Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
Are there any Norman descendants alive in Ireland or England today?
Not only in Ireland and England but also in Scotland there are people of Norman Descent. The Bruces and Stewarts were of Norman origin. English History books, after around the 1920s but maybe earlier, used to estimate that ca. 10% of the English were predominantly of Norman origin while about 20% had significant Norman input. Studies of surnames indicate that someone with a Norman Family Name in England has statistically a greater chance of belonging to the upwardly mobile classes. For these estimates it is assumed that everybody who came over with William the Conqueror were Normans. Such however is not the case. A good portion of those who are identified as “Normans” actually came from parts of France outside of Normandy. Bretons from Brittany in France were also important. In fact, the popularity of the legends of Arthur among the Normans in England has been attributed to the Breton component among them. French historians (e.g. J. Markale) discuss this. The Bretons were in part descended from Welshman and British Celts who had fled from the Anglo-Saxon invasions. From that point of view the Norman invasion of 1066 represented a return of the native Britons to the place they had come from! The Normans themselves were descended with “Northmen” from Denmark and Norway who intermixed with the native Bretons. They may however have been a separate grouping in Scandinavia before coming to Normandy. The native “Celts” of Brittany and Normandy judging by their Tribal names and other factors appear to have been derived from the Israelite Tribes of Benjamin and Simeon. There were also descendants of Esau among them. The god Esuvius was worshiped and his name is a derivative of Esau.