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Thread: Leif Erikson and Erik The Redson

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    Leif Erikson and Erik The Redson

    I am told by my family on my Norwegian side, which we do have the last name of Ericson (EriKson, however) told I am a direct descendent of Leif and Erik. They were from ages ago, if I am, what tribe were they? Is it possible I am? It's a great myth in my family and all my Norwegian-parts of my family have very Nordic features just like a statue of Leif I have seen, but those genes coulden't survive that long, and like Erik the Redson, people say I have the most vibarent red hair they have ever seen. Thanks for the help!

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    In the Viking age, people didn't inherit surnames like we do now. Children had the surnames of their father's first name. Ie Leif Eriksson's children would have the surname Leifsson or Leifsdottir. They still have this tradition on Iceland, which was Eriksson's birthland, and in Scandinavia until 1700-1800s I think.

    The statues of Leif were probably made in the 1800s-1900s, so they had really no idea of what Leif looked like except hair colour maybe.

    I wouldn't give much validity to old family myths, and it is quite impssobile to trace ones ancestry back to the Viking age, since there is practically no written sources from that time.

    But it is not impossible that hundred of thousands of people in Iceland and Norway share some sort of ancestry with Leif Eriksson, just like many do with Genghis Khan and in Sweden Gustav Vasa.

    The name Eriksson, though, would in modern times be most common in Iceland and Sweden, the Norwegians and Danes use the form Eriksen.

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    From Wikipedia:
    Leif Ericson had two brothers, Thorvald and Thorsteinn, and one half sister, Freydís. He married a woman named Thorgunna, and they had one son, Thorkell Leifsson.
    So he did have a son, who I have heard elsewhere also had children, and that there are Icelanders today descended from them. So, it is quite possible that, if Leif the Lucky has descendants today, you could be one of them. That's not saying a whole lot, really, because when you go that far back, you have a very large number of antecedents. Here, to give you an idea, is how many parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. we all have, and how long ago they likely were born:

    1 self
    2 parents, born 20-40 years before
    4 grandparents, born 40-80 years before
    8 great grandparents, born 60-120 years before
    16 great great grandparents, born 80-160 years before
    32 ggg grandparents, born 100-200 years before
    64 gggg, born 120-240 years before
    128 ggggg, born 140-280 years before
    256 ggggg g, born 160-320 years before
    512 ggggg gg, born 180-360 years before

    1024 ggggg ggg, born 200-400 years before
    2048 ggggg gggg, born 220-440 years before
    4096 ggggg ggggg, born 240-480 years before
    8192 11g, born 260-520 years before
    16,384 12g, born 280-560 years before
    32,768 13g, born 300-600 years before
    65,536 14g, born 320-640 years before
    131,072 15g, born 340-680 years before
    262,144 16g, born 360-720 years before
    524,288 17g, born 380-760 years before

    1,048,576 18g, born 400-800 years before
    2,097,152 19g, born 420-840 years before
    4,194,304 20g, born 440-880 years before
    8,388,608 21g, born 460-920 years before
    16,777,216 22g, born 480-960 years before
    33,554,432 23g, born 500-1000 years before
    67,108,864 24g, born 520-1040 years before
    134,217,728 25g, born 540-1080 years before
    268,435,456 26g, born 560-1120 years before
    536,870,912 27g, born 580-1160 years before

    1,073,741,824 28g, born 600-1200 years before
    2,147,483,648 29g, born 620-1240 years before
    4,294,967,296 30g, born 640-1280 years before
    8,589,934,592 31g, born 660-1320 years before
    17,179,869,184 32g, born 680-1360 years before
    34,359,738,368 33g, born 700-1400 years before
    68,719,476,736 34g, born 720-1440 years before
    137,438,953,472 35g, born 740-1480 years before
    274,877,906,944 36g, born 760-1520 years before
    549,755,813,888 37g, born 780-1560 years before

    1,099,511,627,776 38g, born 800-1600 years before

    Yes, it's a mathematical certainty that you have over a trillion greatx38 grandparents. It is just as certain that there were never so many people on the earth, so we're all inbred to a degree. Now, when you consider that Leifr Eiríksson was born 1040 years ago, and if we assume that his descendants mostly remained in the area of the Old Norse civilization, it's quite possible that any given Norwegian or Icelander is related to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew man View Post
    I am told by my family on my Norwegian side, which we do have the last name of Ericson (EriKson, however) told I am a direct descendent of Leif and Erik. They were from ages ago, if I am, what tribe were they? Is it possible I am? It's a great myth in my family and all my Norwegian-parts of my family have very Nordic features just like a statue of Leif I have seen, but those genes coulden't survive that long, and like Erik the Redson, people say I have the most vibarent red hair they have ever seen. Thanks for the help!
    Eriksson comes from "the son of Erik" (or Eiríkur), since originally Nordic people did not have last names at all, if your fathers first name war Erik, you would be Eriksson.

    Eric the Reds real name was Eiríkur Rauđi, and he was not named Eric the Redson, as Red was a descriptive term added to his name, kind of like "Joe the Tall", or "Jack the Short". Eric had red hair. That was all. Since red hair is common here, I would guess his hair must have been VERY red, for people to call him so.

    Because Eriksson just means "son of Eric", many unrelated people share the name "Ericson", as they just converted their dads "Nordic style" last name into a European-mainland-ized lastname, to be shared by the whole family, unlike Nordic lastnames, which are individual, at some point in time, which does not mean those Erics were related. So your name could indicate a variety of sources. Icelanders still use the Nordic form of surnames, except for a minority of families who have taken up Europeanized lastnames, most of whom are partially Danish by blood.

    If you are not of Icelandic descent, you being related to Leif or Eric is impossible as far as I know, but I could be wrong. Leif and Eric, their real nameas being Leifur and Eiríkur to be correct and accurate, were Icelanders, not Norweigans. In Iceland there are many proven relatives of Leif and Eric, many of whom have kept records of their family going back for over a thousand years. In fact, nearly everyone in Iceland is related to Leifur Eiríksson via siblings and so on, although fewer people are direct descendants of his, though that is not uncommon at all. For Icelandic people this is very easy to trace, with the help of a government search machine that hosts the family tree of every single Icelander, called Islendingabok, found at : http://www.islendingabok.is/IServlets/English.jsp If you are Icelandic, you are given free access and your own unique passport to look up your own family tree, many of its branches going back over a thousand years.

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