I had long wondered where my dad’s name, Lodver, came from. Dad was surely named after his
grandfather, Ole Lodversen, who probably was raised by Lodver Olsen and somehow took his
But even in Norway there were not many Lodvers in the nineteenth century, judging from the
1801 and 1865 censuses, and not many today.
A Google search led to several sites which referred to Hlodver (Lodver) Thorfinnsson, born about
924 in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland. Hlodver was the son of Thorfinn I
Rollo, the Earl of Orkney and Grelod (Gerlaf) (Grelauga) Duncansdatter Caithness. There is no
indication how Thorfinn and Grelod came up with the name Hlodver–or how it got back to
Thorfinn was a third generation descendant of Vikings who raided Scotland in the eighth and
ninth centuries–and stayed there.
He was also another of our ancestors. In the first century BC, King Odin, the oldest in the line,
had five sons. Our ancestor was Niord or Yngve. Another son and Niord’s brother was Skiold
who was an ancestor of Thorfinn and Hlodver.
Hlodver married Audna (Ethne) (Edna) Kjarvallsdatter and they had at least two children:
Hvarflad (Svanlaug) (Nereid) Hlodversdatter, born about 962, and Sigurd “The Stout”
Hlodverssen, born about 980.
Sigurd married Thora, daughter of Malcolm, the King of Scotland, and among their children was
Thorfin, the Dane, who is regarded as the founder of the Washington family of England.
About four generations later, in 1160, came Walter fil Bondo who was born in the town of
Wassyngton in the county York.
That was where the name Washington apparently came from.
Eighteen generations after Walter, in 1732, came George Washington, the first President of the
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