Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa

Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa (abt. 1496 - 1560)

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Gustav Vasa formerly Eriksson
Born about in Rydboholm, Uppland, Swedenmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Uppsala Castlemap
Husband of — married in Vadstena, Östergötland, Swedenmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Stockholm Castle, Swedenmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Oct 2016
This page has been accessed 1,187 times.

Categories: House of Vasa | List of Swedish Monarchs | Rydboholm, Östra Ryd (AB) | Räfsnäs, Toresund (D) | Battle of Brännkyrka | Sweden Project.

The House of Vasa crest.
Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa is a member of the House of Vasa.
European Aristocracy
Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa was a member of aristocracy in Europe.
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Gustav (Eriksson) Vasa is Swedish.
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Preceded by
Kristian II
King of Sweden
1521 - 1560
Succeeded by
Erik XIV



Gustav Eriksson was probably born May 12, 1496, at Rydboholm. He was the son of the noble man Erik Johansson (Vasa) and Cecilia Månsdotter (Eka). His mother's sister was married to the head of the nation Sten Sture (junior) and Gustav served at his court. In 1518 he took part in the battle of Brännkyrka against the Danish king Kristian who wanted the Swedish crown and the restoration of the union. In October of the same year negotiations were held between the Swedes and the Danes. Gustav was one of the six people who were given as hostage .to the Danish king, who against his word sent the hostage to be held prisoners at Kalö in Denmark. The young noble man Gustav managed to escape (September 1519), first to Lübeck, and then to Kalmar, Sweden (May 1520) before hiding at the family estate Räfsnäs in Södermanland. The Danish king was crowned king of Sweden in November 1520 and soon thereafter he staged the Bloodbath of Stockholm, executing Gustav's father and several other relatives. When Gustav heard about the deed he went to Dalarna in order to raise a rebellion against the king. Others had already started a rebellion and they joined Gustav. By new year of 1522 all of Sweden except for Finland, Kalmar and Stockholm had fallen. In order to conquer the remaining cities Gustav hired mercenaries from Lübeck. June 6, 1523, Gustav was elected king of Sweden.

The debt to Lübeck had to be paid so taxes were raised. Friends of Kristian tried to undermine the new king and the former fellow rebels from Dalarna protested the new taxes. A new religious teaching was preached by Laurentius Andreae and Olaus Petri who had studied in the city of Wittenberg where they had met Martin Luther. The king saw the benefits of the new teaching and at the Council of Västerås in 1527 the first steps to a reformation was taken when the riches of the church fell under the crown. Gustav stripped the church of its wealth and used it to repay the debt to Lübeck.

The first twenty years of Gustav's reign were filled with different uprisings against him. The king learnt from his mistakes and at the Council of Västerås in 1544 several important decisions were made which helped forge the faith of Sweden. The crown became heredetary, the military was reorganized so that larger forces could more quickly come to the king's aid and the earlier decision that the Church of Sweden would be evangelical was finalized together with other rules for the chuch. The king's sons were given dukedoms that would support their living expences.


Gustav Vasa was married three times.

  1. September 24, 1531, to Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg,in Storkyrkan, Stockholm.[1] the daughter of duke Magnus of Sachsen-Lauenburg and Katarina of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.
  2. October 1, 1536, to Margareta Eriksdotter Leijonhuvud, daughter of cabinet minister Erik Abrahamsson Leijonhufvud and Ebba Eriksdotter Vasa. Erik had been executed at Stockholm's blood bath and her mother was Gustav's second cousin. The wedding took place at Uppsala Castle on the day that the former queen, Catherine, had been buried the year before. It is believd that the marriage was a happy one.
  3. August 22, 1552, to Katarina Stenbock, daughter of cabinet minister Gustaf Olofsson Stenbock and Brita Eriksdotter Leijonhufvud. Katarina was the niece of Margareta and there by cousin to Gustav's children. She was only sixteen when the king, who now was an old man, started courting her after his second wife had died. The wedding was held at Vadstena Castle.


With Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg:

  1. Erik (1533-1568) who came to be known as Erik XIV, king of Sweden.

With Margareta Eriksdotter Leijonhuvud:

  1. Johan (1537-1592), who came to be known as Johan III, king of Sweden.
  2. Katarina (1539-1610) married to Edzard II von Ostfriesland
  3. Cecilia (1540-1627) married to Christoffel van Baden-Rodemachern.
  4. Magnus (1542-1595)
  5. Karl, born and died 1544 in Linköping
  6. Anna (1545-1610) married to Georg Hans von Pfalz-Veldenz
  7. Sten, born 1546 in Stockholm, died three years later.
  8. Sofia (1547-1611) married to Magnus Sachsen-Leuenburg, cousin to Erik XIV.
  9. Elisabet (1549-1597) married to Christof van Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
  10. Karl (1550-1611) who came to be known as Karl IX, king of Sweden.

Death and Burial

Gustav died September 29, 1560, at Stockholm Castle. He was buried in Uppsala Cathedral.


Gustav was 173 cm tall and stout. He had a low forehead that leaned backwards, his hair was gingery and he also had a fiery temperament.[2]


  • The Swedish crown became hereditary
  • Several castles were built or renovated to protect and defend the country (Kalmar, Vadstena, Stockholm etc.)
  • The church of Sweden
  • The military was reorganized so that there would always be a great army ready.
  • The princes and princesses of Sweden receive dukedoms when they are born. They are, however, no longer meant to support them financially.


  1. Gustav Vasa och Katarina av Sachsen-Lauenburg, Kungliga bröllop,
  2. Lindqvist, Herman: De vilda vasarana - en våldsam historia, Albert Bonniers Förlag (2016)
  • Roberts, Michael: The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden 1523–1611 (1968)
  • Åberg, Alf: Gustav Vasa 500 år / The official anniversary book (1996)
  • Larsson, Lars-Olof: Gustav Vasa - Landsfader eller tyrann?, Bokförlaget Prisma, Stockholm (2002)
  • Svensson, Alex: Sveriges regenter under 1000 år, Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Biblioteks Förlag (2010)
  • Lindqvist, Herman: Historien om Sverige - Gustav Vasa och hans söner och döttrar, Nordstedt Förlag AB Stockholm (1993)

See also:


This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted January 2014. Descriptions of imported gedcoms for this profile are under the Changes tab.

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No known carriers of Gustav's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 4
Gustav Vasa Image 1
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Gustav I Vasa
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Gustav Vasa Image 1
Gustav Vasa Image 1

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On 29 Sep 2016 at 23:32 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:


Gustav is 24 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 23 degrees from Burl Ives and 8 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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