Who was the viking in my ancestory?

+6 votes
in Genealogy Help by
edited by Keith Hathaway
Hi Cindy... nice to meet you :)

Do you have a family story about viking ancestry?  My grandmother was Norwegian and I often wonder myself.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer

A few years ago, knowing that Lincolnshire, where my paternal ancestry is from, was part of the 'Danegeld" (the area controlled by the Danes) in the 7th-9th C, I decided to see what I could find out about the Danes who settled there. I went through the names of as many Lincolnshire villages as I could find and divided them into origins:

Danish- with the ending 'by' meaning  fortified settlement and –thorpe= farm

Ango-Saxon: with the endings –borough (fort), -tun and-ham (farmstead), -ford, worth (enclosure) and well/spring. -Tun became town, but stayed as –ton in placenames. A further ending is –ey, or eye which means an island or a built up area in a marsh.

I then went to Wikipedia and Genuki and other sites which listed the etymologically reconstructed names of the founders of these settlements. I came up with "113 definite identifications of the original Viking heads of households of Lincolnshire, one, at least, of which was a woman. There are several probable and possible identifications and a number of not yet identifiable. That is a formidable group of ancestors indeed. There are also some groups of people identifiable including Frisians and Irishmen, showing that not all the invaders were Danes, Norwegians or Swedes. A few German names in amongst the 112 may also indicate that some of these had fought well, well enough to become chieftains of their own byrs and thorpes." (MVA- Sue Scarcella) PLUS "we can definitely identify 67 Anglo-Saxon founders. Moreover, we can probably identify 29 more and possibly identify a further 16. That makes 112 possible Anglo-Saxon ancestors. Once again, one of these leaders appears to have been a woman, though that is debatable from the evidence. Two were clerics (which probably, but not definitely made them celibate- celibacy in the English church was not compulsory until Norman times, and even then was hard to police. It was never a Biblical command, just a church practice.)" (MVA- Sue Scarcella). But wait! There's more! There is also one possible Briton and even a possible Roman name. 

I can never prove descent from any of the Danes in this study, but the chances of being descended from some of them is high, given that my ancestors have been in Lincolnshire for over 1000 years on some lines and 500 years on many others.

by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (71.1k points)
+1 vote
I don't know if this is what you're talking about, but when had my DNA tested, the results said I had lots of Scandinavian genes while I'm not aware of a single ancestor who came from anywhere but western and central Europe.  So I can only figure I had Viking ancestors.  The DNA results also showed Eastern Europe so I figure I must have had Huns as ancestors.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (409k points)
Statistically all the English can claim descent from Rurik, who took Novgorod.  His descendant Anne of Kiev surprisingly married Henri I of France, and they were the grandparents of the "Ur-mother" Elizabeth of Vermandois, Countess of Meulan, Countess of Leicester, "Countess of Warenne", Countess of Surrey, mother of 13 or 14, and ancestress of everybody.
Thank you for sharing that RJ, I had not heard it before
Like many British, I am descended from Harold II, last Saxon king of England, through his daughter Gytha, who married Vladimir Monomakh of Kiev. History tells us that Harold had Danish blood, which is why Gytha and her mother fled to the Swedish court after the Conquest. But Vladimir was also of Viking ancestry as the "Rus" who gave their name to Russia were Vikings who founded Kiev and other settlements down the river systems of Eastern Europe.

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