that never should have been added to the (thankfully) last edition of Ancestral Roots. Since there is no independent tradition od (sic-of) Bjorn as son of Harald (separate from those traditions tracing St. Olaf through Bjorn to Harold), the placement of Bjorn as Harald's son stands or falls with Olaf's descent. While St. Olaf's ancestry is conflicting in different sources (in fact, because it is conflicting) and his "succession" bears every resemblance to just some guy with an army showing up and taking over, (as others did at the time and after) the late tradition of a descent from Harold Fairhair must be dismissed as dubious, and Bjorn with it". [Ref: Todd A. Farmerie 5 Jun 2000 message to soc.genealogy.medieval]
Father: Harald I "Haarfagri" 1st King of NORWAY b: ABT 850 in Buskerud, Norway
Mother: Swanhilda EYSTEINSDOTTIR b: ABT 855 in Maer, Nord-Trondelag, Norway
- Gudrod Underking of VESTFOLD b: ABT 910 in Vestfold, Norway
- Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968
- Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Shippard Jr., 1999