Ketill Flatnose Bjornsson - Ketil Flatnose

Started by Andrew Ross on Monday, December 7, 2020
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12/7/2020 at 7:14 PM


In profile for Ketil Flanose (810-880) his place of death is listed as Dunfermline, Scotland (United Kingdom).

Is there an available information source for this claim?

Dunfermline did not come into existence until the 11th century.

Andrew Ross

12/7/2020 at 9:41 PM

Also, people pretty sensitive about "(United Kingdom)" when that's inappropriate! Happens all the time...
Perhaps the use of 'present' could become general.

Private User
12/8/2020 at 4:41 AM

There is no proven place of death that I know of. It is theorized to be the area of Scotland NOW known as Dunfermline.

12/9/2020 at 3:09 PM

Reference to the United Kingdom should be deleted.

The Abbey at Dunfemline is very old and was founded in 1128.

St. Margaret was buried there even earlier in 1093.

However, that's 200 years after Ketil passed away and on the opposite side of Scotland. So, the location does not make much sense.

Private User
12/10/2020 at 8:17 PM

Very good information Andrew Ross. Thank you and Daphne Jay Bell as I agree with the United Kingdom designation though it is only to make the location more recognizable. . The Dunfemline information appears to be assumptions. I will see what I can do to update that on the page.

Private User
12/10/2020 at 8:47 PM

Site will not allow simply 'Scotland' as place of death. Automatically adds 'United Kingdom' . Only way around it is to put 'Northern' in front of 'Scotland' which I believe is true and appropriate anyway. What do you think?

Private User
12/10/2020 at 8:51 PM

Now Geni lists birthplace as Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. Information I have found over time points to Mære, Nord-Trondelag, Norway. Your input everyone?

Private User
12/10/2020 at 9:11 PM

I am curious if Ketil Flatnose may have spent his final days at a place now called Kettletoft on the Island of Sanday in the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Kettletoft is old Norse meaning ""abandoned site of Ketils house" from the Norse topt.[12] The suffix -bister found in Sellibister and Overbister is from bólstaðr meaning "dwelling" or "farm".[12] Other common suffixes are -wick and -ness from the Norse vik and nes and meaning "bay" and "headland" respectively. Opinions? More information?,_Orkney

12/10/2020 at 10:53 PM

The Icelandic text in his "about me" (tagged as English :-( points out that his father was Bjørn Buna-Grimson, who was a chieftain in Sogn.

Mære was an important place in the Viking age, but it is rather far away from Sogn (it's near the bottom of the Trondheimsfjord). If you have a specific reference, I'm interested - otherwise, I think we should stay with Sogn.

12/11/2020 at 7:55 AM


Thank-you for the information regarding Ketil's house. I poked around a bit and found that Kitil may refer to:

Kettil may refer to:

Kettil Karlsson (Vasa) (1433–1465), Swedish clergyman and regent of Sweden under the Kalmar Union from February 1464 to August 1465

Kettil Runske, according to Olaus Magnus' Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555), the man who brought runes to humankind

Kettil Trout, North Norwegian chieftain from Ramsta (Hrafnista) in Hålogaland, from Icelandic saga Kettil Hoeng or Ketils saga hœngs

Private User
12/12/2020 at 1:42 PM

I am still poking around more also. It is in Ketil Flatnoses area whereas the others did not reside near but can't find anything specifically linking who exactly Kettletoft is named for. Keep me posted if you find definite. I believe the name specifically refers to a settlement with a home that belonged to someone named Ketil on the Isalnd rather than a place name in honor of a person.

Private User
12/12/2020 at 1:57 PM

I am a direct descendant by paper trail of Ketil Flatnose. He is my 29th Great Grandfather. I did ancestrycom DNA which shows I have ancestry to Sanday Island as well as MyTrueAncestry ancient DNA which shows I have ancestry to Sanday Island as well. I am thinking kettletoft may very well have been Ketil flatnoses home. I don't suppose there is any way to prove that. Certainly wont find any records with an address. Lol.

Private User
12/12/2020 at 2:05 PM

Oops, 28th Great Grandfather. The placename Kettletoft actually is old Norse and translates as "The old abandoned home of Kettle" rather than an honorarium to someone distant. The viking burial excavated on sanday point to an occupation period of ca.890 which is right in line with the time Ketil would have been there.

12/13/2020 at 11:26 AM

I see that Ketill's place of death has been changed to "Northern Scotland". Thank-you!!! That makes more sense as he was known as King of the Hebrides.

Sanday Island is not part of the Hebrides, but his Grandson was known to have fought beside and aligned with and a Jarl of Orkney. Of course there were many Norsemen in the Orkney's and a number of Ketill's too.

Private User
12/13/2020 at 1:34 PM

I knew he was in the Hebrides and Isle of man in his prime days but as the Scots rose up and began pushing the vikings out he may have moved to the more reinforced Orkney islands and vis a vis Sanday. He was determined to stay even as most of his family retreated to Iceland after the death of Thorstien the Red. Do you have any info, on the other Ketils living in Orkney you mentioned. I am not aware of them. Good discussion. Sharing info. helpful. What do you think of Caittel Find and his demise at the battle of Munster. Some say he is Flatnose Ketil. What do you think?

Private User
12/13/2020 at 2:01 PM

Wasn't the Orkneys one of the places his daughter Aud stopped when fleeing Scotland for Iceland?

J P Weyers
12/13/2020 at 10:02 PM

My 29th grandfather and one of the furthest back.
43 % Scandinavian atDNA mostly Norwegian and yDNA R-U106 possible Norwegian origin.
How good are his descandancy connections ?

12/14/2020 at 3:00 PM

Using reliable sources about the norwegian kings it is not possible to get further back than to Sverre I, King of Norway when using only persons that lived their life mainly in Norway.

If we're going outside Norway and using sources from Central Europe, it is possible to get back to Saint Olaf II, King of Norway and his father.

About the persons that lived before these two the sagas are thought to be untrustworthy and should not be a part of your tree if you want a tree with only trustworthy connections.

There are no trustworthy path back to Harald I "Fairhair", king of Norway and certainly not back to Ketill Flatnose Björnsson

There is a difference between what is written in the sagas and what is a trustworthy source genealogically.

12/14/2020 at 4:04 PM

Ketill Flatnose Bjornsson is my 35th great grandfather

12/14/2020 at 6:16 PM

Very astute comments, Remi Trygve Pedersen.

Sverre I, King of Norway is my 27th great grandfather. Through a pretty well-documented Norse to Scots line of kinship.

Saint Olaf II, King of Norway is my 29th great grandfather from Norway to Germany to Saxony, to Norway/Denmark, and to Scotland.

I feel that line is pretty well documented. Still working on some sources to make sure, but I woke one morning and most of this was on my tree. The miracle of Geni! I don't usually work that far back except in looking to see if I can help with finding duplicates to report or adding some source material I find by chance or even accident. I wish I knew enough to add to information on a regular basis.

I rely on the great curators here and others among the Geni family members who know a lot. I'll keep building the American tree and hope one day we can get that straight.

Takk så mye

Private User
12/14/2020 at 8:39 PM

I am somewhat new to Geni. Remi Trygve Pederson. As a curator you seem to be of the opinion Geni Master Profiles are not a reliable source of information. I could understand getting misinformation on an individuals tree but thought the Master Profiles were more trustworthy
This one for Ketil Flatnose list both his ancestors and descendants. Is this not good info.? I dont want to waste a lot of time on unsubstantiated conjecture.

J P Weyers
12/14/2020 at 9:10 PM

Tom - good and valid point .
A lot of MP profiles have incorrect information.
Have even seen a few MP profiles without any source .

12/14/2020 at 9:25 PM

In the old days - before relationship lock - Curators used to MP the bad duplicate as well as the good one - because that prevented them being merged into each other,

J P Weyers
12/14/2020 at 10:13 PM

Still believe any profile before 1900 should have at least one reliable source.All of us should try to stick to that rule.
Glitsches also often prevent one from completing a merge and then you move on leaving a mess.
e.g. Last week whenever I tried to resolve a conflict I would just get a blank screen

12/15/2020 at 9:04 AM

I just started following a discussion that Reijo Mitro Savola, Geni Curator started for adding sources to Finnish profiles - sort of a "challenge campaign" if I read it right (and trust me, my Finnish is a work in progress).

LÄHDETIETOHAASTE 2/2020 sort of translates into SOURCE INFORMATION CHALLENGE 2/2020.

I think that is clever and I have also noticed profiles in my Finnish line are gaining more sources, if just in the About section.

12/15/2020 at 1:32 PM

Private User unless a MP has been locked to prevent new connections anyone can attach ancestors or descendants to it. So a brilliantly crafted MP can have children that are less reliable and their children might be even less reliable and if each generation increases the possibility of a mistake then after 35 generations there is a good chance that someone at some point has introduced an error. Geni works on an honor system with the expectation that users will only add accurate information but one man's proof is another man's fantasy (to butcher a phrase).

12/15/2020 at 3:23 PM

Private User a MP'ed profiles are not a source at all, and the information on a MP is not good information unless there are sources telling us where the information came from or the curator (or the user the curator does the MP'ing for) have written a way to contact them so he/she can tell what the sources are.

When it comes to the persons like Ketil Flatnose he lived in a period where there were only spoken stories about them, all written information about him is written at least 250 years later.
Ari Thorgilsson lived 1067-1148 and wrote among other things and allthough english wikipedia in the article about Ketill Flatnose are calling the information for primary sources, none of the articles mentioned in the wiki are primary sources since all of them are written several hundred years after the events happened. is written between 1230 and 1260. is written in the 13th century. is written in the 13th century. is written late 12th century.

The same is true about every saga written by a Nordic author and about the Nordic people living before around 1200. All the information they have about persons from that period, specially the genealogical information, is by the historians working this timeperiod thought of as untrustworthy. That is also why we don't have a trustworthy line back through the kings of Norway further than Sverre I, King of Norway using only Nordic sources. By using sources from the old Duchy of Saxony where the daughter of St. Olav was married, Ulvhild Olavsdotter, it is possible to a line back to St. Olavs father Harald Grenske but the stories about him is probably not true and is thought to have been invented by Snorre Sturlasson or one of the writers Snorre used as his source. That he was an underking in Viken is probably also wrong, if he was an underking it was probably in Grenland. And his ancestry is probably completely unknown, and is thought to have been invented by Snorre to get St. Olav a connection back to Harald I "Fairhair", king of Norway.

So when reading the sagas you need to have some knowledge about what was the authors aganda about writing the sagas. The historians have found that the earliest sagas are probably more correct than the later ones. is written by Snorre and it's agenda is to connect the kings in Norway, Sweden and Denmark back Odin. It's main source is a poem written sometime between the 9th and the 12th century, noone knows for sure. Snorre embroidered the poem and wrote a saga based on the stories and persons in the poem. Snorre uses the version of the poem written by but have added information from writings of several wise men and he added is own tales and fabrications. Therefore, the persons may have existed, the stories about them and the events around them could be correct, most probably they are just good fabricated stories. And the genelogical information in these sagas are not to be seen as correct unless collaborated by another source written outside the Nordic countries. Therefore the viking and medieval historians in the Nordic countries have come to the conclusion that they are good stories, but not trustworthy as historical or genealogical information.

Take for instance the story about Olav I Tryggvason, King of Norway being raised in Russia. According to Snorre he came to Russia in 972 and Snorre writes much about the rulers in Holmgard (Veliky Novgorod) at the time. But compared to the russian sources about the same rulers it is shown that Snorre has missed bigtime and stating that Olav Tryggvason became a fosterchild of Valdemar (Vladimir) and his wife Allogia, bur the russian sources states that in 972 Vladimir was only 14 years of age, not married at all. Later Vladimir married several times, but never to a woman named Allogia or even close to that name. Snorre writes that Olav stayed with Vladimir and Allogia until he was 18 years old (born 963), and that it was piece and tranquility in Holmgard during this time. But the facts are that this timeperiod it was one of the most violent periods in the Rus kingdom's history. The historians have found out that Allogia probably is and infact is Vladimirs grandmother, and she didn't live in Holmgard, but in Kiev. The saga writers probably chose Vladimir and Olga as Olavs fosterparents in Russia due to they both became saints and at the time the sagas were written (around 1190) the icelandic sagawriters fought hard to get St. Olav to become a saint. The russian historians have also founf out that after Olav left Russiam he supposedly went to Vendland and met king Burisleiv and married his daughter Geira. But no Burisleiv with a daughter geira have existed in Vendland. So according to sources outside of the Nordic coutries, Snorre is untrustworthy when it comes to Olav Tryggvason childhood in Rus kingdom and in marrying a woman from Vendland. In fact, some historians think that Olav Tryggvason never was in Russia at all and that this part of the saga is a fabrication by Snorre et co.

So, yes, the sagas are good and interesting stories, but read them as such, as stories, not facts. The genealogies in them are not true, and many of the events are not true also. Keep this in mind.

Private User
12/15/2020 at 7:47 PM

Remi Trygve Pederson. Wow! What a great explanation! I cant argue with any of that. Thank you for taking the time and effort to make me understand this. I will be referring back to this in
the future. Sincerely Tom Kettles.

Private User
12/15/2020 at 7:50 PM

Alex Moes thank you once again for your clarification and assistance. Very helpful. Tom Kettles.

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