Nordic Names in the Low Countries - List

All persons are represented with their presumed Norse names, if possible in an Old Norse (ON) spelling, as can be found for instance in: Finnur Jónsson (ed.), Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, Nóregs konunga sögur (Copenhagen 1911). The ‘hooked o’ is represented here as ‘ö’. ON is most often specifically Old Icelandic.
For each subject, the list presents:
- the names as occurring in the written sources (Latin names declined to nominativus) with possible major variant spellings;
- a short biographical description, to identify the person and to clarify his relation to the Low Countries;
- the entries in the written sources (see Reference Page).

Björn name occurring in the sources: Beren, Bern
Mentioned as an intermediator in a transfer of real property in 834.
source: OSU I, 68
Gormr name occurring in the sources: Vurm, Vurmonus, Wurm
One of the viking chiefs (principes) present in the fortification at Ascloha on the River Meuse (probably Asselt near Roermond) in 882.
source: AB 882, 284; AF 882, 132
Guđröđr name occurring in the sources: Godefridus, Godefrith, Godofridus, Godćfridus, Gotafridus, Gotafrich
King of the Danes who attacked Frisia in 810, imposing a tribute on the population. He was first mentioned in 804 when he tried to negotiate with Charlemagne and was killed in 810 by one of his followers.
source: ARF 810, 94; EVK 810, 182; RP1 810, 69.
Guđröđr name occurring in the sources: Godafrid(us), Godefrid(us), Godefrit, Godćfrid(us), Gothafrich, Got(h)afridus
After the death of his father Klakk-Haraldr in 852 he wandered around as a pirate in the kingdom of Charles the Bald. Together with his cousin Hrśrekr he ruled over the ‘greater part of Frisia’ for some time after 855. Then he left for England and returned in 879 to the continent with the ‘great army’. He reached an agreement with Emperor Charles the Fat at Ascloha on the River Meuse and received ‘the whole of Frisia’ in 882. He was baptized and married Gisla, a daughter of King Lothar II. In 885 he plotted with Hugh, the brother of Gisla, against the emperor, but he was entrapped and killed during negotiations.
Note: it could well be that the Guđröđr mentioned until 855 is not the same person as the one mentioned 879 onwards.
source: AB 852, 82; AB 855, 90; AV 880, 296; RP2 881, 260; AF 882, 116, 118, 132; AB 882, 284; AV 882, 302/3; AE 882, 122; RP2 882, 264; RP2 885, 268, 270; AV 885, 308; AE 886, 122/3
Hálfdan name occurring in the sources: Healfden(a/e), Haldan(i), Halden, Hal(f)dene, Halpdani
Viking chief, probably based for some time at Walacria. He sailed to England in 855 to raid the country. He became ruler of Northumbria in 876 and was killed one year later, although it is also believed that he became king of the dubgennti (dark heathens = Danes) in Ireland.
source: HC 52; ALD 855, 506
Háls name occurring in the sources: Hals
One of the viking chiefs (principes) present in the fortification at Ascloha on the River Meuse (probably Asselt near Roermond) in 882.
source: AF 882, 132
Haraldr name occurring in the sources: Herialdus, Herioldus, Herioldus iunioris
Haraldr junior was the (older?) brother of Hrśrekr. He raided the Frisian coasts and occupied Walacria in the late thirtees of the ninth century. He was granted with parts of Frisia by Lothar I, who needed a strong (naval) force in the coastal areas of his kingdom. Haraldr died around 844 after he probably fell into disgrace with the king.
source: AF 850, 38; AB 841, 54; NH 444; AX 850, 350
Hemingr name occurring in the sources: Amingus, Hemminch, Hemmingus
He was a dux (commander) of the emperor in Frisia and got killed during a viking-raid on Walacria in 837. He was a brother of Klakk-Haraldr and already present in the Frankish empire in 812, where he was held in custody but he was released a year later.
source: AF 837, 22; TVH 252
Hróđulfr, Hrólfr name occurring in the sources: Hr(u)odulfus, Rodulf(f)(us), Ruodoldus, Ruodolfus, Rothulf, Rothwlf, Rodolb
After the death of his father Klakk-Haraldr in 852 he raided the Irish southern coasts. Later he appeared in the kingdom of Lothar II and was possibly based at Walacria. After the death of Lothar he negotiated in vain with Charles the Bald. He was killed by the local population during an attack on Oostergo in Frisia in 873.
source: AB 864, 128; AB 872, 222/4/6; AB 873, 230; AF 873, 90; AX 873, 368; VG 59
Hrollaugr; Hrólfr name occurring in the sources: Robertus, Rodulfus, Rollo, Rosso, Rolla
He sailed from England to Walacria and devastated the area possibly around 874. Afterwards he occupied the Seine-region and was appointed count of Rouen by King Charles the Simple. He was, better known as Rollo, the ancestor of the duces of Normandy.
source: DQ 149-151; WJ 794-795, EH 35
Hrśrekr name occurring in the sources: Roric(h)(us), Rorigus, Rorik, Ruorich
Hrśrekr attacked Frisia, after he fell into disgrace with Lothar I, for several years before he regained Dorestad in 850. Since then he was a powerful ruler of (West) Frisia for some 25 years. All the Frankish kings of his time had to deal with him. His presence even influenced the Treaty of Meerssen in 870.
source: AF 850, 38; AB 850, 76; AX 850, 350; GAF 303; AB 855, 88/90; AF 857, 50; OGZ 50; OSU 73; FAN 241; AB 863, 116; AB 867, 166; AB 870, 206; AB 872, 222/4; AF 873, 88; AX 873, 368; AF 882, 118; AB 882, 284; AV 882, 302
Ívarr Hingwar, Hungarius, Inguar(us), Ingwar(e), Inwćre, Iuguar, Ivarus, Ynguar, Ywar
Viking chief, probably based for some time at Walacria. He sailed to England in 855 to raid the country.
source: ALD 506; VE 510-511
Kálbi name occurring in the sources: Calbi
Danish viking chief, probably based for some time at Walacria. He was killed in 863 during a siege on an island in the River Rhine near Xanten.
source: AX 864, 354
Katla name occurring in the sources: Cathle, Catla
Svear woman, she visited Dorestad to distribute the money of her mother Frideburg amongst the poor around 848.
source: VA c.20
Klakk-Haraldr Haraldus (Clac, Clak), Harioldus, Herialdus, Hericus, Heri(h)oldus, Heriolt, Herold(us)
Danish king that was expelled from his kingdom and flew to the Frankish empire. He was baptized and received the county of Riustringen in Frisia in 826 from Emperor Louis the Pious. He was killed in 852 in his county by (probably Saxon) noblemen.
source: AVH 324; TVH 234; AF 852, 42
Knútr name occurring in the sources: Knut
Mentioned as an intermediator in a transfer of real property in 834.
source: OSU I, 68
Óláfr name occurring in the sources: Olaf, Olaph, Olas, Olau(u)us (martyris)
Olaf the Saint, king of Norway 1015-1030, fought a battle on the coast of Kennemerland (Kinnlima-síđu).
source: H 186
Ragnarr name occurring in the sources: Raginarius, Raginerus, Reginherus, Ragnerus
He was granted the cella of Torhout in Flanders by Charles the Bald around 843. Shortly after he fell into disgrace with the king and took revenge by devastating the Seine-area. He possibly died in 845. Around this historical figure the legendary Ragnarr Lođbrókk was created, mainly in the 12th century.
source: VA c.21, 36; TG 14; AX 845, 348
(compositions of) Ravn/Hrafn name occurring in the sources: Ravn, Ravnolf, Ravnilt, Ravnvine, Ravngot, Landravn, Thancravn, Baldravn
In Flanders a group of names from the tenth century occur in the village of Snellegem composed around the name element Ravn. The individuals must be found within the same clan. The name element Raven (or Raban) was common throughout the Germanic world, and not specifically Scandinavian. The spelling 'Ravn' might point at a Norse ancestor.
source: charter from the St-Peters Abbey at Ghent, published in: Naamkunde 16 (1984), 183-200.
Sigfröđr name occurring in the sources: Sifridus, Sigafrid(us), Sige(m)fredus, Sigefridus, Sigenfredus, Sigfridus, Sigifrid(us), Sygafridus
In 879 he came from England to the continent with the ‘great army’. He could be the same that left the Frankish empire after 865. In 882 he reached an agreement with Emperor Charles the Fat at Ascloha on the River Meuse and left the kingdom after receiving a tribute of gold and silver. In 887 he returned to the Low Countries where he was killed, either in Frisia (Annales Vedastini) or in Louvain (Annales Fuldenses).
source: AB 865, 152; RP2 881, 260; AF 882, 132; AB 882, 284; RP2 882, 264; AE 882, 122; AV 887, 314; AF 891, 154; MAB 891, 47
Steinarr name occurring in the sources: Stemmarus
Witness in a charter from the abbey Blandinium, 993/4. Although this person had a typical Norse name he could well be of Flemish birth
source: DB 185
Ubbi name occurring in the sources: Habba, Hubba, Ubba, Ubbe dux Fresonum, Ubbi, Ubbo dux Fresiorum
Ubbi ‘the Frisian’, leader of the ‘Scaldingi’, the vikings of the Scheldt, that came to England in 855. In later sources he was identified as a son of the legendary Ragnarr Lođbrókk. He was killed in battle in Wessex in 878.
source: HC 50, 52; ALD 506; AL 53; CR 16; ASC 71; VAM 62; ASC 878; VE 510-511
Ţorgils name occurring in the sources: Durghis
Serve of the count of Flanders. Although this person had a typical Norse name he could well be of Flemish birth.
source: charter from the church of Saint-Donatian at Bruges, around 1170, in: Mededelingen Naamkunde 31 (1955), 172-174.
Ţorsteinn name occurring in the sources: Turstein
Witness in a charter in 1138. Although this person had a typical Norse name he could well be of Flemish birth.
source: charter 14 of Saint-Bertijns of Poperinge at Ghent, in: Mededelingen Naamkunde 31 (1955), 172-174.
Ţorsteinn name occurring in the sources: Durstenus
Man of the count of Flanders, 1168-1191. Although this person had a typical Norse name he could well be of Flemish birth.
source: charter 28 of Saint-Bertijns of Poperinge at Ghent, in: Mededelingen Naamkunde 31 (1955), 172-174.
Ţorsteinn name occurring in the sources: Thurnesten
Witness in a charter, year unknown. Although this person had a typical Norse name he could well be of Flemish birth.
source: charter from the church of Saint-Donatian at Bruges, in: Mededelingen Naamkunde 31 (1955), 172-174.


Nordic Names in the
Low Countries

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