King Bluetooth of Denmark
I am about to change your life.
Hence forth, every time you pair an earpiece to your cell or a Bluetooth speaker to your smart phone, you will think of your ancient Norse grandfather, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson.
You can call him King Harald or, as many did in his time, simply, Bluetooth.
Our relation to King Harald comes though the Murdock line – which flows through Ruth Althea Rowe Westover, wife to our William.
King Harald was king of Denmark and Norway way back in the 10th century, some 34 generations along our family lines. He is most famous for uniting the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway and for bringing Christianity to those regions during his reign.
What might we find in common with a European king?
Both Harald and his father, known as King Gorm the Old, founded the Jelling Stones.
These large boulders reside in the Denmark town of Jelling, where Harald was born.
Carved upon these massive rocks is a monument to the history of Denmark, marking the conversion of Denmark from Norse paganism to Christianity.
The stone put up by Gorm the Old tells the story of conversion in Denmark and the stone put up by Harald commemorates his parents, Gorm the Old and Thyra, his mother.
Imagine that! Some 34 generations and better than a thousand years separate us but even back then we have family doing family history.
The conversion of Harald to Christianity is legendary and, of course, is accompanied by a minor miracle.
He was taught by a priest named Poppa who challenged Harald to prove his faith in Christ. This Harald did by carrying a “great weight” of iron heated by fire without being burned.
This event, coupled with his own baptism, led Harald to exhume the bodies of his parents, who were buried in large earthen mounds that contained worldly treasures, after the pagan practices of tradition in Denmark.
He had their bodies reburied next to a church and then had the runestone in Jelling carved in their memory.
Runestones are large rocks with runic inscription that memorialize an event or important people.
They were a tradition for the 4th to the 12th centuries in Scandinavia. It was a way of marking history in the most permanent way possible. (Runes are symbols or letters commonly used on runestones. They derived from ancient Germanic languages that pre-dates the Latin alphabet).
As with many European kings of these generations King Harald spent much of his time in battle, defending his kingdom.
It was there that he was more commonly known as King Harald Bluetooth. Historians surmise that Harald must have had a conspicuous bad tooth that gave him the nickname. Some think Harold’s blue tooth came from eating too many blueberries or licorice.
Whatever – he had a blue tooth and it set him apart.
In 1997 the Bluetooth wireless standard was named after King Harald Bluetooth.
The technology was designed to unify different kinds of devices, much as King Harald Bluetooth united Denmark and Norway.
The modern Bluetooth logo is a combination of the two runic symbols for Harald’s initials, H and B.
Below is how we trace our genealogy to King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark:
34. (911) Harald Bluetooth Gormsson of Denmark/Queen Gynrith of Sweden (Denmark)
33. (967) Thorgil Sprakling/Sigrid Haraldsdottir (Sweden)
32. (980) Ulf Thorgilsson/Princess of Denmark Estrid Svendsdatter (Denmark)
31. (1022) Roger II de Montgomery/Mabel Talvas Belleme (France)
30. (1030) Eadnoth the Constable/Rissa De Montgomery (England)
29. (1048) Harding Mayor of Bristol/Livida de Meriet (England)
28. (1095) Robert FitzHarding/Eva Fitz Edmund (England)
27. (1130) Maurice FitzRobert/ Alice de Berkeley (England)
26. (1170) Thomas de Berkeley/ Joan de Somery (England)
25. (1218) Maurice de Berkeley/ Isabella Dover (England)
24. (1245) Thomas de Berkeley/Joan de Ferrers (England)
23. (1271) Sir Maurice de Berkeley/Eva la Zouche (England)
22. (1298) Maurice de Berkeley/Margaret De Vere (England)
21. (1331) Sir Thomas de Berkeley II/Katherine de Bottelcurt (England)
20. (1358) Sir Maurice Berkeley/Joan Dinham (England)
18. (1400) Maurice Berkeley (England)
17. (1433) William Berkeley Sir Knight/Anne Stafford (England)
16. (1470) Sir Richard Berkeley/Elizabeth Coningsby (England)
15. (1505) Sir Knight Maurice Berkeley/Katherine Blount (England)
14. (1550) Sir Francis Berkeley/Catherine Cusack (England)
13. (1592) George Crofton/Elizabeth Berkeley (Ireland)
12. (1631) John Crofton/Sarah Crofton (Ireland)
11. (1660) William Knox/Elizabeth Crofton (Ireland)
10. (1691) William Knox/Elizabeth (Scotland)
9. (1719) John Knox/Rachel Freeland (Massachusetts, USA)
8. (1739) James Campbell/Jane Knox (Massachusetts, USA)
7. (1779) William M. Campbell/ Elizabeth Curry (Pennsylvania, USA)
6. (1800) Levi Murdock/Elisabeth Campbell (Utah, USA)
5. (1826) William Rowe/Elizabeth Murdock (Utah, USA)
4. (1861) William R. Westover/Ruth Althea Rowe (Idaho, USA)
3. (1895) Arnold R. Westover/Mary Ann Smith (Washington, USA)
2. (1915) Leon A. Westover/Maurine Riggs (California, USA)
1. (1943) Kyle J. Westover/Susanne C. Begich (Utah, USA)
0. (1963) Me (Utah, USA)
Our Westover family is so interesting. It’s a shame my great grandma Julia sina westover didnt share more. But now we can explore!