August 27, 2015

My 30th great grandfather is Harald Fairhair, First King of Norway......NOT.


When I first began my genealogical journey I, like many other "newbies", was thrilled that it seemed so easy. I was lucky in that I knew exactly what town in Norway my ancestors had come from and knew their names back 3 or 4 generations. In fact I had visited, and met great aunts, second cousins etc. in Norway that verified those names. Then came the internet. Whoo-hoo! can you believe it? Others on the internet had done all the work for me! They had online trees that went beyond census records and written parish records, beyond the scourge of the "Black Death" that had wiped out close to a third of the Norwegian population and back to Viking days! Quickly I attached the various findings to my family tree. And as they say on late night TV commercials: But Wait There's More! Another fellow had done a family tree that traced his family to Adam himself! And, glory be, we had a common ancestor a few generations back. Not only was Harald Fairhair my 30th great grandfather but Adam was my something like 153rd great grandfather. No mention of Eve though. You would think if he was bold enough to trace himself back to Adam he would at the least give Eve equal credit?

I soon learned about sources, citations and come on already......common logic finally set in. I started again and I do love you Norway for making your census' and parish records available. But a bit of time was wasted. Should a friend or relative show an interest in Norwegian genealogy I will in the future direct them to this really great article I have just recently read. It gives some great straightforward advice on beginning Norwegian genealogy and points out how we are most likely not related to a specific Viking King, or even if the possibility exists it cannot be proven.

Here it is:


Just for giggles I did save that crazy "Fun Family Tree". Every now and then it is fun to think I was the 29th cousin twice removed of Diana Spencer. However with my documented tree I actually find greater pleasure and pride in the strength and perseverance of mainly husmann (cotter), tømmerman (carpenter), sjømann (sailor) and hustru (housewive) ancestors, who were all necessary for me to be me.