A Viking Network Info-sheet:

Vikings in Canada

by Vernon Currie

Bjarni Herjulfson

In about the year 1000 a sea roving trader, Bjarni Herjulfson, went to visit his father in Iceland. His father lived in Iceland and every year Bjarni spent the winter with him. Then one year when Bjarni went to Iceland to see his father', Bjarni had found that his Father had moved to Greenland. Bjarnie went to find Greenland to see his father but his ship went off course, and he ended up finding three islands. This was the coast of North America - a new land - but he didn't bother to get off his ship and explore it because he was so anxious to see his father. He sailed back and found Greenland.

Leif Erickson

But Leif Erickson, who lived in Greenland, was excited about finding the New Land. He bought Bjarni's ship and got a crew of 30 men and sailed to the three places Bjarni had found. They went first to Helluland and then to Markland and then on to a place he named Vinland the Good. He named it Vinland because they found grapes which were probably big huckleberries. This was probably Newfoundland. They stayed the winter and returned to Greenland in the spring.

Thorvald Erickson

Leif's brother , Thorvald wanted to explore the land more. He borrowed the ship and went to "Vinland the Good" to explore. They spent the winter there, and in the summer they did more exploring. One day they saw three canoes . Under the canoes were nine "Skraelings" American Indians. The Vikings killed eight of them, but one escaped. The very next day that Skraeling returned with lots more. The Vikings got out their shields and soon the Indians left after shooting some arrows. The only person hit was Thorvald. As he was dying he asked to be buried in a place he had liked and had mentioned he would like to stay there for awhile. He sure ended up there for a long time. He became the first Viking to be buried in North America. He wanted the place called "Crossness" forever. The rest of the Vikings then returned home.


There were a couple of explorations over the next couple of years. They did settle, probably in the Eastern States. While they were there, some Indians attacked. The men were all frightened and starting to run away. Freydis, Eric the Red's daughter, picked up a sword and charged at the Indians. killing some and scaring the rest away. The settlers returned to Greenland shortly after this A few years after this, Freydis made a deal with her brothers that they would go to Vinland The Good to get cargo . When they got there she decided to take over. She got her men to kill her brother's and all the men that came with them. The men refused to kill five women so she killed them herself. She returned with her brothers' larger boat filled with cargo.

This was the last voyage to the New World recorded in detail. When Leif heard what his sister had done, he didn't feel he could punish her.

- 14. august 2004 -