Saturday, June 27, 2009

YORKSHIRE. Norse. Surname Scharfe. Yorkshire; Scarborough. Vikings?

Norse Surname
Skarfr. Scarf and all its variations.

History through Names

A. Place names. 

Any map in the US may well show a place name that derives from England, or another country where the immigrants from it settled and wanted to feel at home. Paris, Maine. Berlin, Connecticut. Toledo, Ohio, etc. For British derivations, see; or the home page at

 B. Surnames

1.  Researching history through surnames.
Start with heraldry.  See Scharf, Scarf, similar spellings, at  This site notes arrival of these Scarf Skarf surnamed folk in documents in Yorkshire from the 13th Century, but undocumented people were there long before the writing about particular ones.  See the Viking Timeline at .  Yorkshire and much of Britain was ruled by the Danes and other Norse, back in the day.

Of immediate interest is the odd Norse surname, SkarfR, or Skarf (""Otkell Son of Skarf, from Burnt Njall's Saga, Iceland 12th Century recorded, earlier told).  Look what we get from JSTOR - one page.  See  Or at Questia:  see this book from the 1930's - hidden away at :// We don't want to get into all that bureaucracy.

If anything is public domain, that is. If not, let people be paid by the click from tax dollars - encourage everyone to research.

2.  Still looking: Yorkshire.  Found more affirmation of Norse roots - at

Youtube asks, with Simon and Garfunkel, Are you going to Scarborough Fair?  Scarboro is in the Norse Tales as Skarthabork, and as Scarthborg and Vikings.

The Norse, of course, were not the first on the northeast coast of England - there were others, and Romans.  But the Vikings gave their names to the places in ways that lasted, more perhaps than the Romans.

3.  More history. Vikings began raiding in England in 787 AD. Conquest activity followed. See

Danes conquered northern England in 866 AD, and the area that once was a Roman city, York, became the capital of Viking rule. Finally in 1016, there came peace with King Canute. Read there about the history of Viking raiding and invasions in Europe, down through Germany, Russia, Eastern Europe, Iceland, Spain (the Muslims defended, kept them out), Portugal, and traded with the Byzantine Empire. In Germany, the root "scharf" in Middle High German meant energetic active person; and scharpf is sharp-cutting, see

4.  A blacksmith connection.

Viking craftsmen included blacksmiths, see The root of "skarf" with all its spellings wherever the Vikings went comes from forge, or in the Orkneys, a shale-y place as where cormorants nested, with skarf as a term connected to cormorants (Skarfskerry, Scotland, see Skarfskerry Point at see Ireland Road Ways, Scarf - Scharfe - Scharf Ironworking, Norse Is that so? We are just enjoying ourselves here. Not experts.

Also mountaineers perhaps, or reference again to shale, at Skarfjellet, Norway.  The mountain, near Sunndal, see

5.  And in the 1800's, there were four Scharfe families in Yorkshire.
  • Thomas in 1831,
  • Hadassah A. in 1837,
  • Agnes in 1837, and
  • Thomas H. in 1872. See Scharfe Family History at Ancestry.Com at :// This would not be our group, except in name, as our Scharf-Scharfes settled in Ireland.
6.  A Jewish connection with the name evolved.  Skarf is a Norse name that moved into Germany, Poland.  Did it come with the Vikings in those waterways, who then settled, intermarried.  The rivers went deep into the countries, and the longboats were shallow-drafted, and fast. See Denmark Road Ways, Roskilde Viking Ship Museum.

However the name moved and was adopted,
7.  Interest in Hadassah.

Back to history, and Jews in England - back to the beginnings?

There was a massacre of Jews in York in 1190 - there is a Hadassah Scharfe in Yorkshire in the 1890's - see That Hadassah is the Hebrew name for Esther, with connections to the myrtle, used in perfume. See

Hadassah is also the name of the Jewish women's Zionist organization.

Jewish connections? Given the Viking wanderings, settlements, raids and conquests, that would not be unusual at all.

Looks like the connection became strong.  A Lauren Scharf in Ohio US gave some records to Hadassah the organization there, so is there a Jewish branch of us? See The name comes up. Everybody intermarries with everybody all over the world, so welcome, family. Come to think of it, we were detained in 1961 from entering Israel from Egypt because the "scharfe" was thought to be what? German therefore Jewish or Jewish? We never knew. After an hour we were allowed in. Or was it going from Israel into Syria and Lebanon? Maybe that was it.

The e in our name came only in the 20th Century, to keep all the Ireland-originating Ottawa Scharfs identifiable for the post office. We still would like to know about Hadassah Scharfe.

SkarfR.  Scharfe. Scarf. Scarth. Scarff. Skarf.  Norse roots.


Side interest: "wic" means trading place, see Eastwick? Southwick? How about Pickwick? Wicca? Wickman?

"Land" is a Viking word, and that became attached to the Gaelic "eire" = Ireland.

Suder means South, so Sutherland (Scotland at the north). See Viking history at that allhistories site, click and find yourself at Upper class Vikings: Earls. Farmers and craftsmen: Karls. See

 Copyright over-restrictions:  Consider the merits of Copyleft, see - a way to open up use of material, while protecting the originator.