Monday, January 13, 2014


The Vikings were sailors.

They sailed from their homeland in Scandinavia across the Baltic, the North Sea, and over the Atlantic to Iceland and Greenland and even to North America. They worked their way around the coasts of France and Spain and into the Mediterranean.

Today's Map on Monday shows the areas settled by the Vikings from the 8th to 11th centuries. In the 9th century they invaded the north-eastern part of England led by such romantically named leaders as Ivar the Boneless and Eric Bloodaxe. That's the part of the world where my family comes from.

I am pretty sure I am descended from Vikings.

Why else would I be so drawn to sailing and to wearing a hat with pointy horns?

Who knows - I might even be descended from Eric Bloodaxe?

Perhaps I should change my name to Bloodaxe?

I think I'll go for a pillage now.


George A said...

No Tillerman, if you identify with horned hats, then sadly you are not of Viking stock. Hats with horns pre-date the Vikings by several hundreds of years if not more. More likely you are descended from the Pitted Ware Culture (not to be confused with the even earlier, although genetically distinct, Funnelbeaker people).

O Docker said...

Wow, this explains so much.

I'd always known my ancestors were from somewhere in 'Russia', but now I have a much better idea of which part.

This also explains why the only photo of me on Facebook is this one.

And then there is my name.

I'm often asked the derivation of 'O Docker' and have explained it comes from the fact that my boat is berthed on O Dock.

But now I see it goes back much further than that. It must have originally been 'O the Docker', a Viking whose job it was to haul invading long boats up onto hostile shores in the heat of battle - a name I should be much more proud of than I'd been before this.

Thank you, Tillerman.

MYCSunfish Fleet said...

I'll bet that my ancestors knew yours. My ancestors came from the part of Sweden that is right under the "e" in Skane. They used to run longboat races from there to Danelaw because the yacht clubs there gave lots of great prizes for the first 300 boats to finish. As an added bonus, they got to take the podium girls home with them.

Tillerman said...

That place right under the "e" in Skane with the longboat races and prizes for the first 300 boats to finish sounds a lot like Lake Massapoag. But when I won that regatta there they never told me I could take the podium girls home with me. Is it too late to claim that part of my prize now?

Anonymous said...

JP said...

Where's the evidence for the pointy hat fetish? O'Docker gave us a photo but do we have Tillerman the pillager's in a Viking hat?

Anyhow what about Rule Britannia etc?

So many questions.

Keep Reaching said...

Horned hats are certainly authentic Viking accoutrements - Wagnerian operas feature Norse gods wearing horned hats. What else do you need for proof.

Bursledon Blogger said...

My dad was called Ralph so I does that make me one too

Tillerman said...

Yeah what about Rule Britannia? Wasn't it originally something to do with that Saxon usurper who had those 3 brothers with ridiculous names like Æthel Bert, Æthel Bald and Æthel Red? I'm sure the Vikings had much better and much more bloodthirsty songs. Or was it to do with that Prince Freddy who was German and was trying to curry favor with his English subjects - the one who never became king and had the mad son who very carelessly lost America?

Ralph is definitely a Viking name. We are probably cousins BB.

O Docker said...

How curious that you should mention the Saxon king Æthel Bert, whose power would eventually extend to a vast area south of the River Humber. While waiting to assume the throne from Caewlin, a West Saxon, he launched a career as a mead hall troubador, appearing in disguise.

To further mask his identity, he used the stage name of Æthel Bert Humberking.

MYCSunfish Fleet said...

Kids are always losing things. Tell Prince Freddy to look under the couch. That's where I always used to find lost things when my kids were small.

Tillerman said...

Nice one O Docker. You have inspired me to put on my hat and cloak and go out for a bit of ravaging.

Mad King George said...

Thanks MYCSunfish Fleet. America was under the couch. What shall I do with it now I've found it?

PeconicPuffin said...

I myself am 25% Norwegian. Half of one horn as I see it. Time for a raid!

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