Halfdan Ragnarsson

Started by Alex Moes on Wednesday, October 28, 2015
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10/28/2015 at 1:56 AM

As i understand it the only evidence for Halfdan being Ragnar's son is an entry from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which records in 878 that "a brother of Ivar and Halfdan was in Wessex in Devon with twenty-three ships".

This only proves that someone named Ivar had a brother named Halfdan.

Cawley is unclear if this Ivar is in fact Ivarr Gudrodson, king of Dublin but lists Ivarr and Halfdan as brothers indicating that this is this is his interpretation.

There is disagreement as to whether Ivarr Gudrodson, king of Dublin and "Ivar the Boneless" are the same person but on Geni we show them separately so it would seem to me that we should not be showing Halfdan as a son of Ragnar "Lodbrok" Sigurdsson.

I think to be consistent we should merge Hvidserk Ragnarsson with Halfdan Iv Ivarsson and disconnect from Ragnar.

Private User
10/28/2015 at 7:23 AM

@Alex Moes [Moeskoecker] Your persistence is becoming a bit annoying - I would like to point out to you what is written on his profile end please follow the rules of Geni and contact the person who is responsible for adding this profile on Geni before you change or corrupt the work of others: Hvidserk Ragnarsson

The person responsible for creating his profile is Marsha Gail Kamish Veazey.
Marsha Gail Veazey
I strongly advise you to contact her before you decide to change or delete her work.

10/28/2015 at 8:09 AM

Thank you Anna. It's one of my pet peeves that profiles get deleted at all. I would rather leave a profile up with a note in the About Me section about any controversy.

10/28/2015 at 8:14 AM

Well, I tried to find the info I used to add this profile and couldn't. But isn't it better to have a 'placeholder' for that brother than nothing at all? I'll leave it to you guys to discuss and decide. It's not my area of expertise.

10/28/2015 at 8:18 AM

Different visions.

I also dislike the idea of deleting profiles but merging and connecting or disconnecting is a different matter, provided it's done to conform to the sources.

I would rather see a public discussion like this one rather than private discussions that have the potential to change the tree for everyone. Maybe Halvdan Ylving Ragnarson should be merged, or maybe he shouldn't, but it's definitely better to do it out in the open.

10/28/2015 at 8:33 AM

Private User what about my persistence is annoying you?

You do not need to point out to me what is written in his profile because I put it in there yesterday!

And I _have_ contacted the manager who created the profile, that is one of the wonders of Geni, by starting a Discussion from a profile the manager(s) are automatically notified.

I had hoped to hear a comment from you regarding the Icelandic profiles that i have been working on recently, i know that you have been checking up on my work and assumed your silence was tacit approval, i guess that was a mistake on my part.

10/28/2015 at 8:38 AM

Marsha Gail Veazey I am not sure if your reference to deleting profiles is in regard to the profiles being discussed here (i certainly never suggested deleting any profile) or the profile of Sigfrid Ragnarsson that i deleted earlier today. As i explained in my private message to you about why i deleted Sigfrid the family of Ragnar is very well written about and studied, even if not clearly understood, but in all that no one makes any mention of a son named Sigfrid. Maybe there was one and believe me i will be happy to apologise if i am wrong but a blank profile with 0 references and only one manager does not suggest to me that it is a widely supported theory.

10/28/2015 at 8:43 AM

Further, adding a note to the About of a profile which has absolutely no data stating that there is no data and no evidence for that profile but that it is being left in place even though the person who created it can't remember why they created it would seem like a bit of a waste of time and effort to me.

Private User
10/28/2015 at 8:58 AM

@Marsha Gail (Kamish) Veazey I agree with you completely.

Also I can't understand either the "manic approach" in wanting to strike out or change the profile of Ragnar Lodbrok here on Geni and those attached to him since there exists hundreds of profiles on the Geni tree that are more "fictional" than Ragnar and his clan. Besides - what are the same persons going to do about all the thousands of profiles that are spread over the Internet and are pretty similar to the profiles here on Geni? What is the purpose of all this?

Take the origin of the Irish people for example - Sorry but even though I descend from Ireland also and am fully aware of the "fictionary" genealogy in my pedigree from Ireland - I wouldn't dream of insisting that changes where made to the tree. Why is that? The reason is because all provisos are registered with the records in that tree.

Therefore I am fully aware of that there could be some inaccuracy or outright false information registered in those records - and doesn't bother me at all because I am fully aware of the fact that those records are more than likely not reliable.

Why is everything so different where Ragnar Lodbrok and his clan is concerned?

10/28/2015 at 9:19 AM

It was once pointed out on the program "Connections" that Halfdan was both a common and a royal name. It is carved in the balustrade of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. I do not think it a stretch that "a" Halfdan could be the son of "Ragnar Lodbrok",a man with his ego would obviously associate his family with the names of royalty. History took long to write and it will take long to sort it out.

Private User
10/28/2015 at 9:26 AM

@Linda Irene Selleck ! Exactly as you point out. There are all kinds of clues all around us that suggest that these people where/are connected in some way and has been so for hundreds of years.

10/28/2015 at 9:30 AM

"Why is everything so different where Ragnar Lodbrok and his clan is concerned?"

Simply because he's caught the attention of enough users to have 15 minutes of fame on Geni. It's not a conspiracy. It could happen with any controversial profile.

Private User
10/28/2015 at 9:44 AM

@Alex Moes [Moeskoecker] - you wrote:
I had hoped to hear a comment from you regarding the Icelandic profiles that i have been working on recently, i know that you have been checking up on my work and assumed your silence was tacit approval, i guess that was a mistake on my part.

What Icelandic profiles are you referring to? My silent has NOTHING to do with approval of any sort!

Why is that? My reason is that after observation of what is going on here on Geni - I simply decided NOT to to be involved in any argument with people who clearly have no academic or theoretical background behind them.

Moreover, I also sense that there is no objective or legitimate purposes is behind the changes that are being insisted (as is being done where Ragnar Loðbrók is concerned).

By the way - What is your background in Icelandic genealogy that give you specifically authorization or knowledge to change or manage Icelandic profiles?

10/28/2015 at 3:31 PM

Anna, let's remember that Geni is a collaborative environment. Users don't have to be Icelandic or have a degree in Icelandic history to make the effort to read and understand the sources. What's important is that other users with some level of knowledge contribute to the discussions so we don't get too far off base.

10/28/2015 at 4:05 PM

Anna, at the bottom right of each profile is a list of Geni users who have viewed the profile recently, it is possible to set your account preferences so that your name will not be shown in this list but the fact that i see your name in that list tells me you are not exercising that option. Further i also received a notification the other week that you had chosen to Follow me on Geni.

Here is an example of an Icelandic profile that I created in order to correct a badly made profile, which implied there was a link to Leif Eriksson, and you then visited practically straight away - Thorgunna [buried in Skálholt]

As you say i am no expert but an hour or two of reading and i can generally get an understanding of a particular subject. I try to reference the sagas in the original norse but as i cannot read it directly i have to rely on Google Translate which does a terrible job.

Why do i do all this? Certainly not for the thanks! If i know a profile is wrong i will change it, the fact that every other idiot with an Ancestry or MH account shows it wrong is not anything that i can control. My own paternal line is horrible corrupt on most family websites due to cut&paste genealogy but i am very proud of how i have worked hard to document and provide evidence of my research. Apparently by your opinion i shouldn't have bothered??? When i am not sure of the facts and cannot find reliable evidence i will start a Discussion (or join an older one) which is why perhaps i seem to be starting Discussions left right and centre.

I hope that clarifies my approach to you, there is a saying in English "if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well". If it is worth having a giant family tree with 90 million profiles then it is worth making sure there are a few mistakes and duplicates and lies as possible.

As for why Ragnar? I like the TV show (actually i wasn't much impressed by season 3) and was curious how factual it was. I checked Geni and the profile was a hideous piece of rubbish surrounded by other badly made profiles. Ragnar is an odd case because the more you learn about him the less you know, but look at the main discussion regarding him, more than half the participants on that thread are saying "Ragnar's my grandfather!" completely unaware that he probably didnt even exist and assuming that because he is on Geni he must be (a) real and (b) connected in the correct location. Obviously there are lots of mythical profiles, even a few for G_d, but i am not advocating to delete those, they just need to clearly explain that they are what they are.


Private User
10/28/2015 at 6:40 PM

@ Alex Moes [Moeskoecker]

Why are you creating a profile like this Thorgunna (Þórgunna) on Geni that has no connections whatsoever and NEVER will have? By the way – the letters TH are not Icelandic and NEVER used here when writing an Icelandic name with the ancient letter Þ. Hopefully this is the only profile that you have done that is considered to be Icelandic?

Otherwise what you write is not worth answering. For your information though, I have my own pedigree the oldest part of it has existed for hundreds of years and will certainly not change it just because some members of Geni are trying to "shine" and change what has been written for hundreds of years.

By the way - I have never asked to follow you on Geni, never wanted to either, and I have no intention of doing so. Please go with what is right.

10/28/2015 at 7:30 PM


Thorgunna is a perfectly legitimate spelling of Þórgunna when writing in English, you are setting up a strawman argument rather than responding to my points. Feel free to add an additional Language tab to her profile and enter the Icelandic spelling in the Icelandic tab, i don't see why i should be the only one working to make Geni profiles better.

Obviously it is another odd profile but it's purpose on Geni is to avoid Geni users conflating this woman with Leif Eriksson's partner, Thorgunna [mother of Thorgils]. You could follow the Collaboration in this discussion Thorgunna [mother of Thorgils]

Your attitude of "it's been written down for hundreds of years so i am not going to change it" seems to reflect strangely on why you would join a collaborative genealogy website, what is the point if you have it all worked out already and are unwilling to even contemplate possible changes?

10/29/2015 at 5:45 AM

Private User confession: I have messed with Icelandic lines here on Geni too, and I have neither Icelandic connections nor an academic background in Icelandic genalogy.

A number of areas in Geni are a mess - sometimes it's a completely visible mess, such as half-merged trees with lots of tree conflicts; sometimes it's a less obvious mess, such as profiles being entered with the only source being wild speculations on some Internet page out there. We who like the Geni idea work to clean up both kinds of messes.

For the historic tree, starting a discussion, as Alex did, is (to my mind) the best way of calling attention to the need for sorting things out. In this case, figuring out the real sources for the claim "THIS Halfdan was the son of THAT Ragnar".

The Ragnar discussions became a bit heated - most of the participants share the vision that the Ragnar profile should reflect what's known about him - but they had some strong disagreements on *how* to get there, and had the debate where you could see it.

Calling this a "conspiracy" is misleading - it's the opposite of conspiracy. Open discussions may be painful to watch at times - but having the discussions in the open is letting the light in.

Now returning the discussion to focusing on Halvdan maybe-Ragnarsson....

10/29/2015 at 5:50 AM

WRT Halfdan, the identity of the Irish one and the Ragnar one is probably related to this sentence from Halfdan's wikipedia page:

"Following the conquest of East Anglia Ivar apparently left the Great Heathen Army – his name disappears from English records after 870.[11] However, he is generally considered to be identical to Ímar, a Norse King of Dublin who died in 873 and established a dynasty whose members ruled much of the Irish Sea region during the Viking Age.[16]"

The reference for "generally considered" (16) goes to page 96 of "Woolf, Alex, The Age of the Sea-Kings: 900–1300 in Omand, Donald (ed.) (2006) The Argyll Book, Birlinn, ISBN 978-1-8415-8480-5".

Disentangling and sourcing these claims may require finding the book.

10/29/2015 at 8:00 AM

Page 95 of Alex Woolf,s book says...Ui Imair claim descent from Imar (known to the Icelanders as Ivarr the Boneless). It is online at Academia.com. Once again the word"claim".

Private User
10/29/2015 at 8:28 AM

@Alex Moes [Moeskoecker] the letters TH do NOT fall under the Icelandic rules of writing. And me being reluctant to what you so "oddly" call to "join a collaborative genealogy website" is simply because you clearly don't have a clue in what you are doing and after having observed your attitude towards other members such as @Annette Guldager Boye I have no intentions nor do I take any pleasure in participating in arguments with people who have no sense of genealogy and what lies behind the hard work of other sincere Genealogists.

And if you are concerned over the fact that people are declining to collaborate with you on your projects – it´s simply not my problem and I am under no obligation to give you any information´s on Icelandic genealogy or mentoring you in any way.

And if you are in any way dissatisfied with not getting enough mentoring from those who are better than you in genealogy here on Geni, then surely you ought to be able to buy yourself a course in genealogy on the Internet.

Finally, since you insist on Icelandic spelling rules are to be adapted under the English spelling rules - And since I haven’t found out that there exist a rule here on Geni which requires all names and other written material that is recorded here on Geni should be governed by English spelling, I really would like you to explain to me what do you propose to be done with the rest of the Scandinavian spelling – or the Irish or Celtic spelling rules?

By the way! What are you going to do about the Asian writing rules, since you insist on that the Icelandic or Scandinavian alphabet has to go by English spelling rules?

10/29/2015 at 4:11 PM

Linda Irene Selleck
"claim" doesn't bother me at all, the whole point of the name "Ui Imair" is that it is a descendant indicator, Woolf's statement is like saying that clan MacDonald claims descent from a ancestor named Donald. Obviously they do, whether there ever was a Donald or not is irrelevant (or in this case Imair).

What scares me about Woolf's sentence is the parentheses. Which Icelanders? How do they know it? The king of Spain "knew" that the Earth was flat, Columbus made him look a little silly.

10/29/2015 at 11:19 PM

(digression: the flat earth story was actually invented in the 1850s in order to make the Catholic Church look silly .... everyone educated knew the world was round; Columbus sailed based on a miscalculation of the circumference that said he'd be able to reach China before his food ran out.... so "everyone knew the world was flat" is actually an example of something "everyone knows" that isn't true .... how's that for recursive illusions?)

10/29/2015 at 11:22 PM


10/29/2015 at 11:27 PM

I don't know how much respect the theory holds but i have read recently a claim that Columbus had traveled to Iceland before his famous expedition and could quite reasonably have heard the sagas regarding Vinland at that time.
Which ties the whole thing back to the Icelanders!

10/30/2015 at 7:23 AM

It is also said that he had maps from his Father-in-law showing the new world. (He probably got them from those know it all Icelanders) Maybe we need someone in Iceland to join the project and do a little leg work.

10/30/2015 at 9:19 AM

"a brother of Ivar and Halfdan was in Wessex in Devon with twenty-three ships".

Someone must have mentioned this already, but I don't see it so I'll say it here too.

The usual reading of this passage is that this was part of the Great Heathen Army.

So a common interpretation is that if there is a kernel of truth behind the Ragnar legend this would be it. Three sons invading English to avenge their father.

10/30/2015 at 1:48 PM

Sithric Ivarsson,King of Dublin,is in some accounts called Sithric Halfdansson. Since Ivar is said to have been childless could this be a reference to his brother Halfdan ? Maybe Sithric was heir but not of the body?

10/30/2015 at 4:06 PM

LOL, now Justin is quoting me! Oh no, wait...

What year was the battle in Wessex? What year did Ivar Gudrodson die? Is the Ivar of the quote Ivar Gudrodson or Ivar Boneless? Are they the same person?

If the quote refers to Ivar Boneless then Halfdan is Halfdan Ragnarson not Halfdan Ivarsson.
If the quote refers to Ivar Gudrodson then Halfdan is Halfdan Gudrodson (not Ivarson) not Ragnarson.

If Ivar of the quote is both men, ie Ivar G = Ivar B then the tree needs a whole lot of merging (can someone else tell Anette please, i dont want to).

10/30/2015 at 4:11 PM

Linda, there is a reference to Sitric Ivarsson in the Annals of Ulster which reads "Sitriuc son of Imar killed by other Norsemen" which doesnt seem to leave much room for ambiguity.
Can you direct us to where he is called Sitric Halfdanson?

Showing 1-30 of 66 posts

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