Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Normandy - Normans - Northmen - Norse - Vikings? What's In A Name

Which Normans preceded William the Conqueror in France?
Normandy and Rollo the Ganger.
Hrolf Ganger

An interest in William the Conqueror, at France Road Ways, Caen, Bayeux Tapestry, and William the Conqueror, leads to research at home, after dabbling in a possible ancestor, Guy de Brienne, a Norman who ended up in Ireland -- and spawning Briens who owned land and lodge in Trillick, my grandfather. So:  from Guy de Brienne, back to how Normans came to Ireland.

William was Norman, or a Northman, and he invaded England successfully.  Norse at the time were on both sides of the English Channel. Harold, the King there, is itself a Norse name and the Norse having raided and settled in northern and eastern England.

Who preceded William the Conqueror?

1.  Rollo.  A Norman leader in 911 AD, the Normans being the Northmen who stayed in France after a period of raiding and marauding all the way up the Seine, into Paris, into Burgundy, etc. The King of the Franks, (tribes going by a variety of names themselves) gave the Vikings the area of Normandy if they would just desist going further upstream.

Rollo had to become Christian to complete the transaciton, and so he did, and Rollo is his Christian name. He had been Hrolf.

In time, this Norse-derived group was governed by one of their own, who became known as the Duke of Normandy - a people apart. Enter William. William was their most famous Duke, William the Conqueror, at The Normans, at ://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MEDnormandy.htm/ Not nice as neighbors or conquerors, but those were the times? Or were the Normans fiercer than others.

Meanwhile, other Norse were settling in Northern England - where "Danelaw" and not Saxon law would prevail. There, even the word "thorpe" is Norse for "village." The Yorkshire dialect in early times was "pidgin Norse." See ://members.tripod.com/HistoricalNovelists/norman.htm / Harold or Harald, and Canute (Knut) are Norse.

Migrations of peoples - no boundaries. See also ://www.economicexpert.com/a/Normans.html

Our group seems to have ended in Ireland, where Red Scariff fathered many near St. Lazerian's in County Carlow, branches then all over east, west, down under. This string suggests the Norman connecton, perhaps not a direct Norse settlement. Now back to fixing dinner....
Hrolf Ganger, he is called at ://members.tripod.com/HistoricalNovelists/norman.htm

What's in a name: Try Otkell, son of Skarf, and that surname with its Norse derivations, and this site suggesting either

a) the name appearing in Ireland as part of Norse-Viking settlers; or

b) the name coming with the Normans-Norse to England, and from there, to Ireland through Strongbow. See

Are we Norman? See Finding New Roots, Surname.

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