Pearsall Surname Project
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History and Genealogy
of the Pearsall Family in England
Inside Front Cover
AND DUKE OF NORMANDY
1, Rollo, His Family and History also of Rolf Thurstain
and of Malehuc – Section 2, Genealogy of Einar, Earl of the Orkneys.
ROLLO, conqueror of Normandy, Duke of Normandy, son of Rognvald, Earl of Mere, Chapter 2, Section 1.
genuine name is Hrolfr, i.e. Rolf, in various
spellings. The French form is Rou, sometimes Rous (whence an odd Latin
form Rosus) ; the
Latin is Rollo, like Cnuto, Sveno,
&c. The strangest form is Rodla which
occurs in a late manuscript of the English Chronicles (a. 876. Thorp's
ed.). This was clearly meant to be an English form of Rollo. The English
masculine ending `a' was substituted for the Latin `o', just as Giso, and Odo are in
English Gisa and Oda.
The writer also clearly thought that Rollo was a name of the same type as
Robert and others, and he fancied that by putting in a `d' he was
restoring it to its genuine Teutonic shape. On account of his great
stature, which prevented any horse from carrying him, he was known as Gaungo Hrolf, or "the walking Rollo." He
was one of the most famous vikings of his age.
He married first, More Danico, Poppa, daughter of Count Berenger,
count de Senlis. He married second; Gisela, Gesilda, or Oegidia,
daughter of Charles the Simple, King of France, although his first wife
was living and he was not divorced from her. [The Norman Conquest, by
Edward A. Freeman, vol. 1, page 110-111.]
will be well to keep in mind that the historians of the time were all
members of the established Christian Church, and being intensely partisan, they could not see current events, except from
the standpoint of the church. They were dogmatic in their opinions, and
therefore they could not understand the sanctity of marriage unless
celebrated according to the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.
Hence, the priest was perfectly willing to marry Rollo to the king's
daughter, although he had a living wife obtained by a pagan ceremony, as
thereby he accomplished the condemnation by Rollo of the old alliance,
and at the same time bound to France, this strong soldier by ties
stronger than those of the treaty by which he had acquired his domain.
The Sea-king had so little faith in the new religion that perhaps he felt
the new ceremony could do him no harm, and yet please his new friends. It
is to his everlasting credit that he nevertheless respected the old
marital alliance with Poppa.
clerical historians assert that Rollo was converted to Christianity in
912. While Prof. A. W. Kerkaldy, after a most
careful research, says it is doubtful if the conversion of Rollo ever
took place. In this connection he says it is important to note that no
Christian name was mentioned for Rollo in the refer-