Corresponding Family Names of Scandinavian Origin in Normandy and Yorkshire

The Vikings left their mark on the dialect of Normandy and the dialects of Yorkshire, so that we can today find some cognates and near-cognates in both these language varieties.
Similarly, there are correspondences to be found amongst family names in both areas, derived in each case from the same Scandinavian sources. Here are some examples :

Scandinavian root Norman family name Yorkshire family name
Ásketill, Áskell, Árnketill. Anquetil Antell, Antill, Axtell, Eskell (these may be associated with the Yorkshire place- names Astley and Exelby)
Ásgautr Angot Angood.
bekkr (= stream) Le Bec Beck
Ketill (also occurs as an element in compound names, i.e. Ketill_____ and _____ketill. Quetil Kell, Kettle(s) (these may be associated with the place-name Keld.
lund (= copse; grove of trees) Lalonde Lund(s), Lound, Lounts, Lund(s), Lound, Lounts,
Thorstein Tostain, Toutain Thurston, Thurstan
Thorketil(l), Tóki Torquetil Thurkell, Thirkettle, Thirtle, Thirkil(l), Took(e), Tuck, Tuckey. (The Manx names Caukill,Cawkill, Corkill, Coakill,etc., are from the same Scandinavian source).
Thorgaut Turgot Thorogood, Thoroughgood.
Thorgísl, Thorgils. Turgis Sturge, Sturges, Sturgess
Thorvald Thérou, Thouroude Thursfield

This is by no means a complete list but is probably sufficient to demonstrate that family naming in both Normandy and Yorkshire, in the Viking Age, followed similar patterns and used the same Scandinavian sources. Nor can it be claimed that the names given above are to be found only in Normandy and Yorkshire respectively, for Viking influence spread beyond these regions and, of course, subsequent geographical mobility has also had an effect. The point is simply that these names are strongly associated with these regions and, by choosing these two, an effective comparison can be shown. If this stimulates others to research along similar lines, then our purpose will be served !

Further reading :

Rogers, K.H. (1991) Vikings and Surnames. ISBN 1 85072 086 X.
Rogers, K.H. (1995) More Vikings and Surnames. ISBN 0 9525967 0 9.
Prénoms normands et vikings auteur/author : Georges Bernage éditeur/editor : Heimdal - coll. Guide Heimdal

- 14. august 2004 -