Harald I ‘Bluetooth’ Gornsson b 911, King of Denmark










Harald I “Bluetooth” was born circa 911, in Jelling, Denmark to Gorm, “the Old,” King of Denmark Gormsson, and Thyra Dannebod. He married Gyrid Olafsdottir of Sweden, who was the daughter of King Olof Björnsson of Sweden and Queen Ingeborg Thrandsdotter.and was a Swedish princess and a Danish queen consort. She was born on January 11 925, in Blauzahn, Duitsland, Sweden..

The first documented appearance of Harald’s nickname “Bluetooth” is in the Chronicon Roskildense  written ca. 1140. The traditional explanation is that Harald must have had a conspicuous bad tooth that appeared “blue.”

Harald and Gyrid had four children:

  • Håkon Haraldsson
  • Gunhild Haraldsdottir
  • Thyra Haraldsdottir
  • Sveyn I ‘Forkbeard’ Haraldsson, King of Denmark and England

Harald’s father, King Gorm, was so fierce a follower of the Germanic god Odin that when he invaded Friesland in 934, he demolished Christian churches in the process.  Shortly after that he came up against the German king, Henry I (Henry the Fowler); and when Henry defeated Gorm, he forced the Danish king not only to restore those churches but to grant toleration to his Christian subjects. Gorm did what was required of him,  died a year later leaving his kingdom to his son Harald.

Harald set out to continue his father’s work of unifying Denmark under one rule, and he succeeded very well. To defend his kingdom he strengthened existing fortifications and built new ones. He also supported the new policy of toleration for Christians, allowing Bishop Unni of Bremen and Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Corvey to preach the gospel in Jutland. Harald and the bishop developed a cordial working relationship.

Jelling Stones

During his reign, Harald oversaw the reconstruction of the Jelling runic stones, and numerous other public works. The most famous was fortifying the fortress of Aros (nowadays Aarhus, capital of Jutland) which was situated in a central position in his kingdom in the year 979. Some believe these projects were a way for him to consolidate economic and military control of his country and the main

city. The main focus was the construction of five Ring forts which were built in strategic locations. All five fortresses had similar designs: “perfectly circular with gates opening to the four corners of the earth, and a courtyard divided into four areas which held large houses set in a square pattern.”   


The Ravning bridge

Harald also constructed the oldest known bridge in southern Scandinavia, the 5-metre (16 ft) wide and 760-metre (2,490 ft) long Ravning Bridge at Ravning meadows.




As absolute quiet prevailed throughout the interior, Harald was able to turn his thoughts to foreign enterprises. Again and again he came to the help of Richard I of Normandy, also known as “Richard the Fearless of Normandy” in the years 945 and 963.During these years Richard involved himself with the politics of northern France and petty wars with very little positive results.

Also during this quiet period,  Harald Greycloak, grandson of Harald “Fairhair,” become King of Norway.  His mother was Gunnhild Gormsdatter, the sister of King Harald Bluetooth Harald Greycloak ,and his brothers allied with their uncle, King Harald Bluetooth, against King Haakon I of Norway. They fought several major battles against King Haakon and eventually killed him.

After King Haakon’s death, Harald Greycloak and his brothers became kings of Norway, but they had little authority outside Western Norway. In 961 their uncle King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark traveled to Norway and declared Harald Greycloak to be his vassal (subordinate). King Harald Greycloak was assassinated in 970 and Harald Bluetooth become ruler of Norway. His rule was tenuous and most likely lasting for no more than a few years.

The spread of Christianity occurred intermittently. Danes encountered Christians when they participated in Viking raids from the 9th century to the 1060s. Danes were still tribal in the sense that local chiefs determined attitudes towards Christianity and Christians for their clan and kinsmen. Bringing Christian slaves or future wives back from a Viking raid brought large numbers of ordinary Danes into close contact with Christians for perhaps the first time.

Christianity only gained a strong hold in Denmark following the baptism of King Harald Initially, Harald had remained pagan, although he had allowed public preaching by Christian missionaries as early as 935. Around 960, Bluetooth converted to Christianity, reportedly when the Frisian monk Poppo held a fire-heated lump of iron in his hand without injury. Harald’s daughter, Gunhilde, and his son, Sweyn Forkbeard were also baptized. One consequence of his conversion is that Danish kings abandoned the old royal enclosure at Jelling and moved their residence to Roskilde on the island of Zealand.

When Harald’s father, Gorm “The Old” died he was buried in a mound with many goods, after the pagan practice. After his conversion, around the 960s, Harald had his father’s body reburied in the church next to the now empty mound. He had the Jelling stones erected to honour his parents King Harald “Blue Tooth” died in 968..

The biography of Harald Bluetooth is summed up by this runic inscription from the Jelling stones:

“King Harald bade these memorials to be made after Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. The Harald who won the whole of Denmark and Norway and turned the Danes to Christianity.”

Harald passed away on November 1 986, at age 75 in Gormshoj, Jellinge, Vejle, Denmark and was buried at Roskilde, Roskilde Kommune, Sjælland, Denmark




Relationship Report


John Edward BLACK


Harald “Bluetooth” GORMSSON King of Denmark b.911


 Harald “Bluetooth” GORMSSON King of Denmark is the 35th great-grandfather of John Edward BLACK.

 Lines of Descent from

Harald “Bluetooth” GORMSSON King of Denmark

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Harald “Bluetooth” GORMSSON King of Denmark b.911


Earl William DE WARRENE b.950

Ranulph Hugh DE WARENNE I b.998

Roger I DE MORTIMER b.1020

Lord of Montgomery Ralulph DE MORTIMER b.1055

Hawise MORTIMER b.1078

Mathilde (BOISE) PICQUIGNEY b.1100

Euphemia of D’Aumale CROSEBI b.1135

Lord William DE BRUCE III b.1158

Lord Robert “the Noble” DE BRUCE IV b.1190

Lord Robert DEBRUCE b.1210

Earl Robert Vi DE BRUCE VI Lord of Annandale b.1243

Christina BRUCE b.1273

Alexander DE SETON I b.1288

Lady Margaret SETON BARONESS SETON b.1314

Christina SETON b.1340

Lady Marjorie DUNBAR Countess Of Crawford b.1389


Elizabeth LINDSAY b.1426

Marjory MURE b.1433

Elizabeth ROSS b.1447

Lady Elizabeth SEMPILL b.1465

John MURE b.0

Alison MUIR b.1480

John ECCLES b.1500

John ECCLES 7th Laird of Kildonan b.1540

John ECCLES 8th Laird of Kildonan b.1573

Gilbert ECCLES b.0

John ECCLES b.1630

Jane ECCLES b.1653

William BLACK b.1696

William BLACK b.1744

William Young BLACK b.1784

George BLACK b.1823

Nephi James BLACK b.1870

Reuben Edward BLACK b.1901

John Edward BLACK