This page will contain information about my interest in my ancestry and genealogy. I have been interested in genealogy since I was a child, but have only recently began to study my blood roots in more earnest. Note that this document is always in motion; as I learn new things I will post here, and will continue to update it with more of the info I have.
After some research into my Norwegian genealogy, I was able to trace the line back to… well back pretty far. How far exactly will likely be answered differently for the historian than for the storyteller or the mythographer. This ancestry line goes back to the Viking Sagas, which both gives credibility and takes it away. Historians question the factual accuracy of this lineage, though they make for great stories, having become the foundational mythology of Northern Europe in general and Norway in particular.
Generations 1-5: American Migration, 1870-Present
I am the third generation of this lineage to be born on the North American continent. Luckily, I have access to the Fuglie Family History (PDF, scans. 85.7MB, this is a big file!) book by Winton L. Fuglie. My great-grandfather, Mons Olson Fuglie (1861-1925), was the last of my ancestors to be born in Norway. In 1870, when Mons was 9 years old, he emigrated from Persplassen, Low Gaard, North Aurdal, Valdres, Norway traveling to Oslo (then called Christiana) before boarding a ship along with his parents Ole Arneson and Ambjor Monsdatter Fuglei, and his 4 brothers, Knut, Arne, Ole, and Andrew:
Ambjor & Ole and their children crossed the Atlantic in 1870 on the Argonault, with 237 passengers total. The Argonault departed on April 9, 1870 from Oslo, Norway (though Oslo was called Christiana or Kristiana at the time) and arrived in Quebec City on June 5, 1870 under the command of Captain S. W. Flood:
The ship Argonaut was built by Sam. Lapham in Medford, Mass. USA in 1849. She had a tonnage of 305 Norwegian Commercial lasts. Her length was 147,5 feet and beam 29 feet, depth of 11 feet. She was rebuilt in 1874. Owned by Ludvigsen & Scheldrup in Christiania from 1864. Argonaut sailed from Norway to Quebec with emigrants 1866 – 1870.
After landing in Quebec City, it is likely they took a train from Quebec to Port Huron, Michigan. The Fuglie Family History book speculates that
they took the same route as other immigrants at the time, which was by ferry up Lake Huron, through the Straits of Mackinac, then down Lake Michigan, disembarking most probably at Milwaukee, WI. Our best information is that there was a railroad called the LaCrosse and Milwaukee Railroad. It ran west of Milwaukee to Prairie du Chien, then north to LaCrosse where the line ended. From Lacrosse the immigrants had to travel by steamboat further north to Winona, Red Wing, St. Paul, and points between….
Ole Arneson was in terrible physical shape after two months of immigrant travel. His lack of strength and stamina would certainly have been a contributing factor to his death on June 30, 1870 from sunstroke.
This unfortunate plight of my great-great-grandfather, only 25 days after he landed in North America, is a testament to the physical rigors of 19th century long distance travel and the emigration process in general.
Generations 6-22: Land Tenants in Kvåle, c.1250-1870
Prior to Ole and Ambjor, the previous 16 generations in Norway were Husmenn (“Housemen”), or Land Tenants in the Kvåle region of Norway:
The Fuglie Family History book describes the social situation of a Land Tenant as
a cottager or cotter, or a tenant farmer having life tenure. related terms of gaard bruker (farm renter), husfolk (house people), husmenn med jord (houseman with land), jord bruker (land user, or leie folk (hired help)….
A class of farm people made a contract with a landowner that in exchange for their labor they received the right to live in a small house or cottage on a small, usually poor quality plot of land. Here, they could spend their time in producing food for their own use when their labor was not needed by the landlord.
Tenant-landlord agreements were quite specific…. it even specified that upon his death, his widow must find another man to fulfill the obligations of the contract or she and the family will be evicted! Because land was so scarce there was quite a demand for a time for these contracts, and many marriages were made of necessity and convenience. In fact, the marriages of Ambjor Monsdatter and Ole Arneson… might have been for this convenience.
The Fuglie book also tells the origin of the name Fuglie:
In 1790 a peasant couple by the name of Ole Mognesson (Monson) and Barbara Knudsdatter became tenants with life tenure on the “Bird Farm” near Røn, Norway. As such, Ole became a “Fugleie”, from which our surname is derived.
The above couple had a son, Mons Olson Fuglen, who as the oldest son, took over the Bird farm from his parents. Mons and his wife, Raghnild, had five children — three of whom went to America and two stayed in Norway. This publication concentrates on tracing these children and their descendants.
Mons Olson Fuglen was my great-great-great-grandfather. The Fuglie Family History book reports that he was “a man of considerable skill,” that he “possessed good reading and writing ability,” he “was a teacher and was responsible for teaching primary school each spring to the children of the neighborhood at Røn.” Mons Olson Fuglen was also “an expert joiner and carpenter. carved and autographed samples of his work are in the hands of present-day Fuglie relatives in Norway and the United States. It is also believed that he trained a neighbor boy and son-in-law, Ole Arneson… in the woodworking trade.”
Generations 23-38: The Norwegian Kings, c.810 – c.1250
When I go back 22 Generations, I get to Asle Dugalsson, where I have the first clear indications of royalty in my ancestry. He was a Sysselmann (prefect) in Valdres, a traditional district in south central Norway.
The Geography of Valdres looks very familiar to me having lived in Maine for nearly 20 years. Photos of the area remind me much of Northern New England. To the west and north of Valdres are the Jotunheimen Mountains, the “Land Of The Giants.” The 29 highest mountains in Norway are all in Jotunheimen, including the very highest – Galdhøpiggen (2469 m). People who know me will not be surprised that my ancestors come from the Land of the Giants.
It seems likely that Asle Dugalsson served this region in a position of authority, because he was probably not very high in the line of succession following his father, Dugal Ruaidhrison of Kintyre (a peninsula in Western Scotland), who was appointed King of the northern part of Suderøerne (Hebrides), by King Haakon Haadonson of Norway in 1249. We musn’t forget that during this time, and for the previous 500 years, Vikings were skilled sailors and warriors, and were in control of much of northern Europe, including western Scotland. This geopolitical ambiguity is in my ancestry, since Dugal Ruaidhrison is also known in Scotland as Dubhghall mac Ruaidhri. So it would appear that on some level, my Norwegian ancestry is also my Scottish ancestry!
Since we have gotten back this far, into royal bloodlines, we can then trace things back further. This lineage goes back through Olav Haraldson II, (“Olav The Saint”) (born c.995), who was considered the last great Viking King, to Harald “Haarfagre” (The Fairhaired) (850-933), the First King of Norway, through his Father Halfdan “Svarte” Gudrødson (The Black) – King of Romerike, Land and Hadeland (820-860). It would appear that everyone to this point are genuine historical figures, accepted by historians today.
Generations 39-68: The Heimskringla
These last generations are far from certain, it uses the Viking Sagas to trace the bloodlines of kings, through the Yngling dynasty, all the way back to Odin himself. At least if we are to believe Snorri Sturluson, the scribe of that age for the Vikings. Culturally speaking, this lineage is analagous to a Judeo-Christian culture tracing its lineage back to Adam or other prominent Biblical figures. It likely originated as fiction, but pretended to give legitimacy and honor to a particular line.
Therefore, it is important to note that the ancestry from this point in time backward cannot be called true history, in the sense that serious academic historians have some doubt that these traces are literally true. Rather, this lineage is an extraordinary piece of Historiography, which is a bit more abstract than a study of history. Sturluson’s historiography is called The Heimskringla:
The name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts (kringla heimsins – the circle of the world).
Heimskringla is a collection of sagas about the Norwegian kings, beginning with the saga of the legendary Swedish dynasty of the Ynglings, followed by accounts of historical Norwegian rulers from Harald Fairhair of the 9th century up to the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla in 1177. The exact sources of his work are disputed, but included earlier kings’ sagas, such as Morkinskinna, Fagrskinna and the twelfth century Norwegian synoptic histories and oral traditions, notably many skaldic poems.
Snorri himself makes no bones about the truth contained within his manuscript, asserting only that “old and wise men held them to be true”:
In this book I have had old stories written down, as I have heard them told by intelligent people, concerning chiefs who have have held dominion in the northern countries, and who spoke the Danish tongue; and also concerning some of their family branches, according to what has been told me. Some of this is found in ancient family registers, in which the pedigrees of kings and other personages of high birth are reckoned up, and part is written down after old songs and ballads which our forefathers had for their amusement. Now, although we cannot just say what truth there may be in these, yet we have the certainty that old and wise men held them to be true.
–Preface of Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla
Despite the questionable historical truth of the stories contained in it, the Hemskringla is an important book with a history of being central to Norwegian identity in Scandinavia:
In the 19th century, as Norway was achieving independence after centuries of union with Denmark and Sweden, the stories of the independent Norwegian medieval kingdom won great popularity in Norway. Heimskringla, although written by an Icelander, became an important national symbol for Norway during the period of romantic nationalism. In 1900, the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, subsidized the publication of new translations of Heimskringla into both Norwegian written forms, landsmål and riksmål, “in order that the work may achieve wide distribution at a low price”.
It seems clear that at some point, this lineage passes from historical fact into myth. But exactly when and where this transition takes place is unclear.
The Generational List
So here is the list of ancestors, currently from myself back to Odin the All-Father. :-)
- James Lindenschmidt, born 1969
- Patricia Fuglie, born 1946. Married William Lindenschmidt.
- Milton Fuglie, born 1908, died 1958. married Lucille Linehan.
- Mons Olson Fuglie, born 1861 in Persplassen, Low Gaard, North Aurdal, Valdres, Norway, died 1925 in Minnesota. Married Louise Haldorson about 1890.
- Ambjor Monsdatter Fuglei, born 1825 in Norway, died 1888 in Minnesota. married Ole Arneson (Zumbrota)
- Raghnild Knudsdatter, 1795. Married Mons Olson Fuglen.
- Kirsti Oldsdatter, 1762. Married Knud Gullickson Helle.
- Barbro Knutsdatter Hollien, died 1775 and married to Gølik Knutson (1739-1782).
- Jøran Oldsdatter, Stee/Kvale. Married to Knut Johannesson Hollien (1705-1781).
- Ola Jonson Stee, Kvale, married to Barbro Gøliksdatter Bjelbøle, born 1677.
- Jon Jøgerson Kvale, married to Bergitte Julsdatter.
- Jøger Jonson Kvaale, born 1600
- Jon Arneson Kvalle
- Arne Ulfsson paa Kvaale, married to Anne Jonsdatter who died in 1636.
- Ulf Olufsson Kvalle, born c. 1525, died 1574
- Oluf Asleson Kvaale, born c. 1500
- Asle Sigurdson Kvalle
- Sigurd Asleson — pa Kvalle, born c. 1435, died 1496
- Asle Sigurdson Kvalle, married in 1376 to Bryngeira Aslesdatter
- Sigurd Asleson – pa Kvalle
- Asle Gudmundson – paa Kvaale. Died before 1335.
- Gudmun Asleson – paa Strand. married Gjertrude.
- Asle Dugalsson – sysselmann (prefect) in Valdres. Married to N.N., a sister of Knight Sigvat paa Kvie.
- Dugal Ruaidhrison of Kintyre – The King of the northern part of Suderøerne (Hebrides). He was appointed to the King of this district by King Haakon Haadonson of Norway in 1249.
- Ruaidhri (Roderick) Reignaldson of Garmoran, He ruled over North Kintyre, Butte, and The Isles. Founder of Clain Ruidhri.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Macruari
- Regnald (Ragnvald) Somerledsson – He was King of Kintyre and The Isles and died in 1207. He was married to Fonia of Moray who was the graddater of Ruaidhre O’connor, King of Connaught.
- Ragnhild Olavsdatter – She was married in 1140 to King Somerled II of the Morven District in the Suderøerne (Hebrides). he was the King of Argyll, Kintyre, Butte, and Arram.
- Ingeborg Haakonsdatter – She became the second wife of Olaf Godfredson “Klining” (The Dwarf). Olaf became King of the Isle of Man from 1113 to when he died in 1154. Olaf Godfredson was also descended from Halvdan Olavson Hvitbein.
- Haakon Paalson Jarl – He was an Earl of Orkney Islands and died in Norway in 1122. He was married to Helga, the daughter of Maddann, the Earl of caithness.
- Ragnild Haakonsdatter – She married Paal Thorfinnson, Earl of the Orkney Islands, who died in Norway in 1099.
- Ragnhild of Norway – She was married to Haakon Jarl, Earl in Norway and Sweden. Haakon was the son of Ivar Hvita, Earl of Oplandene; whose grandfather was Haakon Sigurdson Lade. Haakon’s mother was Bergljot Toresdatter; whose mother was Aalof Aarbot Haraldsdatter; and whose father was Harald Haarfagre.
- Magnus Olafsson Gode (The Good) – King of Norway and Denmark from 1035 to 1047. Born 1023.
- Olav Haraldson II, “Olav The Saint”. Born about 995 in Norway, considered the last great Viking chief. Known as “Olav the Stout.”
- Harald Grenske – Married Aasta Gudbrandsdatter.
- Gudrød Bjørnsson, King of Viken.
- Bjørn Haraldson “Farmann” (The Traveler, The Tradesman) – killed in 927
- Harald “Haarfagre” (The Fairhaired). Born in 850, died in 933.
- Halfdan “Svarte” Gudrødson (The Black) – King of Romerike, Land and Hadeland. Born in 820, died 860
- Gudrød Halvdanson “Veidkonge” (The Hunter – The Magnificent — The Hunting King).
- Halvdan Øysteinson (The Mild)
- Øystein Halvdanson – King of Vestfold.
- Halvdan Olavson “Hvitbein” (Whiteleg). King of Toten, Romerike, Hadaland, Vestfold, and Solør. He died of old age in 740 and was buried in a mound at Skiringssal in Vestfold. He married Aasa, the daughter of Oystein “The Severe”, the King of Hedemark and Applandene, Norway.
- Olof Trätälja (“Treeshaver”)
- Ingjald illråde (“Evilheart”), died 623
- Anund reigned in the mid-seventh century Swedish: Bröt-Anund meaning trail-blazer Anund or Anund the Land Clearer; alternate names Brøt-Anundr or Braut-Önundr
- Yngvar Harra (or Ingvar)
- Eysteinn (Swedish: Östen; died ca 600)
- Eadgils, Adils, Aðils, Adillus, Aðísl at Uppsölum, Athisl, Athislus or Adhel
- Ohthere (also Ohtere), Óttarr vendilkráka
- Egil (Ongentheow)
- Aun and Ale the Strong
- Jorund and Erik
- Yngvi and Alf
- Erik and Alrik
- Dag the Wise/Dagr Spaka (2nd or 3rd century AD)