2005 Venice Film Festival - Drawing Restraint 9 - Photocall

Björk in 2005, photo by PrPhotos

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 named Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir (born Helgudóttir, the daughter of an unknown father, and of 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 –


Curious about ethnicity

123 Responses

  1. Versa says:

    When I first saw her, I did assume she was part Asian. Some Nordic and Slavic people do have a somewhat Eurasian appearance.

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