Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Norway & England

Male 960 - 1014  (~ 53 years)

Generations:      Standard    |    Vertical    |    Compact    |    Box    |    Text    |    Ahnentafel    |    Media    |   Map

Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Norway & England was born ~0960, Denmark (son of Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway); died 3 Feb 1014, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England.


    Usually given as the son of Harald and Gunhild, though it is said in some of the older sagas that he was an illegitimate son.

    Sweyn — Sigrid the Haughty. Sigrid was born (Poland). [Group Sheet]

    1. Cnut the Great, King of Denmark and England was born ~0995, Denmark; died 12 Nov 1035, Shaftesbury, Dorset, England; was buried Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway (son of Gorm the Old, King of Denmark and Thyra, Queen of Denmark).
    1. 1. Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, Norway & England was born ~0960, Denmark; died 3 Feb 1014, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Gorm the Old, King of DenmarkGorm the Old, King of Denmark was born 0860, Jellinge, Denmark; died 0931, Jellinge, Denmark; was buried Jellinge, Denmark.


    Gorm the Old (Danish: Gorm den Gamle, Old Norse: Gormr gamli, Latin: Gormus Senex[1][2]), also called Gorm the Languid (Danish: Gorm L≤ge, Gorm den Dvaske), was the first historically recognized ruler of Denmark, reigning from c.? 936 to his death c.? 958.[3] He ruled from Jelling, and made the oldest of the Jelling Stones in honour of his wife Thyra. Gorm was born before 900 and died c.? 958.[3]

    Ancestry and reign

    Gorm is the reported son of semi-legendary Danish king Harthacnut. Chronicler Adam of Bremen says that Harthacnut came from Northmannia to Denmark and seized power in the early 10th century.[4] He deposed the young king Sigtrygg Gnupasson, reigning over Western Denmark.[3] When Harthacnut died, Gorm ascended the throne.

    Heimskringla reports Gorm taking at least part of the kingdom by force from Gnupa, and Adam himself suggests that the kingdom had been divided prior to Gorm's time. Gorm is first mentioned as the host of Archbishop Unni of Hamburg and Bremen in 936.[4] According to the Jelling Stones, Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, "won all of Denmark", so it is speculated that Gorm only ruled Jutland from his seat in Jelling.[4]

    Marriage to Thyra

    Runic stone for Thyra, back side
    Gorm married Thyra, who is given conflicting and chronologically dubious parentage by late sources, but no contemporary indication of her parentage survives. Gorm raised one of the great burial mounds at Jelling as well as the oldest of the Jelling Stones for her, calling her tanmarkar but ("Denmark's Salvation" or "Denmark's Adornment"). Gorm was the father of three sons, Toke, Knut and Harald, later King Harald Bluetooth.[5]

    His wife, Thyra, is credited with the completion of the Danevirke, a wall between Denmark's southern border and its unfriendly Saxon neighbors to the south. The wall was not new, but it was expanded with a ditch and earthen foundation topped by a timber stockade above it. The Danevirke ran between the Schlei and the Treene river, across what is now Schleswig.[6]

    Death, burial and reburial

    Gorm died in the winter of 958Ė959[5] and dendrochronology shows that his burial chamber was made from wood of timbers felled in 958.[7] Arild Huitfeldt explains how in Danmarks Riges Kr≤nike:[citation needed]

    Runic stone for Thyra, front side
    The three sons were Vikings in the truest sense, departing Denmark each summer to raid and pillage. Harald came back to the royal enclosure at Jelling with the news that his son Canute had been killed in an attempt to capture Dublin, Ireland. Canute was shot with a coward's arrow while watching some games at night. No one would tell the king in view of the oath the king had made. Queen Thyra ordered the royal hall hung with black cloth and that no one was to say a single word. When Gorm entered the hall, he was astonished and asked what the mourning colors meant. Queen Thyra spoke up: "Lord King, you had two falcons, one white and the other gray. The white one flew far afield and was set upon by other birds which tore off its beautiful feathers and is now useless to you. Meanwhile the gray falcon continues to catch fowl for the king's table." Gorm understood immediately the Queen's metaphor and cried out, "My son is surely dead, since all of Denmark mourns!" "You have said it, your majesty," Thyra announced, "Not I, but what you have said is true." According to the story Gorm was so grieved by Canute's death that he died the following day.

    This account would contradict information on the Jelling Stones which point to Queen Thyra dying before Gorm. Some archaeologists and historians have suggested that Gorm was buried first in Queen Thyra's grave mound at Jelling, and later moved by his son, Harald Bluetooth, into the original wooden church in Jelling.[3] According to this theory it is believed, that the skeleton found at the site of the first Christian church of Jelling is in fact Gorm the Old, though the theory is still much debated. During the reign of Gorm, most Danes still worshipped the Norse gods, but during the reign of Gorm's son, Harold Bluetooth, Denmark officially converted to Christianity. Harald, accordingly, left the hill where Gorm had originally been interred as a memorial.


    Gorm was "old" in the sense that he was considered the traditional ancestral "head" of the Danish monarchy. Saxo Grammaticus in the Gesta Danorum asserts that Gorm was older than other monarchs and having lived so long was blind by the time his son Canute was killed.

    end of biography

    Gorm's pedigree: https://fabpedigree.com/s038/f790309.htm

    end oc comment

    Gormshoj, Jellinge, Vejle, Denmark

    Gorm — Thyra, Queen of Denmark. Thyra was born (Denmark); died (Jellinge) Denmark. [Group Sheet]

  2. 5.  Thyra, Queen of Denmark was born (Denmark); died (Jellinge) Denmark.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Thorvi or Thyre


    Thyra, also known as Thorvi or Thyre,[1] was a Danish queen, spouse of King Gorm the Old of Denmark, the first historically recognized King of Denmark, who reigned from c.? 936 to his death c.? 958.[2]

    Historical facts and uncertainties

    She is believed to have led an army against the Germans. Gorm and Thyra were the parents of King Harald Bluetooth.

    While Gorm the Old had disparaging nicknames, his wife Thyra was referred to as a woman of great prudence. Saxo Grammaticus wrote that Thyra was mainly responsible for building the Danevirke on the southern border, but archeology has proven it to be much older, and Thyra's role was to extend it.[3]

    Thyra died before Gorm, who raised a memorial stone to Thyra at Jelling, which refers to her as the "Pride of Denmark" or the "Ornament of Denmark" (Old Danish: tanmarka but, Modern Danish: Dannebod). Gorm and Thyra were buried under one of the two great mounds at Jelling, and later moved to the first Christian church there. This was confirmed when a tomb containing their remains was excavated in 1978 under the east end of the present church.
    Runic stone for Thyra, back side

    Accounts of Thyra's parentage are late, contradictory and chronologically dubious. Saxo names her father as Ethelred, King of England (usually identified with •thelred of Wessex), but his description of her brother as •thelstan suggests he intended Edward the Elder, though no such daughter appears in the detailed lists of Edward's children that survive. J‚omsv‚ikinga saga and Snorri's Heimskringla say her father was a king or jarl of Jutland or Holstein called Harald Klak.

    Tradition also has it that before Thyra consented to marry Gorm, she insisted he build a new house and sleep in it for the first three nights of winter and give her an account of his dreams those nights. The dreams were told at the wedding banquet and as recorded, imitate the dreams Pharaoh had that were interpreted by Joseph in Genesis. In the first dream, three white boars came out of the sea, fed on the grass, and went back to the sea. In the second, three red boars came out of the sea, and did the same. In the third dream, three black boars with great tusks did the same, but when they returned to the sea, there was such a loud rush of the waves returning to the land that the noise could be heard throughout Denmark.
    Runic stone for Thyra, front side

    Thyra's interpretation was that the three white boars represented three very cold, snowy winters which would kill "all the fruits of the ground." The red boars meant there would next be three mild winters, while the black boars with tusks indicated there would be wars in the land. The fact that they all went back into the sea showed that their effect would not be long-lasting. The loud noise as the waves of the sea rolled back on the Danish shores meant that "mighty men would come on the land with great wars, and many of his relations would take part." She said that had he dreamed of the black boars and the rushing waves the first night, she would not have married him, but now, since she would be available to provide advice, there would be little injury from the wars.[4]

    Asteroid 115 Thyra is named in her honour.

    end of biography

    1. 2. Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway