2005 Venice Film Festival - Drawing Restraint 9 - Photocall

Birth Name: Björk Guðmundsdóttir

Place of Birth: Reykjavik, Iceland

Date of Birth: November 21, 1965

Ethnicity: Icelandic

Björk is an Icelandic singer and actress. She is the daughter of Guðmundur Gunnarsson, an electrician and union leader, and Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, an activist. She has a son with her former husband, Þór Eldon, and a daughter with her former partner, American artist Matthew Barney.

Aside from Icelandic, she has said that she has distant Irish ancestry. It is not clear if this Irish ancestry has been verified/documented.

Some people on the internet have said that Björk could be of indigenous Inuit or Sami ethnicity, but there is no evidence of this being the case. Inuit or Sami people are not common in Iceland.

Björk’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to her seventh great-grandfather, Jón “Eldri” Þorgilsson.

Björk’s paternal grandfather is Gunnar Guðmundsson (the son of Guðmundur Jóhannesson and Kristín Gunnarsdóttir). Björk’s great-grandfather Guðmundur was the son of Jóhannes Guðmundsson and Ingibjörg Eysteinsdóttir. Kristín was the daughter of Gunnar Kristófersson and Kristín Guðmundsdóttir.

Björk’s paternal grandmother was Hallfríður Guðmundsdóttir (the daughter of Guðmundur “Briskó” Jónsson and Rósa Bachmann Jónsdóttir). Björk’s great-grandfather Guðmundur was the son of Jón Jónsson and Vilborg Guðlaugsdóttir. Rósa was the daughter of Jón Bachmann Jósefsson and Hallfríður Einarsdóttir.

Björk’s maternal grandfather was Haukur Freygarð Guðjónsson (the son of Guðjón Guðjónsson and Sveinbjörg Jónsdóttir). Guðjón was the son of Guðjón. He was later put into the foster care of Sveinn Gestsson and Una Þórarinsdóttir. Sveinbjörg was the daughter of Jón Kristjánsson and Geirlaug Sveinsdóttir.

Björk’s maternal grandmother was Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir (born Helgudóttir, the daughter of an unknown father and Helga Guðbjörg Helgadóttir). Guðrún was adopted by Ásmundur Gestsson and Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir. Helga was the daughter of Helgi Andrésson and Helga Björnsdóttir.

Björk’s matrilineal ancestry can be traced back to her fifth great-grandmother, Olufa Nicolausdóttir.

Sources: Genealogy of Bjork –

Genealogies of Björk (focusing on her father’s side) –

Obituary of Björk’s maternal granduncle, Andrés Ásmundsson –

Björk’s maternal great-grandfather, Guðjón Guðjónsson, on the 1890 Icelandic census –

Björk’s maternal great-grandmother, Sveinbjörg Jónsdóttir, on the 1901 Icelandic census –

Photo by PrPhotos


Curious about ethnicity

121 Responses

  1. Luomi (cloudberry) says:

    She also has dark eyes compared to the average Norwegian.

  2. ethnic says:

    Miriam Paulsen looks rather Asian with prominent cheek bones and black hair. The others not so.


  3. Luomi (cloudberry) says:

    I have noticed that some people think
    Sámi people look East Asian. I am not
    refering to people on this site in particular,
    I have seen this on many different sites.

    In general, I think that you cannot tell
    if someone is Sámi or not. I am linking
    to a few pictures of famous Korean Americans/
    Canadians and some Sámi politicians for you
    to judge for yourself.

    Famous Korean Americans/Canadians
    John Cho
    Tanya Kim
    Bobby Lee
    Grace Park
    Daniel Dae Kim
    Yunjin Kim
    Karl Yune
    Lena Park
    Alex Chu
    Margaret Cho

    Sámi Politicians
    Miriam Paulsen
    Jarle Jonassen
    Marie Therese Nordsletta Gaup,%20Marie%20Therese%20Nordsletta.jpg
    Roger Pedersen,%20Roger.jpg
    Kirsten Appfjell,%20Kirsten.jpg
    Bjarne Store-Jakobsen,%20Bjarne.jpg
    Áile Jávo
    Geir Tommy Pedersen
    Káre-Elle Partapuoli
    Isak Mathis O. Hætta
    Kirsti Guvsám
    Ove Johnsen
    Láilá Vars!img2395256.jpg
    Sven-Roald Nystø

  4. Luomi (cloudberry) says:

    I think she has a unique look.

    Can you tell me where you got it checked, Sebastiane?
    I’m curious :)

  5. ethnic says:

    Sebastiane interesting bit about your family. You must have been pleasantly surprised to finally find out about your ethnic background.


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