Hans Blix's Ancestors

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We wish to thank Åse for sharing the research done by genealogist Kaare Hasselberge, with us. 

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Laurits Magnusson Blix’s birth has been estimated as sometime between 1530 to 1550, but most researchers say he was born in 1545 in the Näskott parish in Faxnälden, Krokom, Jämtland, Sweden. His given name has been recorded as Laurits and Lauritz; his surname as Mogenssøn, Mogenssønn, Mogensen, and Magnusson, all ending with Blix. His father’s name has been recorded as Mogens Olofsson and Magnus Olsson Blix. One researcher believes his mother was Ingrid Hansdotter, but gives no supporting documentation, so her bio is not included here. The confusion arises because there were two churchmen named Laurits Magnusson/Mogenssøn Blix living in Jämtland at the time, whose fathers names were Mogens or Mans Blix, who had sons named Hans Lauritssøn Blix. Thus these two men were considered to be one man in the Danish Church History Collections. This has now been corrected, but which child belonged to which set of parents is still uncertain.

In his youth, Laurits Magnusson Blix served as a priest in Norway. In 1558 he was chaplain/curate for his father. By the mid 1560’s Laurits had married an unknown woman and they had at least one son, Mogens Lauritsen Blix, born about 1567 who became a priest, and died on December 26, 1629, of the same plague that killed his step-mother, Gulloug. We know that he was our Laurits’ sons, as he was mentioned in several letters and land deals, as being a brother, along with ancestor Hans Lauritssøn Blix, to his step-mothers children by her first marriage. Laurits and his first wife probably had other children, but none are known at this time.

In 1576 and 1578 he is mentioned as chaplain in Ovika, Jämtland. Sometime before 1583, Laurits’ first wife died and he married Gulloug Mogensdatter, a widow with at least eight children. Researchers believe they had at least another three children together. By the late 1580's he was pastor (parish priest/vicar) of the Rödön church and was considered one of the most prominent clergymen in the area. In 1591, he went to Oslo as a representative of his area and signed a document in support of King Christian IV. In the 1607 bilge accounts he is listed as Hr. Laurits Blix.

As the war between Denmark and Sweden seemed imminent, in 1610 he signed a proxy as Laurits Måns Blix, in support of his beloved king. He remained in Rödön until 1611, when he and his son, ancestor Hans, fled with many others to Trondheim, Norway. Jämtland was under Denmark’s control, and when the Swedes invaded in 1611, part of the country came under Swedish rule. (Jämtland and Herjedalen came permanently under Swedish rule in 1645 by the Peace of Brømsebo). When the war ended and peace was declared two years later in 1613, Laurits was called back to the Rödön church and served there until 1621. In 1617, he owned and occupied properties, some say it was a farm, in Åkeräng, Sunne.

According to his tombstone, Laurits Magnusson Blix died on June 21, 1621 on his farm in Åkeräng in Sunne. Some researchers say he actual died on June 16th, which seems to infer he was buried on the 21st. He is buried with his second wife Gullov. Their gravesite was found overgrown and hidden by the then dean Henning Tideman, in the Rödön Churchyard, east of the old church vestibule. The inscription on their tomb is difficult to translate precisely, but it tells us that Gulof Mognsdatters was indeed his wife and that Lauris Mognssøn formerly pastor of Roden who died blessed in the Lord on June 21 year of our Lord 1621 is buried there with her.

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Gulloug Mogensdatter’s given name has been listed by researchers as Gullov, Gollau, Gullog, Gulof, and Gollaug. Her surname has been reported as Magnusdatter and Mogensdotter. She is said to have been born anywhere from 1550 to 1561. Most researchers agree she was born in Jämtland, Sweden, but exactly where has been listed as Oviken, Undersåker, and Näskott, which are miles away from each other. This confusion arises because her parents have not been proven. All that is known for certain is that her father’s given name was Mogens, which sometimes was listed as Måns. This led researchers to believe Gullov was the daughter of Chaplain Mogens Jussesson of Oviken or Mogens Joensson of Faxnälden, Näskott, and his wife Elisabet Eriksdatter. If she was the daughter of Elisabet Eriksdatter, then Golloug and her second husband Laurits were second cousins and such were not allowed to marry. After researching both families in detail, most researchers agree that she was the daughter of Chaplain Mogens Jussesson of Oviken, based on the fact that additional relationship and location issues arise if she was the daughter of Mogens Joensson of Näskott. But there is no proof that this is correct, so for this researcher the line ends with Gulloug. (Mouse over image below for some interesting info about Lake Storsjön.)

Sometime after 1566, but prior to 1570, Gulloug married Jöns Pedersson Sckanke in Hackås, Jämtland and they had at least eight children together, all born in Hackås – Peder born about 1570; Sigrid born about 1575; Karin born about 1577; Gullov born about 1579; son Faste was born about 1580; Elizabeth born about 1581; Maren born about 1582; and Nils born about 1583. Some researchers state that Jöns fathered another daughter born out of wedlock in 1566, whose name is unknown, but it is uncertain if Gulloug was the mother. Jöns died young, probably before Nils was born in 1583, leaving Golloug with several young children. An interesting note is that Jöns Pedersson Sckanke was the great-great-grandson of the Swedish King's knight Ørjan Karlsson Schanke. Ørjan was the brother of ancestor Jens Karlsson Schanke, who was Gullog’s second husband, Laurits Magnusson Blix’s, 3X great-grandfather!

Gulloug quickly married widowed ancestor Laurits Magnusson Blix, who most likely had several children of his own. They had several children together – Ingeborg, born about 1584; ancestor Hans; and possibly a son Salomon and/or a daughter Sara, whose birth dates are unknown. They probably had other children, but documentation does not exist to prove any of them. For now we know that Gulloug raised her eight children from her first marriage, Laurits’ children from his first marriage and the children they had together, as one family. Letters, where only first names are listed, show that they considered themselves all brothers and sister, although some had no blood relationship at all.

Gulloug’s second husband, ancestor Laurits, died in mid 1621. She lived another eight years on their farm in Åkeräng and died of the plague, on December 7, 1629. She was buried with him, east of the old Rödön church vestibule. It is interesting to note, that although she died after him, her name written as god fearing matron Gulof Mognsdatters, is inscribed first on the gravestone. This may mean the stone wasn’t put up until after she died.

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Magnus Olsson Blix or Mogens Olofsson Blix (Danish variation) is said to have been born sometime between 1490 and 1525 in what is now Näskott, Jämtland, Sweden, but then, was a part of the Norwegian kingdom. It is believed he was the son of Olav Jensson of Skanke, because Olav was Magnus’ predecessor at the Rödön Church in Jämtland. Magnus is said to have begun his work in the church helping his father as a young man, about the age of 14. When his father’s time at the church ended, Magnus became the parish priest, some say Vicar, in Rödön and remained there until about 1557. Magnus was married but his wife’s name is unknown. They probably had many children, but only two are named as possible sons, ancestor Lauritz and Erich Mogenssen Blix, who was born about 1540. It should be noted that there is no proof of these births. Magnus is the first to use the surname Blix. Where it came from is unknown, but it could be a name associated with his unknown mother.

The legend goes that Magnus was killed in Rödön by a Swedish soldier sometime between 1560 to 1565. This goes along with history, as during the unrest period (1563–1677), Jämtland shifted alignment between Norway and Sweden no less than 13 times. Magnus is probably buried in the Rödön Churchyard. Unfortunately records for this period are extremely sketchy, so nothing is certain.(Mouse over Coat of Arms image right for more info.)


OIov Jensson was born about 1490 in Bjärme, Jämtland, Sweden, one of six known sons born to parents Jens Ketilsøn and Inger Jensdatter Schancke. His name has also been recorded as Olof Jönsson. It is believed he lived in the villages of Hov and Billsta, which are now a part of the Hackås Parish. He was married, but his wife’s name is unknown. The only children researchers say they had, were daughter Anna Olofsdatter and ancestor Magnus Olsson Blix. Olov was a parish priest in Rødøn in Jämtland where he died in 1539. Unfortunately, nothing more is known about him.

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Jens Ketilsøn was born about 1470 in Bjärme, Jämtland, Sweden. He was one of two known sons of Ketil Jonson and his unnamed wife, who some say had a surname of Jonsdotter. Jens’ name has been written as Jons Kettilsson in some research text.

He was about 20 years-old when he married 35 year-old Ingrid Jensdatter Schanke, who was from a land-wealthy, upper class family. They had six known children together. Jens is documented as living in Bjärme and the village of Billsta in the Hackås Parish from 1512 to 1542. Jens’ brother Anders married Ingrid’s sister Kerstin. This made both of them land-wealthy. In 1526, it is recorded that Jens with his brother Anders owned one sixth of Västerhus, Frösön because of their wives inheritance from their brothers. In 1528 in Brunflo, Jens acted on behalf of a child, Sven Larsson, in what looks like a land exchange deal with the child’s uncles. In 1529, in Hackås, a relative of Ingrids, Örjan Karlsson transfers to Jens in Bjärme and Anders in the village of Billsta half of fishing rights in the local rivers and lakes. In 1531, Jens and Anders did another land exchange where Anders retained Bjärme with the fishing rights in Karsan, and Jens retained the Billsta village farm. Jens’ wife Ingrid died in about 1533, probably in the village of Billsta. By 1549 Jens had moved back to the old farm in Bjärme, his son is working the family farm in the village of Billsta, and brother Anders is no where to be found. The assumption is that Anders died without an heir, and he probably left his farm in Bjärme to Jens. Jens probably died shortly after this in Bjärme.


Ingrid Jensdatter Schanke was born about 1455, one of seven known children born to parents Jens (also written as Jøns) Karlsson Schanke (also written as Schanche and Skanke) and Catharina Wibjørnsdatter. Some researchers say she was born in Bjärme, most say it was in the village of Hov in Häckås, but all agree it was Jämtland, Sweden. Ingrid’s father was a land-wealthy knight, so she would have been considered part of the upper class.

She married Jens Ketilison, who was 15 years younger then she was, in Bjärme, where they settled and raised their family. Researchers claim that Roger de Robelin in his book The Skanke Dynasty reports they had six sons together – ancestor Olov; Lauritz born about 1510; Erik; Kettil; Une; and Henrik. They probably had other children, including daughters, but none are documented.

Ingrid died before her husband, in about 1533, in her 70’s probably in the village of Billsta and may be buried in the Hackås churchyard (mouse over the image right for more info).

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Ketil Jonson birth date is uncertain. Some researchers say he was born as early as 1410, others just say before 1430 in the Hackås-Bjärme area of Jämtland, Sweden. Because his name has been written as Kjetil Jenson and Kettil Joensson, it is believed his father’s given name was either Jon, Jens or Joen. Some researchers say that Ketil had a brother named Bjørn. Researchers also believe Ketil married a woman with the surname Jonsdotter, whom we know nothing about. Although not much is known about him, most researchers seem to agree that he was from Bjärme. From land records mentioned above in Jens’ bio, we know that Ketil had at least two sons born in Bjärme – ancestor Jens and Anders, who was believed to have been the younger son. In 1477, Kjetil was noted in land records as a farmer. That is the last year he was mentioned, so it is believed he died that year on his farm. Unfortunately, nothing is known about Ketil's father except that he was from the Bjärme area of Jämtland, and was probably born the early 1400's.


Jens Karlsson Schanke was born about 1407 in Hov, Hackås, Jämtland, one of at least six children born to Karl Pederson Schanche and Rådgerd Kettilsdotter. The Swedish version of his given name is Jöns. Jens was a Squire, which was a high-born youth who, during the Middle Ages, did military service in order to achieve knightly dignity. It seems at this time, in the Nordic countries, Squires were considered like companions and in the same social class as the Knights. Researchers state there is a document dated July 29, 1435, which tells us that in Hov, Jens and his brothers spent over 350 mark for household items and clothes for their sisters. At the time, a large farm was purchased for 30 to 50 mark. This confirms the family’s wealth and that the land they owned in the village of Hov was a large estate. Researchers also state that another document exists that seals a judgment by Örjan, Peder and Jens, which places them in Hackås on June 25, 1448. One researcher states that Jens served in place of his brother, as deputy trustee in Jämtland in June of 1449. It seems his brother Erik Karlsson was prevented from coming to that year's Legislative Assembly.

Jens married Catharina Wibjörnsdotter in Hackås and they had several children. Some say he was a farmer at Billsta in Hackås and also owned half of the houses in Västerhus, on Frösön, which is the largest island in the lake Storsjön. Roger de Robelin in his book, The Skanke Dynasty, believes that Jens, through his marriage, became owner of Marieby, and lived there. In 1469, with his brother Örjan Karlsson, he sealed a proof of purchase regarding Våle in Hackås. Most researchers say that Jens Karlsson Schanke died in 1488 in Billsta, Hackås, Jämtland, Sweden.

Some researchers believe this branch of the Schanke family descends from the Isle of Mann and the last Royal House of Mann. Some alleged medieval ancestors of the Skancke families, had coats of arms with one armored leg in the shield and one armored leg in the crest. From that fact, some persons have made a theory that the two legs mean a link to the three legs in the arms of the monarchical dynasty of the Isle of Mann. Norwegian genealogists and heraldists of today, however, provide little further support to such a theory, and there are many coats of arms with armored legs that exist in other countries. There are several variants of the arms through the ages: the shield divided, a rose at the knee of the leg, the crest with an armored arm holding a sword, and the crest with peacock feathers. (Mouse over image left for more.)

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Catharina Wibjørnsdotter’s birth year has been reported as 1410, 1420 and 1440 in Öd, Marieby Parish, Jämtland, Sweden, and that she was the daughter of Wibjørn Laurensson and his unnamed wife. (Some researchers say Catharina’s mother was the daughter of Torsten Skeldulvsson, which is unsound for chronological and relationship reasons. Torsten was Catharina’s great-grandfather.) It seems that Catharina came from a land-wealthy family.

According to Roger de Robelin’s research reported in his book The Skanke Dynasty, Catharina married Jens Karlsson Schancke and they had several children – Olof; Nils, who some researchers say was not Catharina’s son, but the son of another woman; Kerstin, who married Anders Ketilsøn, the brother to ancestor Jens; Karin, who married Peder Kempe; ancestor Ingrid; Karl born about 1460, who became the Bishop of Hamar and is said to be the sole known Jämtlander in such a high position before the Reformation; and a son Vibjørn, who was born about 1465 and became a knight. Some researchers believe Vibjørn was not their son. In documents, both Ingrid and her sister Kerstin are referred to as wife Ingrid and wife Kerstin, which in those days was an indication of belonging to the gentry. It should be pointed out that Jens may have been much older than Catharina. They lived on a farm, probably inherited by Catharina, in Marieby, which today has a population of about 200 and is in the Östersund Municipality.

It is believed that Catharina Wibjørnsdotter died in Marieby about 1490, a few years after her husband.


Ancestral Folk Tales

According to Wikipedia, there is a legend that Lake Storsjön harbors a large creature called Storsjöodjuret. There are many witness reports but the creature's existence remains to be established conclusively. Regardless of any proven existence, Storsjöodjuret was officially placed under the protection of a degree issued in 1986 by the County Administrative Board to guarantee its safety from hunters and fortune seekers, the protection was lifted in November 2005. The first description of Storsjöodjuret was made in this tale from 1635:

A long, long time ago two trolls, Jata and Kata, stood on the shores of the Great Lake brewing a concoction in their cauldrons. They brewed and mixed and added to the liquid for days and weeks and years. They knew not what would result from their brew but they wondered about it a great deal. One evening there was heard a strange sound from one of their cauldrons. There was a wailing, a groaning and a crying, then suddenly came a loud bang. A strange animal with a black serpentine body and a cat-like head jumped out of the cauldron and disappeared into the lake. The monster enjoyed living in the lake, grew unbelievably larger and awakened terror among the people whenever it appeared. Finally, it extended all the way round the island of Frösön, and could even bite its own tail. Ketil Runske bound the mighty monster with a strong spell which was carved on a stone and raised on the island of Frösön. The serpent was pictured on the stone. Thus was the spell to be tied till the day someone came who could read and understand the inscription on the stone.

The photo to the right shows a commonly used figure that represents Storsjöodjuret. (Mouse over image for more.)

Another folktale common to the lake area is about a Nix, a shape shifting water spirits in Germanic mythology and folklore who usually appeared in forms of other creatures. The lake Nix is called Näkkjen, and in Jämtland it refers to a male water spirit whose music was dangerous to women. In July of each year, in the town of Hackås, an annual traditional music contest, Årets Näck is held where each contestant impersonates the Nix. Årets Näck translates to The Year's Nix and it is a competition to select the year's incarnation of the Näcken. The competition takes place at the Tannery Holmen located in Billstaån, Hackås, Bergs kommun, in southern Jämtland. The contest is part of the Hackås Days (Hackåsdagarna) festival organized by the Hackås District Foundation. The male only contestants for the Årets Näck title, compete by sitting or standing in the river while virtually nude-they may only cover himself with things that can be found in nature-while playing an instrument (typically the violin) or singing acapella in order to portray the Nix. A three-man jury of two people skilled in folk music and a non-folk-musician female judge the contestants according to the following criteria: musical performance, charisma and convincingness. The winner receives a priceless handwritten certificate and SEK 2,000.

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