NAME Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir [GUDRIDUR THORBJARNARDOTTIR] TIME Around the year 1000 PLACES Born in Iceland, lived in Iceland, Greenland and Vinland (North America) STORY Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir was born at Laugarbrekka in Hellnar in the last decade of the ninth century. Her parents were Þorbjörn Vífilsson and Hallveig Einarsdóttir. Guðríður's grandfather, Vífill, was conquested in the western ocean and was subservient before Auður djúpúðga released him. Then he went with Auður to Iceland and she gave him Vífilsdalur, which was a valley she owned. Hallveig's father was Einar Sigmundsson from Laugarbrekka.
Guðríður was an emphatic woman and very wise. On early age she was sent in fostering to a couple called Ormur and Halldís on Arnarstapi. On the farm she did some housework and cooking. One autumn, a young man called Einar Þorgeirsson came to the farm with some goods to sell and he saw the beautiful, young woman that was Guðríður. He wanted to marry her so Ormur asked Guðríður´s father if Einar could have his daughter but Þorbjörn said no because Einar Þorgeirsson´s grandfather was a former slave.(But so was Þorbjörn himself also!)
Eiríkur the Red, a friend of Þorbjörn, had moved to Greenland and he told everyone that the land was very beautiful and promising, so people would move there. Þorbjörn decided to move to Greenland with his family and friends.
One time on Greenland, when people had come together to hear Þorbjörg lítilvölva foretell, she needed help. Inspite of Guðríður's Christianity, she helped Þorbjörg to commit a unchristian act by performing a poetry. Halldís, her foster, had taught her so the poem was very well performed.
Þorsteinn, Eirikur the Red's son, married Guðríður in Greenland and he was supposed to be of very good calibre. They lived in Lýsufjörður which was in the Western Settlement of Greenland. Þorsteinn had heard about Vineland and he wanted to go there. He and Guðríður went along with many people, but they didn´t reach the final destination and took land on Greenland again. They had to stay as guests at a farm. Many people there got sick, including Þorsteinn Eiríksson and he died of his illness. After Þorsteinn´s dead Guðríður went to Þorsteinn's brother, Leifur, at Brattahlíð in Greenland. There met she a rich grocer, Þorfinnur karlsefni, who had recently come from Iceland. He proposed to Guðríður and they married. Þorfinnur had also heard about Vineland and he wanted to go there. Guðríður went with him and their journey was very successful. When they got to Vineland they camped and stayed there. The first winter they had a son who was called Snorri, he is supposed to be the first European child to be born in the Western World (i.e. North America). After three years they moved back to Greenland because American Indians were always attacking them. They stayed not for a long time on Greenland. Þorfinnur and Guðríður sailed to Norway and stayed there for a one year.
After that they sailed to Iceland and settled down in Glaumbær in Skagafjörður. Karlsefni died soon after they had arrived to Iceland. Guðríður and her son, Snorri, took over the farm. Guðríður gave Snorri the farm and went by herself to Rom in a pilgrimage. But that relish very good achievement for a woman on this time. When she came back to Iceland Snorri had build a church in Glaumbær and Guðríður became a nun for the last years of her life.
MONUMENT The 25th of June 2000 the President of Iceland, Mr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, exposed a monument in memory of this great and strong woman. The monument stands at the old Laugarbrekka, in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.