J.H. Garner Genealogy Database

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  • ID: I4088
  • Name: Rolf (Rollo) "Wend-a-Foot" DUKE OF NORMANDY 1 2
  • Name: Rolf (Rollo) "the Ganger" RAGNVALDSSØN of Norway
  • Note: Called the "Ganger" as he was so large no horse could carry him & he had to walk. 3
  • Sex: M
  • Change Date: 23 AUG 2011
  • Event: Accedence 0911
  • Note: He was the founder of Normandy and was created the first Duke of Normandy. He was baptized and received Normandy under the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte from King Charles "the Simple" of France. 3
  • Birth: 0854 in Møre, Nord-Trondelag, Norway 4
  • Death: 0931 in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
  • Burial: 0931 Notre Dame, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France 3
  • Event: Note ABT 0910
  • Note: Known as "The Old Pirate".
  • Event: Biography
  • Note:
    Later sources identify this Hrolf with Rollo of Normandy, an extremely doubtful identification. It is unlikely that there was any close relationship between the early dukes of Normandy and the Orkney Jarls, and Rollo's parentage is unknown.

    Here are my notes on ROLLO, which I send in connection with a message sent
    by Stewart Baldwin in which he says he suspects I took my data from the
    "ridiculously unreliable Ancestral File" of the LDS. As you can see, this
    isn't quite right.

    Gordon Fisher gfisher@shentel.net

    -----------------------------------------------------------------


    27th ggf of Gordon Fisher

    Or: HROLFR the GANGER (walker), GANGE-ROLV, ROLF, ROLLO OF NORMANDY;
    andlater in life, ROBERT; also HRO'LFR

    "The central fact of Norman history ... is ... the grant of Normandy and his
    northern followers in the year 911. ... For the actual occurences of that
    year, we have only the account of a romancing historian of a hundred years
    later, reenforced here and there by the exceedingly scanty records of the
    time. The main fact is clear, namely that the Frankish king, Charles the
    Simple, granted Rollo as a fief a considerable part, the eastern part, of
    later Normandy. Apparently Rollo did homage for his fied in feudal fashion
    by placing his hands between the hands of the king, something, we are told,
    which "neither his father, nor his grandfather, nor his great-grandfather
    before him had ever done for any man." Legend goes on to relate, however,
    that Rollo refused to kneel and kiss the king's foot, crying out in his own
    speech, "No, by God!" and that the companion to whom he delegated the
    unwelcome obligation performed it so clumsily that he overturned the king,
    to the great merriment of the assembled Northmen. ... As to Rollo's
    personality, we have only the evidence of later Norman historians of
    doubtful authority and the Norse saga of HArold Fairhair. If, as seems
    likely, their accounts relate to the same person, he was known in the north
    as Hrolf the Ganger, because he was so huge that no horse could carry him
    and he must needs gang afoot. A pirate at home, he was driven into exile by
    the anger of King Harold, whereupon he followed his trade in the Western
    Isles and in Gaul, and rose to be a great Jarl among his people. The saga
    makes him a Norwegian, but Danish scholars have sought to prove him a Dane,
    and more recently the cudgels have been taken up for his Swedish origin. To
    me the NOrwegian theory seems on the whole the most probable, being based on
    a trustworthy saga and corroborated by other incidental evidence. ... The
    important fact is that Norway, Denmark, and even more distant Sweden, all
    contributed to the colonists who settled in Normandy under Rollo and his
    successors, and the achievements of the Normans thus become the common
    heritage of the Scandinavian race. (P) The colonization of Normandy was, of
    course, only a small part of the work of this heroic age of Scandinavian
    expansion. The great emigration from the North in the ninth and tenth
    centuries has been explained in part by the growth of centralized government
    and the consequent departure of the independent, the turbulent, and the
    untamed for new fields of adventure; but its chief cause was doubtless that
    which lies back of colonizing movements in all ages, the growth of
    population and the need of more room. Five centuries earlier this
    land-hunger had pushed the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube and
    produced the great wandering of the peoples which destroyed the Roman
    empire; and the Viking raids were simply a later aspect of this same
    *Vo"lkerwanderung*, retarded by the outlying position of the Scandinavian
    lands and by the greater difficulty of migration by sea. For, unlike the
    Goths who swept across the map of Europe in vast curves of marching men, or
    the Franks who moved forward by slow stages of gradual settlement in their
    occupation of Roman Gaul, the Scandinavian invaders were men of the sea and
    migrated in ships."
    --- Charles Homer Haskins, *The Normans in European History*, Boston &
    NY, 1915, p 26-30 passim. From p 48 & 50: "At this point the fundamental
    question forces itself upon us, how far was Normandy affected by
    Scandinavian influences? What in race and language, in law and custom, was
    the contribution of the north to Normandy? And the answer must be that in
    most respects the tangible contribution was slight. Whatever may have been
    the state of affairs in the age of colonization and settlement, by the
    century which followed the Normans had become to a surprising degree
    absorbed by their environment. ..... What, then, was the Scandinavian
    contribution to the making of Normandy if it was neither law nor speech nor
    race? First and foremost, it was Normandy itself, created as a distinct
    entity by the Norman occupation and the grant to Rollo and his followers,
    without whom it would have remained an undifferentiated part of northern
    France. Next, a new element in the population, numerically small in
    proportion to the ass, but a leaven to the whole --- quick to absorb
    Frankish law and Christian culture but retaining its northern qualities of
    enterprise, of daring, and of leadership. It is no accident that the names
    of the leaders in early Norman movements are largely Norse. And finally a
    race of princes, high-handed and masteful but with a talent for political
    organization, state-builders at home and abroad, who made Normandy the
    strongest and most centralized principality in France and joined to it a
    kingdom beyond the seas which became the strongest state in western Europe."

    "GANGER ROLF, "the Viking" (or ROLLO), banished from Norway to the Hebrides
    ca. 876, 890 participated in Viking attack on Bayeux, where Count Berenger
    of Bayeux was killed, and dau. Poppa captured and taken, 886, by Rollo (now
    called Count of Rouen) as his "Danish" wife. Under Treaty of St. Claire,
    911, rec'd the Duchy of Normandy from CHARLES III, "the Simple"; d. ca. 927
    (Isenburg says 931), bur. Notre Dame, Rouen. ... Note: Isenburg inserts a
    Robert between Rollo and William I, and makes Robert the conqueror of
    Bayeux, husb. of Poppa, and 1st Duke. Chronology favors the descent given
    by Moriarty and Onslow. It seems probable that Robert was another name for
    Rollo. If there really was a Robert as 1st Duke, then [ROBERT I] would be
    ROBERT II, which is not the case. For additional data on William II of
    Normandy and I of England the reader may consult David C. Douglas, *William
    the Conqueror* (1964). Besides a dau. Gerloc (or Adela) who m. 935 WILLIAM
    I ... Count of Poitou, Ganger Rolf had [WILLIAM I, "Longsword"]."
    --- Weis & Sheppard, *Ancestral Roots ... *, 7th Edition, 1992, p 110

    "Rollo (Rollon, Ranger Rolf [sic, instead of Ganger], 1st Duke of Normandy,
    Count of Rouen; conquered Normandy; b. c870, Maer, Norway, d. 927-932; md
    (2) 891 Poppa de Bayeux, Duchess of Norway; b. c872, Bayeux, France; dau
    Berenger de Bayeux, Count of Bayeux; d. bef. 930; and N.N. of Rennes."
    --- Roderick W Stuart, *Royalty for Commoners*, 2nd edn, 1992, p 123-124

    The definitive establishment of the Normans, to whom the country owes
    its name, took place in 911, when by the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte,
    concluded between King Charles the Simple of France and Rolf or Rollo, chief
    of the Normans, the territory comprising the town of Rouen and a few 'pagi'
    situated on the sea-coast was ceded to the latter; but the terms of the
    treaty are ill-defined, and it is consequently almost impossible to find out
    the exact extent of this territory or to know whether Brittany was at this
    time made a feudal dependency of Normandy. But the chronicler Dudo of
    Saint-Quentin's statement that Rollo married Gisela, daughter of Charles the
    Simple, must be considered to be legendary work of Dudo of Saint-Quentin
    [who?] is practically our only authority.
    Rollo died in 927 and was succeeded by his son William ...
    --- (Source ???)

    "Charles [the Simple], the son-in-law of eEward, constrained thereto by
    Rollo, through a succession of calamities, conceded to him that part of Gaul
    which at present is called Normandy. It would be tedious to relate for how
    many years, and with what audacity, the Normans disquieted every place from
    the British ocean, as I have said, to the Tuscan sea. First Hasten, and
    then Rollo; who, born of noble lineage among the Norwegians, though obsolete
    from its extreme antiquity, was banished, by the king's command, from his
    own country, and brought over with multitudes, who were in danger, either
    from debt or consciousness of guilt, and whom he had allured by great
    expectations of advantage. Betaking himself therefore to piracy, after his
    cruelty had raged on every side at pleasure, he experienced a check at
    Chartres. For the townspeople, relying neither on arms nor fortifications,
    piously impoored the assistance of the blessed Virgin Mary. The shift too
    of the virgin, which Charles the Bald displayed to the winds on the
    samparts, thronged by the garrison, after the fashion of a banner. The
    enemy on seeing it began to laught, and to direct their arrows at it. This,
    however, was not done with impunity; for presently their eyes became dim,
    and they could neither retreat nor advance. The townsmen, with joy
    perceiving this, indulged themselves in a plentiful slaughter of them, as
    far as fortune permitted. Rollo, however, whom God reserved for the true
    faith, escaped, and soon after gained Rouen and the neighboring cities by
    force of arms, in the year of our Lord 876, and one year before the death of
    Charles the Bald, whose grandson Lewis, as is before mentioned, vanquished
    the Normans, but did not expel them; but Charles, the brother of that Lewis,
    grandson of Charles the Bald, by his son Lewis, as I have said aboce,
    repeatedly experiencing, from unsuccessful conflicts, that fortune gave him
    nothing which she took from others, resolved, after consulting his nobility,
    that it was advisable to make a show of royal munificence, when he was
    unable to repel injury; and, in a friendly manner, sent for Rollo. He was
    at this time far advanced in years; and, consequently, easily inclined to
    pacific measures. It was therefore determined by treaty, that he should be
    baptized, and hold that country of the king as his lord. The inbred and
    untameable ferocity of the man may well be imagined, for, on receiving this
    gift, as the by standers suggested to him, that he ought to kiss the foot of
    his benefactor, disdaining to kneel down, he seized the king's foot and
    dragged it to his mouth as he stood erect. The king falling on his back,
    the Normans began to laugh, and the Franks to be indignant; but Rollo
    apologized for his shameful conduct, by saying that it was the custom of his
    country. Thus the affair being settled, Rollo returned to Rouen, and there
    died."
    --- William of Malmesbury, *Chronicle of the Kings of England*, c 1135,
    tr John Allen Giles, London (Henry G Bohn) 1847, p 125-126

    "It is not known when Rollo arrived in the Viking kingdom [in Normandy].
    Dudo says that he took Rouen in 877, but most historians are agreed that
    Rollo probably did not appear in Francia until the early tenth century. The
    possibility exists however, that Dudo is preserving a belief that Vikings
    had been established in the Rouen area from about this time. Rollo is
    thought to have been Norwegian rather than Danish, and later Icelandic
    sources identify him with Hrolf the Ganger (walker), son of Ragnvald earl of
    Moer, who had a career as a Viking before settling in Francia. He married a
    Christian woman and his son William, according to the Lament of William
    Longsword, was born overseas. (P) Nothing more in known about the 'Treaty
    of St Clair-sur-Epte' concluded in a personal interview between Charles the
    Simple and Rollo than Dudo tells us, and he has been accused of inventing
    the meeting. That a cession of territory in the Seine, extending as far
    west as the mouth of the Seine on the coast and near the source of the Eure
    inland is affirmed by a charter of Charles the Simple dated 14 March 918.
    ..... Flodoard adds the information that Rollo received baptism and the
    Frankish name Robert with the cession of this territory. (P) Rollo seems to
    have been made a count in 911, with the traditional duties assigned to a
    Carolingian count, namely, protection and the administration of justice. He
    was certainly subordinate to the Frankish king. With the proliferation of
    titles accorded the leader of the Normandy Vikings in later sources, some
    historians hace suggested that Rollo was made a duke, but Werner has argued
    that there was no Norman *marchio* before 950-6, and no duke before
    987-1006, that is, after Hugh Capet had gained the throne of France. .....
    (P) Rollo appears to have received his territory on similar terms as the
    Bretons had received the Cotentin, except that the bishoprics were also
    ceded. ..... In exchange, Rollo was to defend the Seine from other Vikings,
    accept baptism and become the *fidelis* of the Frankish king. That there
    were other groups of Vikings in the region, particularly in the western part
    of Normandy, is clear. The west stayed pagan longer; it was a century
    before a bishop was appointed to the Cotnetin. ..... (P) The arrangement
    made in 911 proved successful ..... The area of Normandy by 933 corresponded
    to the area of the archdiocese of Rouen, with the seven *civitates* of
    Rouen, Bayeux, Avranches, Evreux, See's, Lisieux and Coutances. The
    fortunes of the bishops of Rouen and of the (principes* of Normandy were in
    fact closely associated from the very beginning."
    --- Rosamond McKitterick, *The Frankish Kingdom under the Carolingians,
    751-987*, London & NY (Longman) 1983, p 237-238

    "A.D. 917. ..... Rollo, first duke of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by
    his son William."
    --- Florence of Worcester (died c 1117), *A History of the Kings of
    England* (OR: *The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester*), trans Joseph
    Stephenson, 1853 (reprinted by Llanerch Enterprises, Felinfach, Lampeter,
    Dyfed, Wales SA48 8PJ, 1980s (?)), p 76
    3
  • Event: Note 0870
  • Note: Left Norway for reaving & conquest on the continent.
  • Event: Accedence 0876
  • Note: Count of Rouen by conquest. 5 6
  • Event: Note ABT 0876
  • Note: Banished from Norway by King Harald to the Hebrides. 3
  • Birth: 0870 in Møre, Nord-Trondelag, Norway 7
  • Event: Accedence 0911
  • Note: Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte: Charles "the Simple" King of the West Franks acknowledged the feared Viking Rollo 'Wend-a-foot' as the first Duke of Normandy and his vassal in 911.



    Father: Ragnvald I Eysteinssøn "the Wise" JARL OF MØRE b: 0837 in of Upland, Denmak
    Mother: Ragnhild (Hildr) HROLFSDOTTIR b: 0837 in Norway

    Marriage 1 Poppa OF VALOIS b: 0872 in Evreux, Eure, Normandie, France
    • Married: 0891 8 9 10 11 12
    • Event: Marr-Note 0890
    • Note: She was captured & taken by Rollo "the Ganger" Ragnvaldsson during a Viking attack on Bayeux. 3
    • Event: Marr-Note 0891
    • Note: Rollo named her his "Danish" wife. 3
    Children
    1. Has Children William I "Longsword" DUKE OF NORMANDY b: 0893 in of Normandie, France
    2. Has No Children Robert HROLFSSON b: ABT 0895
    3. Has No Children Gerloc DE NORMANDIE b: ABT 0897 in of Normandie/Neustria
    4. Has Children Kathlin DE NORMANDIE b: ABT 0900
    5. Has Children Adele DE NORMANDIE b: ABT 0917 in of Normandie/Neustria
    6. Has Children Crespina DE NORMANDIE b: ABT 0920

    Marriage 2 Gisele OF WESTFRANKEN b: 0858
    • Married: 13

    Marriage 3 Gisela (DE NORMANDIE) b: ABT 0895
    • Married: 0912 14

    Sources:
    1. Title: Europäische Stammtafeln
      Abbrev: Europäische Stammtafeln
      Author: Hermann Grote
      Publication: Leipzig, 1877
      Note:
      *Europaeische Stammtafeln*, J.A. Stargardt Verlag, Marburg.
      Page: Bund II tafel 36
    2. Title: University of Hull Royal Database (England), Url: http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/cssbct/genealogy/royal/
      Abbrev: University of Hull Royal DB
      Author: bct@tardis.ed.ac.uk, Compiler: Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science
      Publication: University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX, 1994, 1995, 1996
      Note:
      Usually reliable but sometimes includes hypothetical lines, mythological figures, etc.
      Page: Rolf the Ganger Ragnvaldsson Duke of Normandy
    3. Title: Fisher, Gordon, Recipient: soc.genealogy.medieval, Author E-mail: gfisher@shentel.net
      Abbrev: Fisher, Gordon
      Author: Gordon Fisher
      Publication: usenet
    4. Title: University of Hull Royal Database (England), Url: http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/cssbct/genealogy/royal/
      Abbrev: University of Hull Royal DB
      Author: bct@tardis.ed.ac.uk, Compiler: Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science
      Publication: University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX, 1994, 1995, 1996
      Note:
      Usually reliable but sometimes includes hypothetical lines, mythological figures, etc.
      Page: b 846
    5. Title: Fisher, Gordon, Recipient: soc.genealogy.medieval, Author E-mail: gfisher@shentel.net
      Abbrev: Fisher, Gordon
      Author: Gordon Fisher
      Publication: usenet
      Page: no date per se
    6. Title: Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, 3rd ed., Pages: 395
      Abbrev: Royalty for Commoners
      Author: Roderick W. Stuart
      Publication: Genealogical Publishing Comp, Baltimore, MD, 1993
      Note:
      subtitled The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III King of England & Queen Philippa. Reviewed in TAG, April 1994 by Dr. David H. Kelly
      Page: p 123-124, no date
    7. Title: Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, 3rd ed., Pages: 395
      Abbrev: Royalty for Commoners
      Author: Roderick W. Stuart
      Publication: Genealogical Publishing Comp, Baltimore, MD, 1993
      Note:
      subtitled The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III King of England & Queen Philippa. Reviewed in TAG, April 1994 by Dr. David H. Kelly
      Page: 2nd edn, 1992, p 123-124
    8. Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America bef 1760, 7th ed.
      Abbrev: Ancestral Roots
      Author: Frederick Lewis Weis
      Publication: Genealogical Publishing, Baltimore, MD, 1992
      Note:
      Same ref source as earlier ed, "Ancestral Roots of 60 Colonists who Came to New England 1623-1650" ed 1-6
      Repository:
        Name: J.H. Garner

      Page: line 121E-18, uncertain if it gives date
    9. Title: Europäische Stammtafeln (Schwennicke edition): Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der europaischen Staaten
      Abbrev: Europäische Stammtafeln (Schwennicke edition)
      Author: Dettlev Schwennicke, ed, based on the work of Wilhelm Karl Prinz zu Isenburg
      Publication: Verlag von J.A. Stargardt, Berlin, Germany, 1978, 1995
      Page: ii, 79, & ii, 75 [as rev. in iii(1)], uncertain if it gives date
    10. Title: Les Seize Quartiers Genealogiques des Capetiens
      Abbrev: Seize Quartiers des Capetiens
      Author: J. D. de Joannis & R. de Saint-Jouan
      Publication: Sauvegarde Historique, Lyon, France, 1958
      Page: i, 4, uncertain if it gives a date
    11. Title: University of Hull Royal Database (England), Url: http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/cssbct/genealogy/royal/
      Abbrev: University of Hull Royal DB
      Author: bct@tardis.ed.ac.uk, Compiler: Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science
      Publication: University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX, 1994, 1995, 1996
      Note:
      Usually reliable but sometimes includes hypothetical lines, mythological figures, etc.
      Page: m 886
    12. Title: Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, 3rd ed., Pages: 395
      Abbrev: Royalty for Commoners
      Author: Roderick W. Stuart
      Publication: Genealogical Publishing Comp, Baltimore, MD, 1993
      Note:
      subtitled The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III King of England & Queen Philippa. Reviewed in TAG, April 1994 by Dr. David H. Kelly
      Page: p 123-124
    13. Title: Fisher, Gordon, Recipient: soc.genealogy.medieval, Author E-mail: gfisher@shentel.net
      Abbrev: Fisher, Gordon
      Author: Gordon Fisher
      Publication: usenet
      Page: But the chronicler Dudo of Saint-Quentin's statement that Rollo married Gisela, daughter of Charles the Simple, must be considered to be legendary work of Dudo of Saint-Quentin
      [who?] is practically our only authority.
    14. Title: University of Hull Royal Database (England), Url: http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/cssbct/genealogy/royal/
      Abbrev: University of Hull Royal DB
      Author: bct@tardis.ed.ac.uk, Compiler: Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science
      Publication: University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX, 1994, 1995, 1996
      Note:
      Usually reliable but sometimes includes hypothetical lines, mythological figures, etc.
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