September 25th, AD1066: Someone Needs to Guard the Boats!


September 25th, AD1066:  Someone Needs to Guard the Boats!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

Is “parking lot” duty important?  What if the “parking lot” is a coastal shoreline, and what is being “parked” there is an attack fleet of 300 Viking boats?

During the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25th of A.D.1066), the fighting was unusually deadly, especially for the attacking Norwegians and their allies.

Over 300 Viking ships carried the attacking Norsemen, to the English soil near Stamford Bridge, yet only 24 boats were needed to convey away the surviving invaders – which apparently consisted of about 8% of the invaders. Thus, the overwhelming majority of Norse attackers perished that day, so it was a rare privilege to be a surviving invader that day.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge, September 25th, 1066

[ JJSJ’s disclaimer:  real Vikings never had horns on their helmets, only Hollywood Vikings do that — elsewise this is a good illustration ]

Yet, thanks to God, 2 of the survivors would become part of the procreative lineages that converged, biogenetically speaking, in the procreation of the baby boy who one day would be famous as King James, sponsor of the King James Bible.

One of those survivors was PAUL (PÅL) THORFINNSSON, by Håkonsdottir, who would year later father Orkney’s earl HÅKON PAULSSON (born ~AD1070). The other was King Harald Hardrada’s son Olaf III (who later himself became a king of Norway), but Olaf III’s lineage is not now reviewed here.

In other words, we who have benefited from the English translation of the Holy Bible, known popularly as the “King James Bible” (or “King James Version”), can be grateful that Hardrada assigned “parking lot” duties to a few men, to guard those beached Viking boats.


Battle of Stamford Bridge   (Peter Nikolai Arbo painting)


Here is the biogenetic lineage from Aud Ketilsdottir unto King James, showing Paul Thorfinnsson’s place (as F7 descendant of Aud) therein.

P1 AUD (“the Deep-minded”, a/k/a “Unn”) KETILSDOTTIR, by king Olaf the White, is the Norse mother to THORSTEIN the Red.  (Olaf “the White”, a/k/a Anlaf Gothfrithson, was a Norse king of Dublin.)

F1 THORSTEIN the Red, by Thurid of Ossory, is father to GROA THORSTEINSDOTTIR (F2).

F2 GROA THORSTEINSDOTTIR, by Duncan of Caithness, is mother to GRELOD (F3); this is the same Groa who stayed behind in Orkney, marrying Duncan, as Aud’s extended family continued north, fleeing from Scotland to Iceland.

F3 GRELOD DUNCANSDOTTIR, by Orkney’s earl THORFINN (I) “Skull-splitter” EINARSSON, is mother to earl HLODVER (F4);  Grelod’s husband, Thorfinn I, was son of earl Turf-Einar (earl of Orkney), who was a son of Ragnvald “the Wise” of Møre.

F4 HLODVER THORFINNSSON, by Audna of Ireland, is father to earl SIGURD (II) “the Stout” Hlodversson (F5).

F5 SIGURD II, by Donada of Scotland, is father to earl THORFINN (II) “the Black” Sigurdsson (F6).

F6 THORFINN II, by Ingibjorg (“Earls’ mother”, and kin to Norway’s royal family) Finnsdottir, is father to earl PAUL (I) Thorfinnsson (F7).

F7 PAUL (PÅL) THORFINNSSON, by Håkonsdottir, is father to earl HÅKON Paulsson (F8), who was born ~AD1070, a few years after the deadly Battle of Stamford Bridge.


F9 INGIBJORG HÅKONSDOTTIR, by Olaf “the Red” (“Bitling”) Godredsson, is mother to RAGNHILD OLAFSDOTTIR (F10).

F10 RAGNHILD OLAFSDOTTIR, by Manx King SOMERLED, is mother to Angus Somerledsson. F1  Angus Somerledsson & wife Ragnhild of the Isles begat James (F11);

F11 James & wife (whose name is lost) begat Jean (F12);

F12 Jean & husband Alexander 4th High Steward begat James 5th High Steward (F13);

F13 James 5th High Steward & wife Cecilia begat Walter 6th High Steward (F14);

F14 Walter 6th High Steward & wife Marjorie begat Scotland’s king Robert II (F15);

F15 Robert II & first wife Elizabeth Mure begat John l/k/a Scotland’s king Robert III (F16);

F16 Robert III & wife Annabella Drummond begat Scotland’s king James I (F17);

F17 James I & wife Joan Beaufort[2] begat Scotland’s king James II (F18);

F18 James II & wife Mary of Gueldres begat Scotland’s king James III (F19);

F19 James III & wife Margaret of Denmark begat Scotland’s king James IV (F20);

F20 James IV & wife Margaret Tudor begat Scotland’s king James V (F21);

F21 James V & wife Mary of Guise begat Scottish queen Mary Queen of Scots (F22);

F22 Mary “Queen of Scots” & Henry (Lord Darnley) begat James VI, who later became “James I” (F23).

F23 King James (“King James Bible” sponsor), was Scotland’s “King James VI”, and later also became “King James I” of England, Wales, and Ireland.

[Today’s British monarchs descend from this same King James.  All of this genealogical data is thoroughly documented in Roderick W. Stuart’s classic Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Philippa (Genealogical Publishing Company, 2010, 4th ed.), and/or in Mike Ashley’s classic British Kings & Queens:  The Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of the Kings and Queens of Britain (Carroll & Graf, 1998); moreover, I must here give special thanks unto Dr. William R. (“Laird Bill”) Bill Cooper, Great Britain’s finest scholar, for mentoring me in the fascinating goldmines of biogenetic family history.]


Stamford Bridge battle reenactors   (York Press photograph)

As noted above, the Battle of Stamford Bridge was an enormous defeat for the Norse invaders, led by Norway’s Viking king Hararld Hardrada. Paul Thorfinnsson, with his brother Erlend, were then guarding the invading Vikings’ boats, along with Olaf (III) Haraldsson (i.e., King Harald Hardrada’s son), while Norway’s Viking king Harald “Hardrada” fought and died at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25th of AD1066).

Since this Paul Thorfinnsson and Olaf III Haraldsson are both ancestors of King James, their (joint) survival obviously affected world history, since the King James Bible’s impact (on world history) has been singular in publishing (and distribution) history  —  unsurpassed by any other translation of the Holy Bible, or by any other book, ever.  (And, ironically, the King James Bible (a/k/a “Authorized Version”) of A.D. 1611 was sponsored and promoted by King James (who was then King of England, Ireland, Scotland, and the rest of the British Empire), at a time in world history when it was often a capital crime, in many nations, to translate or to publish or to distribute or to read from a Bible that was translated into a common language.)

But hard copies of this English Bible now number in the billions (and that doesn’t include the electronic copies being viewed, daily on the Internet, around the world!), so it is not an exaggeration to say that the HOLY BIBLE, in this time-honored English translation, has been (and is) published and read by more humans than any other book in all of Earth’s history!

Yet consider how King James’ procreative existence, like that of us all), needed all of his ancestors, sequentially, in all of his biogenetic lineages.

In particular, Olaf III would not father his son Magnus (III) till ~AD1074, so the next biogenetic link in that King James lineage chain comes 7 years after Olaf III survived the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Also, Paul Thorfinnsson, by Ragnhild Håkonsdottir, fathered his son Håkon Paulsson ~AD1070  (i.e., ~4 years after Stamford Bridge), and thereby Paul contributed to the procreation of the next link in King James’ ancestral chain.

Therefore, we all can be thankful that God providentially managed the details of human history and geography, so that both Olaf III (Hardrada’s son) and Paul Thorfinnsson survived 9-25-AD1066 by at least long enough to extend their respective lineages to include (eventually) a common descendant, James Stuart ( I / VI ), who officially sponsored an “Authorized Version” of the Holy Bible, the “King James Bible” of A.D.1611.



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