Our fan page Vikings - Norman Descendants gets a lot of questions. We will do our best to answer them all.
Question: Were Vikings a small minority in Normandy? That being the reason why they assimilated to French civilization. They are known to have intermarried from the beginning with the natives.
Answer: They were not a minority. They founded the Country (Douchy) in 911. Viking raids started during the 8th century. Little by little, they established themselves in the area called Neustria. When the Country was officially founded and named "Normandy" meaning "Northmen Country" they were already there in great numbers. Many more Vikings arrived and established themselves in several large areas of Normandy creating new villages etc.
They named many places that they established with the name of the families father. The place names still exist. They named towns, villages, rivers, landscapes etc. Many places were called from the name of the former Viking chief.
No surprise that many Vikings were great sailors and fishermen, they established a lot along the coast. They also named coastal areas with their names but above all, they introduced a lot of Norse terms for fishing and sea lexical, Norman language was developing.
What I find fascinating is these very same people made it to the New World establishing the colonies of Canada while it was under New France. Many of the people in the Quebec region can still trace as far back as Normandy with DNA results coming back with high % Scandinavian. You can imagine the shock of some of these people when they learn of their true heritage.
Comments from our original post:
Ross A C Findlay "They didn't adopt anything French, because "French" didn't exist."
Vikings - Norman Descendants: Very true. It was completely different in those days than it is today. Hence why I don't necessarily like to say English or French anything as it's not exactly accurate.
Stéphane Hamel "I know several people from Quebec with Scandinavian DNA like: Amireau, Auger, Bélanger, Boivin, Bouchard, Cantin, Croteau, Duseau, Hamel, Houde/Houle, Daigle, Frégeau, Lacroix, Legault, Levasseur, Mallet, Roy, Tessier..."
Shane Jarvis "I was a little surprised have family from the Montreal and Quebec area traced ancestry back to Normandy and the Norman invasion. Also a lot of Saxon and Norman ancestry from England as well other Scandinavian ancestry from different circumstances."
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