INGIBJORG WIFE OF KING MALCOLM III OF SCOTLAND

35 views
Skip to first unread message

Adrian Parry

unread,
Oct 3, 2008, 1:50:14 AM10/3/08
to Medieval List
I understand that Ingibjorg was the daughter of Earl Finn Arnason and that she was a widow when she married Malcolm II of Scotland in about 1059.

I would like to know, please, to whom she was first married.

Adrian
Yorkshire

Hovite

unread,
Oct 4, 2008, 12:35:55 PM10/4/08
to

You mean Malcolm III.

According to Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, Malcolm III's first
wife was Ingibiorg, daughter of Finn Arnesson of Vrjar, Jarl of
Halland, and widow of Thorfinn II, Earl of Caithness and Jarl of
Orkney.

The Complete Peerage (2nd edition) lists this Thorfinn, Jarl of Orkney
(in Norway) as 1st Earl of Caithness (in Scotland), so created by his
maternal grandfather Malcolm II about 1030.

wjc

unread,
Oct 4, 2008, 2:07:34 PM10/4/08
to

Adrian,

I show her first husband as Thorfinn Sigurdson, the Jarl of Orkney (d.
abt . 1065). Source: "Burke's Guide to the Royal Family", (London:
Burke's Peerage, 1973), p. 313.

I would also suggest probably the best internet site (thoroughly
researched and vetted)

Stewart Baldwin's "The Henry Project" at

http://sbaldw.home.mindspring.com/hproject/henry.htm

Hope this helps.

Bill

Zebedee

unread,
Oct 4, 2008, 8:11:25 PM10/4/08
to

Sometime before 1038, she married Thorfinn II "The Black" Sigurdsson,
the 3rd Earl of Orkney (1014-1065), my 29th great grandfather.
Andrew
Northampton

M.Sjostrom

unread,
Oct 5, 2008, 5:03:19 PM10/5/08
to gen-med...@rootsweb.com

I am curious to know: how can anyone claim direct descent from earl Thorfinn II ???
I have thus far had an impression that all proposed lineages from him, suffer from some point of non-attestation if near-contemporary documentation is required.

----

Genealogics presents Ingibiorg Finnsdottir:
http://genealogics.org/descend.php?personID=I00022597&tree=LEO

The Henry Project has her not very well detailed:
http://sbaldw.home.mindspring.com/hproject/prov/malco002.htm


wikipedia appears to have a relatively well compiled account of what is known about Ingibiorg Finnsdottir av Yrjar:

Ingibiorg Finnsdottir (Standard Old Norse: Ingibjörg Finnsdóttir) was a daughter of earl Finn Arnesson and Bergljot Halvdansdottir (Halfdansdottir), a niece of the Norwegian Kings Saint Olav and Harald Hardraade. The dates of Ingibiorg's life are not certainly known.

She married Thorfinn Sigurdson, Earl of Orkney. The Orkneyinga Saga claims that Kalf Arnesson, Ingibiorg's uncle, was exiled in Orkney after her marriage to Thorfinn. This was during the reign of Magnus the Good, son of Saint Olaf, who ruled from 1035 to 1047, and probably before the death of Harthacanute in 1042. Thorfinn and Ingibiorg had two known sons, Paal and Erlend, who fought in Harald Hardraade's ill-fated invasion of the Kingdom of England in 1066.

Ingibiorg remarried after Thorfinn's death (date unknown - possibly as early as in late 1050s). Her second husband was Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada), the King of Scots. Whatever the exact date of the marriage, Malcolm and Ingibiorg had at least one son, and probably two. The Orkneyinga Saga tells us that Duncan II of Scotland (Domnall mac Mail Coluim') was their son, and it is presumed that the "Domnall son of Máel Coluim, King of Scotland" whose death in 1085 is reported by the Annals of Ulster was their son too.

Ingibiorg is presumed to have died in around 1069 as Malcolm married Margaret, sister of Edgar Ætheling, in about 1070. It may be, however, that she died before Malcolm became king, as an Ingeborg comitissa appears in the Liber Vitae Ecclesiae Dunelmensis, a list of those monks and notables from whom prayers were said at Durham, alongside persons known to have died around 1058. If Ingibiorg was never Queen, it would help to explain the apparent ignorance of her existence displayed by Scots chroniclers.

----

Of Ingibiorg's maternal lineage, there's the problem of too tight chronology. Her mother is presented as daughter of king Harald Hardraade's elder brother... She is presented as having given birth to her Orkney sons who seemingly must have been adults or almost, before (their claimed great-great-uncle) king Harald Hardraade's last adventures and death.
This leads to natural caution in again accepting Norse legends...

----

Of Malcolm III's marriage, though seemingly no contemporary source identify it as Thorfinn's daughter as opposed to his widow, still there has long persisted an idea to that effect...


John P. Ravilious

unread,
Oct 5, 2008, 6:13:19 PM10/5/08
to
Sunday, 5 October, 2008


Dear M. Sjostrom,

There are two broad lines of descent claimed from Jarl
Thorfinn (aka Thorfinn II). One has many lacunae, that
being the descent of the Sinclair Earls of Orkney (later
Caithness) allegedly through Jarl Erlend II, Thorfinn's
younger son. See Scots Peerage under Caithness and
Orkney concerning the theories and evidence (scarce)
concerning the descent.

The other descent has been oft discussed on SGM,
that of the wife of Somerled from Jarl Thorfinn, as
follows:

1. Thorfinn II Sigurdsson, aka �orfinnr Sigur�arson
Jarl of Orkney, d. 1065 = Ingebj�rg Finnsd�ttir
2. Paul Thorfinsson, aka P�ll �orfinnsson
Jarl of Orkney, d. 1099 = Ragnhild Hakonsd�ttir
3. Haakon Paulsson, Jarl of Orkney, d. 1126
= Helga of Caithness
4. Ingebj�rg Hakonsd�ttir = Olaf Gudrodsson, aka 'Tit-bit'
aka Ol�fr Gu�r�arson, King of Man and the Isles,
d. 1153
5. Ragnhild of Man = Somerled, "lord of the Isles",
k. 1164

This line leads to Dougall and Ranald, sons of
Somerled and thereby to the MacDougalls of Lorne, the
MacDonalds and MacRuaries, and a host of British lines
thereafter. In 2004 evidence that the mother of
Ragnhild, Somerled's wife, was indeed Ingebjorg was
found by a correspondent of the late Brice Clagett,
my notes giving the following:

' ...a footnote (page 274 footnote 3) to Finnbogi
Gudmundsson's edition of the Orkneyinga Saga
(Reykjavik 1965). The footnote quotes from a ms.
called Holm, Isl. 39 fol. papp., in the Icelandic
collection of the Royal Library in Stockholm, which
contains a text of the Saga copied in 1615 from a
ms. of about 1300 which was destroyed in the
Copenhagen fire of 1728. Bob says that the Holm,
Isl. ms. is considered to have great authority
because of the early date of the ms. from which it
was copied. The footnote in question quotes a
passage from this document which says:
"Ragnhildis moder vaar Ingeborg Hagen Jarlis
Powelssons daatter." '

See the archives for Brice Clagett, "Somerled's
mother-in-law", SGM, 28 Sept 2004. This has since been
published by Andrew B. W. MacEwen [an article in West
Highland Notes and Queries, not seen], who concurs with
the validity of the relationship.

Cheers,

John


On Oct 5, 5:03�pm, "M.Sjostrom" <q...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I am curious to know: how can anyone claim direct descent from earl Thorfinn II ???
> I have thus far had an impression that all proposed lineages from him, suffer from some point of non-attestation if near-contemporary documentation is required.
>
> ----
>
> Genealogics presents Ingibiorg Finnsdottir:http://genealogics.org/descend.php?personID=I00022597&tree=LEO
>
> The Henry Project has her not very well detailed:http://sbaldw.home.mindspring.com/hproject/prov/malco002.htm
>
> wikipedia appears to have a relatively well compiled account of what is known about Ingibiorg Finnsdottir av Yrjar:
>

> Ingibiorg Finnsdottir (Standard Old Norse: Ingibj�rg Finnsd�ttir) was a daughter of earl Finn Arnesson and Bergljot Halvdansdottir (Halfdansdottir), a niece of the Norwegian Kings Saint Olav and Harald Hardraade. The dates of Ingibiorg's life are not certainly known.


>
> She married Thorfinn Sigurdson, Earl of Orkney. The Orkneyinga Saga claims that Kalf Arnesson, Ingibiorg's uncle, was exiled in Orkney after her marriage to Thorfinn. This was during the reign of Magnus the Good, son of Saint Olaf, who ruled from 1035 to 1047, and probably before the death of Harthacanute in 1042. Thorfinn and Ingibiorg had two known sons, Paal and Erlend, who fought in Harald Hardraade's ill-fated invasion of the Kingdom of England in 1066.
>

> Ingibiorg remarried after Thorfinn's death (date unknown - possibly as early as in late 1050s). Her second husband was Malcolm III (M�el Coluim mac Donnchada), the King of Scots. Whatever the exact date of the marriage, Malcolm and Ingibiorg had at least one son, and probably two. The Orkneyinga Saga tells us that Duncan II of Scotland (Domnall mac Mail Coluim') was their son, and it is presumed that the "Domnall son of M�el Coluim, King of Scotland" whose death in 1085 is reported by the Annals of Ulster was their son too.
>
> Ingibiorg is presumed to have died in around 1069 as Malcolm married Margaret, sister of Edgar �theling, in about 1070. It may be, however, that she died before Malcolm became king, as an Ingeborg comitissa appears in the Liber Vitae Ecclesiae Dunelmensis, a list of those monks and notables from whom prayers were said at Durham, alongside persons known to have died around 1058. If Ingibiorg was never Queen, it would help to explain the apparent ignorance of her existence displayed by Scots chroniclers.

M.Sjostrom

unread,
Oct 5, 2008, 7:04:07 PM10/5/08
to gen-med...@rootsweb.com

I have been aware of the 'great' find of Copenhagen. That parentage is of course *possible* - I understand McEwen has not more than it's possible, not going to confirm it really fully proven.
Namely, however, the Man Chronicle, which apparently did not mention Ingibiorg Haakonsdottir of Orkney specifically, states that king Amhlaib's (Olav) other children, including Raghnailt inghen Amlaibh, king Somhairle's wife, were by concubines, only his eldest son Godfraid mac Amhlaib being born of the sole chronicle-mentioned wife, Aufreca.

It must be asked whether a high-born wife, Ingibiorg Haakonsdottir of Orkney, would have really treated as a concubine....
So, the worse scenario is that Raghnailt was born of some concubine, and not Ingibiorg who was a wife.... And there vanishes the blood descent.

Had Raghnailt been Ingibiorg's daughter, still we have a small uncertainty whether the requisite lineage from Somhairle really descended from her...

And, by the way, the Copenhagen find is NOT a near-contemporary evidence, but (as of 1300 CE) is separated by more than a century from Raghnailt herself.
Also, the lineage from kinglet Somhairle to contemporaneously-attested later lords of the Isles pass through a few generations which are lineated in folklore-like things and not in contemporary material.
Thus, this lineage seemingly lacks real contemporary evidence in a few key points.


---

Earls of Orkney to the Strathearn-Sinclair family:
The Angus dynasty of Orkney really lacks a contemporary attestation of its descent link from the Norse earls of Orkney.
And the Strathearn family lacks a contemporary attestation of the precise parentage of its ancestress who they claim to have passed the blood descent from Norse earls of Caithness and Orkney...
I remind of the possibility that in scandinavian inheritance system, in certain situations blood relatives from the other side of ancestry than the side where a succession came, were possible heirs. Succession to Orkney lands as some sort of cousin does not thus guarantee that the successor-cousin was descendant of so-called 'original grantee'... The blood link may have been lost.

---

so, is there really any reliably-attested descents from Thorfinn II ???


John P. Ravilious

unread,
Oct 5, 2008, 7:40:02 PM10/5/08
to
Dear M

Having spoken with Andrew MacEwen on the subject since the
publication of this article, I do understand he accepts the
relationship as I indicated in my earlier post. The evidence in hand
is likely all there is, so establishing anything re: these generations
as 'proven' is unlikely: 'accepted' is as close as we can expect (or
'not accepted', for that matter).

As to the individuals in question, you wrote in part,

> It must be asked whether a high-born wife, Ingibiorg Haakonsdottir of Orkney, would have really treated as a concubine....
> So, the worse scenario is that Raghnailt was born of some concubine, and not Ingibiorg who was a wife.... And there vanishes the blood descent.

END QUOTE

That Ragnhild, wife of Somerled, is identified in the Man
Chronicle as the child of a concubine, and not by Olaf's wife Aufrica
of Galloway, is actually not problematic, and agrees with the
information in hand. Ingebjorg or Ingibiorg likely would have been a
concubine of Olaf: from the Orkneyinga Saga we learn,

" WHEN Earl Hakon ruled over the Orkneys there lived a noble
and wealthy man, by name Maddan, at Dal (Dale), in Caithness.
His daughters were Helga and Frakork Thorleif. Helga,
Maddan's daughter, was the concubine of Earl Hakon, and
their son was Harald, who was called Slettmali (smooth-talker),
and their daughter was Ingibiorg, who was married to Olaf
Billing (little bit), the King of the Sudreyar. " [Ork. Saga, chapter
XLV]

So Ingibjorg was the illegitimate daughter of Jarl Haakon, and in
fact not 'high-born'. The same account states the Ingibjorg was
married to King Olaf, but the Man Chronicle indicates that only
Aufrica was the wife (i.e. married to) King Olaf. I see no reason to
disagree with the Man Chronicle on this point, which would identify
the illegitimate Ingibjorg as the concubine (or a concubine) of Olaf.

Cheers,

John

t...@clearwire.net

unread,
Oct 5, 2008, 9:53:48 PM10/5/08
to
On Oct 5, 4:40 pm, "John P. Ravilious" <ther...@aol.com> wrote:

>      So Ingibjorg was the illegitimate daughter of Jarl Haakon, and in
> fact not 'high-born'.

I am not sure that in the eyes of Scandinavians of the time, high
birth status necessarily was linked to the marital status of the
parents. Certainly there are other examples where even kings married
the 'illegitimate' daughters of other kings.

taf

Adrian Parry

unread,
Oct 6, 2008, 1:43:53 AM10/6/08
to gen-med...@rootsweb.com
Thank you for your e-mail and the information contained therein.

I do not in any way claim to be descended from Earl Thorfinn. I am interested in him because of his having married Ingibjorg.

Adrian


----- Original Message -----
From: M.Sjostrom
To: gen-med...@rootsweb.com
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 10:03 PM
Subject: INGIBJORG WIFE OF KING MALCOLM III OF SCOTLAND

I am curious to know: how can anyone claim direct descent from earl Thorfinn II ???
I have thus far had an impression that all proposed lineages from him, suffer from some point of non-attestation if near-contemporary documentation is required.

----

Genealogics presents Ingibiorg Finnsdottir:
http://genealogics.org/descend.php?personID=I00022597&tree=LEO

The Henry Project has her not very well detailed:
http://sbaldw.home.mindspring.com/hproject/prov/malco002.htm


wikipedia appears to have a relatively well compiled account of what is known about Ingibiorg Finnsdottir av Yrjar:

Ingibiorg Finnsdottir (Standard Old Norse: Ingibjörg Finnsdóttir) was a daughter of earl Finn Arnesson and Bergljot Halvdansdottir (Halfdansdottir), a niece of the Norwegian Kings Saint Olav and Harald Hardraade. The dates of Ingibiorg's life are not certainly known.

She married Thorfinn Sigurdson, Earl of Orkney. The Orkneyinga Saga claims that Kalf Arnesson, Ingibiorg's uncle, was exiled in Orkney after her marriage to Thorfinn. This was during the reign of Magnus the Good, son of Saint Olaf, who ruled from 1035 to 1047, and probably before the death of Harthacanute in 1042. Thorfinn and Ingibiorg had two known sons, Paal and Erlend, who fought in Harald Hardraade's ill-fated invasion of the Kingdom of England in 1066.

Ingibiorg remarried after Thorfinn's death (date unknown - possibly as early as in late 1050s). Her second husband was Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada), the King of Scots. Whatever the exact date of the marriage, Malcolm and Ingibiorg had at least one son, and probably two. The Orkneyinga Saga tells us that Duncan II of Scotland (Domnall mac Mail Coluim') was their son, and it is presumed that the "Domnall son of Máel Coluim, King of Scotland" whose death in 1085 is reported by the Annals of Ulster was their son too.

Ingibiorg is presumed to have died in around 1069 as Malcolm married Margaret, sister of Edgar Ætheling, in about 1070. It may be, however, that she died before Malcolm became king, as an Ingeborg comitissa appears in the Liber Vitae Ecclesiae Dunelmensis, a list of those monks and notables from whom prayers were said at Durham, alongside persons known to have died around 1058. If Ingibiorg was never Queen, it would help to explain the apparent ignorance of her existence displayed by Scots chroniclers.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages