Saturday, November 24, 2007

NORSE SURNAME. MIGRATIONS. Scarf - Scharfe - Scharf - Scariff. Ironworking; Cormorant SkarfR . Norse. forge name connections

NORSE SURNAME, MIGRATIONS. Scariff. SkarfR. Norse to Ireland

Connections to Cormorants; and where they nested, irony-shaley places.

Scharfe family farm, Ottawa, Canada - Adam Scharf and Teressa Black.

Family occupations in memory.  Dairy, and Clydesdales for the farm and the city to pull the trolley. And Norse. Somewhere, back there.

With a name like Scharfe, we have to be odd. 

 What kind of name is that? Are you related to the Scaifes? No, but their mail sometimes came to us.

Ancestors from Kilkenny -

The family lore said Irish most recently, but the name sounded German - scharfe for sharp.  Tracking for recreational reasons, we find John and Anne in 1848, from Kilkenny, arriving in Ottawa, and their descendants took off from there - see Hazeldean Cemetery. The land of the farm is still there but the house burned in the 1940's we think. Just ampty land.

Old Norse. 

We also then found Viking roots to the name - not unusual, given the history of that wandering-settling-trading-raiding-group.Norway has a mountain, Skarfjellig; and there are runes to explore -- SKARF in runes with each rune having a meaning, see Norway Road Ways, SKARF.

Many probably raided first, then settled in Ireland - see their mills there, and replicas of their villages.

Recreational lookbacks into names - a diversion for us, looking up an unusual maiden name, Scharfe. Skarf. Scaife evolved. Scarf. Scharf. Six of one.

But the Scaife branch were better financial planners.


Were all of us stems of the root clans in The Burnt Njal Icelandic Saga?  There find Otkell, Son of Skarf and more Skarfs - see "The Story of Burnt Njal, or Life in Iceland at the End of the Ninth Century, " by George Webb Dissent in 1861, at a Google Book, with this very long URL, but worth it because of the coat of arms and illustration there - at ://

Read the story at the Icelandic Saga Database, at :// - Skarf at Chapters 47-48.

Another distant (not personally known) relative found a memorial near An Scairbh that traced the name back to the 1500's -  somebody named Red. Fantasy says we are related to Eric the Red. Everyone needs fantasy.  Go to All in a name.

Canada embellished us.

The "e" was added arbitarily in the early 1900's in the Ottawa Valley, Ottawa, Canada. The only reason was to help the poor postal worker who had all the Scharfs to deal with.  Adam made us different with a stroke of a directive. Always helpful.

They were good folks, think their progeny's progeny's progeny.

Back to the Old Norse.

Skarfs and Cormorants and Icelandic Saga.

The Old Norse. We earlier found connections with the skarf-scarf-scharf-scharfe group in Orkney - old Norse for cormorant, or the shaley cliff or other rocky places where they nested. See Orkney Road Ways - Scarf / Cormorant. See that site also for the Skarf in an old Norse Icelandic Saga. Meet Burnt Njall, meet Otkell, son of Skarf.

SkarfR - in the Runes, see ://, and scroll down to SkarfR.  Cormorant, or Skari, small sea gull. 

Scarfs and the Bowman, The Fletcher, the Longbow Arrow -

The arrow of the longbow - the best ones - were made of both ash and oak:  ash at the feather or fletched end, oak at the steel tip or bodkin end.  The join between the ash part of the arrow and the oak was called the scarf - and the gluing and varnishing made the scarfed joint.  See Agincourt at Studying War: World War 1, World War 2, Other Wars: Sites, History.

Scarfs and Blacksmithing.

Now we find a blacksmith connection: a scarf joint. Here is a description of a blacksmith doing one near Houston TX 2003: the Houston Area Iron Fest at

Metalworking: In summary, this is how you rough in a "scarf."

take two half-inch square bars, do an "upset" where the join is to be, at 5/8" inch. The angle of the "upset" and the anvil edge should be 30 degrees, keeping the opposite end away from the anvil's face, far end down. Hammer the overlap, making something called a "shearing" action where the cross section is. Soon it starts to separate, so lower the angle - some 45 degrees until it gets to about 60 degrees.

Now, clean it up, add dimension in the "off" sides. See the scarf bulge in the "plane of the tongue" and forge it back so it looks like a duck head. Both ends to be joined are now forged in "like scarfs" and bury them in a coke forge. Head up. Soak until you have 2800 degrees F.

Then, put tongs on opposite ends from the scarfs (note these are not scarves). Then pull both out at the same time, shake so the scale falls off. Rotate and bring the scarf head down and here we do a fair use quote of a bit:

"...[H]e then pressed the two scarfs into their yen and yang positions, he dropped the tongs us was using to hold the piece to his right, picked up his hammer and gave the joint a series of fast strikes, sending sparks flying. It was now forge welded together. Before more seconds passed he reinserted the bar into the forge and brought it up to forging temperature again, but not up to 2800 F as before. Once the steel could be seen to be molten on the surface while peering into the forge, it was pulled out and more rapid, short stroke blows given, tumbling the piece. This “wash weld” served to erase any remnant of a forge weld line still visible. Essentially, the molecules of the two pieces were now intermingled such that no forge line was visible because it didn’t exist any longer! Voila! Forge weld without flux and without a forge line. It was not necessarily remarkable, but most smiths present had never seen it accomplished before.

Several smiths looked at the piece attempting to discern where the weld was, but in vain. You’d need an electron microscope to see the union point now."