The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Music Cue: ‘Immigrant Song’

Posted on | August 20, 2023 | Comments Off on Music Cue: ‘Immigrant Song’

My ancestor, Rollo the Viking

Genealogy is fun, although I’m not entirely sure that online sources are reliable. At any rate, my son Jefferson texted me today about some of the research I’d done. It seems his girlfriend’s family can trace their ancestry to William the Conqueror, and here I’d gotten no further back than the Revolutionary War. But I conveyed to Jefferson some of what I had, and he got to work, tracing the ancestry of my grandmother Perlonia McCain (née Bolt) through the Eastwood line through the Thorpe family to the Robbins family of New Jersey and thus to the Potter family of Connecticut. Go back several generations in the Potter line in England and (according to the online records, at least) when you reach the 12th century, the family name is actually Poitiers. Could it be true that my distant ancestors were Norman crusaders who became rulers of Antioch?

That’s what the online genealogy says, anyway, and from these Norman crusaders the Poitiers, the line traces all the way back to Rollo (Hrólfr in Old Norse), the Viking warrior who conquered Normandy. And . . .

Wait a minute, William the Conqueror was also a descendant of Rollo, which means that my son’s girlfriend is a distant cousin! Forget “Immigrant Song.” This is more like “Dueling Banjos,” IYKWIMAITYD.



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