Estrid

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{god, call, give}
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{area, part, region}
{woman, child, man}

Estrid (Old Norse: Æstriðr, Ástríðr) was a rich and powerful 11th century woman whose long family saga has been recorded on five or six runestones in Uppland, Sweden. This Estrid was the maternal grandmother of the chieftain Jarlabanke of the Jarlabanke clan. The family were rich landowners and belonged to the higher echelons of Swedish society, and she was probably named after Estrid of the Obotrites, who was the queen of Sweden, and the consort of Olof Skötkonung, at the time Estrid was born. Her family saga has been the centre of a dramatisation at the Stockholm County Museum.

It is safe to assume that five[1] of the 11 runestones that mention an Estrid in eastern Svealand refer to this Estrid because of the locations of the runestones and the people who are mentioned on them.

A sixth runestone, U 329,[2] deals with an Estrid who is only mentioned as the sister of a Ragnfast and a Gyrid. This Ragnfast appears on the Hillersjö stone and the Snottsta and Vreta stones as the husband of Inga and the son-in-law of Gerlög. Since Fot, the runemaster of U 329, also made runestones for the Jarlabanke clan, and Gerlög and Inga also belonged to the same regional elite, it is probable that U 329 refers to the same Estrid as the five other runestones. This would mean that Estrid was born in Snottsta (also spelled Snåttsta) as the daughter of the rich landowner Sigfast.

The Broby bro Runestones[3] tell that Estrid and her husband Östen had a son by the name Gag, who died while Östen still was alive,[4] and three other sons named Ingefast, Östen and Sven.[5] The runestones further tell that a barrow and a bridge were built and that two of the runestones were raised by the brothers Ingefast, Östen and Sven in memory of their father Östen,[5] who had fought in Jerusalem and died in the Byzantine Empire.[6]

The story of her life is continued on the Hargs bro runic inscriptions,[7] where we learn that Estrid had married a man named Ingvar, and this Ingvar had a son prior to marrying Estrid whose name was Ragnvald.[8][9] It also appears that Estrid and Ingvar had three sons named Sigvid, Ingvar and Jarlabanke.[9] We further learn that Estrid had a bridge constructed,[8] which apparently was a tradition in her family.

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