Montagu on the Hunt For Viking BloodWhen Rachel Montagu moved from her birth place of London to Norway in 2000, little did she suspect that she might have roots in Norway stretching as far back as the 9th century. The Montagu name can be traced back to Normandy in France and more specifically the well-known Gange-Rolv
Gange-Rolv has historical significance because he has been identified with Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy. Scholars are not in agreement of Rollo’s nationality, it is claimed he is either Norwegian or Danish. In Norway it is believed he was from Sunnmøre and was excommunicated by Harald Hårfagre, after which he went to France. In 911 he established the county, later the dukedom of Normandy and became the forefather of the Norman family of dukes. One of his descendants was William the Conqueror, who conquered and was crowned king of England in 1066, and Gange-Rolv is generally accepted to be the forefather of the British royal family.
“If the DNA can be linked to Norway, we could – with a convenient Norwegian angle – say that England was conquered by Norwegian Vikings.”
The Norwegian historical foundation Explico has worked since 2010 towards DNA-testing of two direct descendants of Gange-Rolv. They are buried in a sarcophagus in a Benedict monastery northeast of Le Havre in France, and after having dealt with French bureaucracy for a few years it seems we finally in 2013 will be able to establish where Rollo came from.
If the DNA can be linked to Norway, we could – with a convenient Norwegian angle – say that England was conquered by Norwegian Vikings.
This would give Rachel Montagu the Viking blood she deep down knew she had.