Leif Ericson Viking Ship Norseman
Spring 1997

This is the time of year when many invitations for appearances for the NORSEMAN come in. The skippers and crew make every effort to accommodate as many requests as possible, within our limitations of cost and crew availability. (Most of us are weekend Vikings.) Invitations to date include the following, but some appearances are still tentative pending working out satisfactory final arrangements:

For the latest information on our appearances and additional news about our schedule, check in with our website or contact us by e-mail at one of the addresses listed. We welcome information about other events to be considered and also consider appropriate commercial appearances (for a fee, of course). If you see us at one of the above events, or elsewhere, please stop by to say hello.

Thanks to member and computer wizard Gil Jacobsen, the NORSEMAN website continues to add information about our group, Viking ships, bibliographies about Viking Culture, and other related information. You can find all this at You can also find links to other websites about other Viking information, and the latest Norseman News.

The increasing cost of production and distribution of our newsletter, and an expanding circulation, encourage us to use our website as a more economical way of distributing information. We may have to limit paper circulation to Members and Friends only, to control costs. If you prefer e-mail distribution of the Norseman News, sign in on our guest book (soon to be implemented) and leave your e-mail address.

We welcome letters from readers with information about new books on Vikings, Scandinavian Festivals in new locations, Viking ship replicas, and Viking news in general.

We have recently received a number of copies of a new (1996) publication from Viking Heritage, Visby, Gotland, Follow the Vikings, Highlights of the Viking World, Dan Carlson and Olwyn Owen, Editors. Contributing experts from Sweden, Iceland, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Finland, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Latvia, and Norway have each collaborated to prepare this up-to-date survey of Viking travels, archeology, museums, and important sites in each of the countries listed.

Divided into two parts, Follow the Vikings first provides the background to the selection of places to visit to see the legacy of Vikings across Europe and the North Atlantic, then in the second part gives a summary of fifty of the most interesting and significant places in Viking age history. This scholarly work charts Viking travels on excellent maps, and includes over seventy new photos and illustrations of Viking sites, artifacts, and remains accompanied by detailed descriptions. Many of these subjects have not been included in other publications about Vikings.

If you are planning a journey into Viking lands, or just want to be up to date with a comprehensive survey of sites and artifacts of the Viking world, this volume is a valuable addition to your library. Soft cover, 128 pages, with color maps and photographs. A limited number of copies are available at $20.00 plus postage and can be ordered by sending a check and your order on the form on page 4.

From Dilla Narfarson in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, we received the gift of a recent novel, printed in pocketbook form in Canada. Eriksdottir, by Joan Clark (Penguin Books, Toronto, 1994) is a fictional account of the voyage to Finland led by Freydis, daughter of Erik the Red and half-sister to Leif Ericson, and her husband, Thorvard. Joan Clark is the award-winning author of several novels and childrenís books, including Swimming Toward the Light, and The Dream Carvers. She grew up in the Maritime provinces and now lives in St. Johnsí, Newfoundland.

This novel is based on information from the Greenlanderís Saga and from Ericís Saga about this voyage to Vinland undertaken about the year 1015. The author fills out the bare bones of the sagaís reference to create a detailed but conjectural account of the reasons for the voyage, preparations, wintering in the Vinland settlement, the basis for the tragic dispute between the Greenlanders and the Icelanders in the expedition, and the return to Greenland by the survivors.

The blending of saga and fiction is convincingly real, as is the portrayal of daily life in a remote corner of the Viking world. This genre of historical novel helps make human and colorful the bare outlines of history, but also runs the risk for the reader of blurring the line between known fact and the imagination. On balance, an excellent and gripping story about a strong-minded, determined and independent woman (perhaps too much so for her own good). Order at your local bookstore.

Karen Drexler of Reading, PA has sent a gift membership in LEVS NORSEMAN to her father, Mr. Wilton F. DeMarco of Pacific Grove, California. It is always interesting to learn of all the routes by which Viking ancestry can be derived. Ms. Drexler, an amateur genealogist, writes, in part, as follows:

"....Although he is of Roman background on his paternal side, his maternal side was primarily English and Scottish. The family roots were traced to England and then back to Normandy in France. Only recently did I come upon the ancestral home area in Denmark and Norway, the former being the English Normans and Viking roots, and the latter (Scottish) - the roots in Norway......When the Vikings "settled" in Seine - Infenriene, Normandy, France - my ancestors were amongst many who left there to "settle" in England (in 1106). The family was Des Mesnieres (which) became the Manners family and were later Nobility, the Dukedom of Rutlandshire. Their ancestral homeland seemed to be Hedeby, Denmark.

"On the Scottish side, they became the MacLeods of the Isle of Skye, in the Hebrides, also Viking in ancestry and originally came from evidently the Trondheim area now known as the city of Trondheim but then as "Nidaros", the other Scottish surname was Dallas, an offshoot of Clan MacKintock!..."

Karen goes on to tell of her hopes to visit the various locales of her fatherís (and her) ancestors. Wilton DeMarco is 84 years old, but remains very interested in Vikings and in his ancestry. Our thanks to Karen Drexler for this interesting story about her father. Others wishing to share their links to Viking ancestors are invited to write the Editor, Norseman News. (Please keep your information as brief as possible.)

Several members of our Viking crew are available for individual appearances, with costume, to talk about Leif Ericson and Viking times to your club, school classroom, scout troop, or other organization. Nearby locations will be done for a modest donation to the NORSEMAN (subject to availability and scheduling). If travel expenses are paid, we go anywhere!

Actual size is 11" x 17", on card stock, suitable for framing. To order CLICK HERE

If you wish to support our efforts to dramatize the Norse discovery of North America by Leif Ericson long before other celebrated sailors, become a friend of the NORSEMAN. For only ten dollars a year, you can receive our newsletter by first class mail, and keep up to date on our activities, appearances, book reviews, and other Viking information.

By joining as a friend,you can help defer our costs of printing, mailing, and other expenses, while adding your name to those who believe in the importance of recognizing and publicizing the accomplishments of Leif Ericson and his fellow Viking explorers. Use the membership and order form on the rear of this newsletter to join as a friend, or better yet, to become a member of our group for added benefits.


In the year One Thousand Three
A new land Leif Ericson did see
He sailed before Columbus who
Set sail in Fourteen Ninety Two

...Denise L. Staub, author

October 1996 Newsletter