Þorbjarnardóttir is probably one of the most important and
interesting persons in Icelandic history.
[The picture of jewellary was made by ?]
Þorbjörn Vífilsson and Hallveig Einarsdóttir
who lived at Laugarbrekka in Iceland were Guðríður´s
parents. We think it is interesting that Vífill (Þorbjörns
father) had come to Iceland with Auður djúpúðga (Aud
the Deep-Minded) as her slave but later he gained freedom.
Guðríður also spent a lot of time as a foster-daughter of
Orm and Halldís of Arnastapi.
was very beautiful and ďmost exceptional woman in every respectĒ and when
Guðríður stayed with her foster-parents, she met a guy.
He was a son of a slave but was successful in life. He got in love
with Guðríður and wanted to marry her but her father
didnít think this guy was good enough for her because he was a slave´s
son. [Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir, Kristín's
mother, took the picture at a viking festival in Haukadalur the summer
of 2000 and allowed us to use it.]
The voyage to Greenland
Guðríður´s father decided to take his family to
Greenland about a decade after
Eirikur the Red had moved to Greenland.
Ormur and Halldís, Guðríður´s foster-parents
went with them among many others. They got lost at sea and suffered
great hardship because the weather was terrible, which led to that many
people died, for example Ormur and Halldís. Then finally the
survivors made it to Greenland. Later Þorbjörn went to Eiríksfjörður
where Eiríkur the Red lived at Brattahlíð
and Eiríkur gave his friend Þorbjörn land at Stokkanes
in the same fjord.
Eirikurís son Thorsteinn who was considered the most promising man
in Greenland at that time married Guðríður and they lived
together in Lysufjord.
The second voyage
Thorsteinn and Guðríður went to Vinland
after Thorsteinnís brother Thorvaldur had been killed there by Skrælings
(i.e. the natives). They were at sea a whole summer and many died
of disease, including Thorsteinn. So now Guðríður
was suddenly a widow but that didnít last for long.
Guðríðurs travelling with Thorfinnur karlsefni
Thorfinnur karlsefni who was a wealthy merchant of royal descent
came to Greenland later. He and Guðríður fell in love
and soon got married.
wanted to go to Vinland, explore and see these countries that recently
had been discovered. In Vinland they stayed in the camp Leifur
the Lucky had built. They had a son the first winter there and
named him Snorri. Guðríður was the first Caucasian
mother in America and Snorri was the first Caucasian to be born there.
After three years in Vinland they left to Greenland because they didnít
get along with the Skrælings.
[This picture of Guðríður, Thorfinnur and Snorri was
made by Guðrún.]
They didnít stay in Greenland for long and sailed to Norway. After
one winter in Norway they went to Iceland. They settled in Glaumbaer
in Skagafjörður and made a home there.
After she became a widow again
Sadly Thorfinnur soon died and after that Guðríður gave
their son Snorri the farm. Guðríður was a Christian
and a very independent woman and she decided to go on pilagrimage to Rome.
When she came back, Snorri had built a church at Glaumbae so Guðríður
became a nun and stayed there as an anchoress for the rest of her life.
On the whole Guðríður was an extraordinary and unique
woman. She is also thought to be the woman who travelled most
widely at these times.