View Full Version : Is there a chance that my ancestors were Geats before becoming Swedish?

03-12-2021, 05:23 AM
I can trace my direct Swedish ancestry back until the 1500s. Every ancestor I have in my tree has very Swedish names up to that point as well (Larsson, Månsdotter, Krok, Kjellman, Persson, Hård, etc). The ancestor birth places I have during those times are in Småland, Romelanda, Segerstad, Böjeryd, and other places in Southern Sweden around Jonkoping County. Is there a chance of my ancestors originally being Geats, who were then assimilated into early Sweden?

03-13-2021, 05:02 PM
Not sure I understand the question correctly. The kingdom of Sweden was a result of the merging between the Svear and Geats, so modern day Swedes will have ancestry from both of these groups to varying degrees. But to the question, most of the places you listed are all well inside what was considered the Geatish heartland, so I would say yes, undoubtedly.


I can recommend this paper (https://www.khm.uio.no/om/organisasjon/arkeologisk-seksjon/ansatte/frodeiv/frodes-artikler/iversen-2020-between-tribe-and-kingdom-scandza-500-1350.pdf). It's a very well-researched and nuanced take on the roots of tribal confederations and petty kingdoms in Iron age/Medieval Scandinavia.

03-14-2021, 10:32 AM
Certainly. The Geats would arguably have been more numerous than the Swedes (controlling more fertile lands), and definitely more so than the Gutes, and thus made up a larger part of the ethnogenesis of Swedes. Geneticists Karin Bojs and Peter Sjölund writes in their 2016 book (https://www.bokus.com/bok/9789100173999/svenskarna-och-deras-fader-de-senaste-11-000-aren/) that just 1 man who lived near Lake Vänern in the early Iron Age is the paternal ancestor of roughly 40% of men in present-day Norrland (Northern Sweden). So even Norrlanders without a doubt have a large portion of Geat ancestry. Since your ancestors actually lived in places like Bohuslän you can pretty much be sure that many of them were Geats.

03-14-2021, 10:38 AM
I would like to add that Geats can be considered Swedes as well. Sweden is named after specific tribes (Svear) while Norway is not. Norway means way to the North. Norwegians are a collection of Western Norse speaking tribes from Norway and borderlands of Sweden, so basically what define Norwegian is speaking a West Norse dialect, what could define Swedes is East Norse speaking as well. It's just the question of semantic.