Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1118194949

From: Bev Anderson <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] R1b in Norway - Role of British Slaves
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 18:42:29 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>

John and David are both correct.

Yes, that's true, John, according to the histories I've read. Children in ancient Scandinavia were not "illegitimate" or "bastards" by modern standards, and there was no social taint to being the child of unmarried parents, or for parents who had children and stayed unmarried. A man claimed his sons and daughters and supported them whether he was married to a woman or not, and whether either had other children by different partners or not (remember the patronymic naming system of "-sen" or "-datter" is the suffix following the father's name in the patronymic naming system there - I work with it all the time in my genealogy research in Norway and Denmark in particular). Even if the parents did not marry, the child(ren) still carried the patronymic surname - genealogy records for Norway and Denmark - and I think Sweden, too - are still written that way (early documents are certainly written with patronymic names, even if modern documents aren't), even though most of them ha!
adopted single surnames nowadays - my own maternal gr-gr-grandmother's parents in Denmark apparently did not marry, but her baptism certificate has her patronymic name on it, along with both her parents' names which are also written in the patronymic style. I just got another set of Norwegian ancestors to enter in my database today for the family of my maternal grandmother's sister's husband, and it's all patronymic surnames documented to the early 18th century, even if the farm name is tacked on after that.

Additionally, something like 90% of the population of the west coast Norway lived on or near the coast. The mountain regions do not make for a good place to raise grain crops, except in small patches (hence the large amount of fish in their diet). It was sometimes very difficult to get to the remote mountain regions of Norway in "olden times" and the communities sometimes did not have a regular minister, and the ministers didn't show up for sometimes two to five years at a time on a regular traveling circuit (this was in the years just after Christianity was adopted). When the minister showed up, the couples who were already living as husband and wife got married officially... and their children were baptized at the same time.

There was a blurb in a PBS show about ancient Vikings and slaves on a repeat show I saw a few weeks ago. For all their reputation as berserkers and murderers and marauders, it was considered better - i.e., more 'profitable' - for the Vikings to keep the captives alive to be sold in a slave market rather than kill them. (I think Hedeby was the name of one of the towns where there was a good harbor and slaves were sold or traded (barter system), among other "goods" taken in raids.) Whatever else they did on raids, profit was very much the name of the game in the end.

One of my several books on ancient Vikings supports what David wrote: the Viking raids started out tied to being home to plant crops in the spring and returning home in time for harvest. If the land-holders had them (at least later), slaves and "house carls" were used for sowing crops and harvesting and other tasks involved with running what were then large farmsteads the year 'round (men and women). (If memory serves, the slaves in Scandinavia could work off their indenture and/or buy their freedom after a time, too.) When the population did increase later, it was often the oldest son who inherited the land, and the younger sons "made their fortunes" by 'going a-Viking' because they were land poor - there was no more land to divide between all the sons that was large enough to support a family, so all the land went to the eldest son. The younger sons are sometimes (usually) the ones who settled in other countries the Vikings had invaded, acquired land, settled down to a!
life of
farming and/or traders or merchants, either with local women or with a wife they brought with them from home - and, of course, their children married local men and women. There was no reason to return to their homeland because their older brothers had inherited the land from their father, and the oldest son of the oldest son inherited the land after that....

The same cycle of over-population and poor younger sons who had no land to inherit repeated itself in the mid-19th century when millions of Scandinavians emigrated to America.

I'm generalizing so this doesn't get too long, but if you read the histories, you'll get the details and facts and years these things happened when they were written about, and which populations and countries were involved....


John Carr <> wrote:
On Jun 7, 2005, at 12:49 PM, David Faux wrote:

> Actually it does Shane if the slaves were to tend to the agricultural
> and animal husbandry tasks while large numbers of Norse males were
> away during these time while raiding.
> David F.

And fathering children. Histories of the Vikings indicate they had
what we would call a liberal attitude about sex and parentage.

John Carr

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