Ole Larson's Folks

Category: Ancient History

No close family anniversaries. In the distance, and not proven by documentation, our twenty-second great grandfather, King Haakon IV Haakonsson of Norway, died in Orkney, Scotland, on this date in 1263. Top photo: 19th century painting by Knud Bergslien, depicting the legendary rescue of the future king from opposing forces in Norway’s civil wars. Below: Haakonshallen in the city of Bergen, built and used for state events by Haakon IV more than 750 years ago(!) First, as photographed on my trip…

Bayeux

No close family anniversaries … unless you count our anecdotal ancestor Harold II Godwinsson, last Anglo-Saxon king of England. On this date in 1066, Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings by William, Duke of Normandy, thereafter known as “The Conqueror.” Top photo: Death of King Harold, detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, the needlework dating, incredibly, from the 1070s, only a decade after the events. The preservation of this fabric, over 200 feet long, for nearly a thousand years is…

No close family anniversaries. Not with documentation, anyway. But our anecdotal 19th great-grandfather died in London, England, on this date in 1377. I refer to King Edward III of England. Depicted above making a presentation to his son, Edward the “Black Prince.” Edward III was crowned at age fourteen, after his father was deposed by his mother and her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and…

Died in Vernon County, Wisconsin, on this date in 1930: great-grandfather Gunder Torgersen Moen. Pictured above with his wife Marie Amundsdatter Volden and their first three children, before the birth of my grandmother Anna (alt. Annie) Moen. Gunder is buried at Brush Creek church. = = = Born in Norway on this date in 1270(!): Haakon Magnusson, later to become King Haakon V of Norway. While it is not proven, and probably can never be, Haakon V is by anecdote…

Born in England this day in 1477 or 1478: Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, anecdotally my 13th great-grandfather. His father, Henry Stafford, was involved in deep intrigue at the court of English royal court. Duke Henry was important enough to become a character in Shakespeare’s play Richard III. Both Edward and Henry were, in their separate times, executed for treason.

In my articles on ancient history (1, 2, and 3), I had a lot of fun claiming the great-grandparenthood of famous and infamous figures such as Saint Olaf, William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, Isabella the She-Wolf, Old King Cole, and the emperor Claudius, among many others. As I have already admitted, the three lines leading from me back to these ancients all have links that are controversial or doubtful. Up until the mid-twentieth century, both amateur and professional genealogists were highly…

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