Rollo is the Latin form of the Norse name Hrolfr (Rolf) Rollon is the French spelling of the name Rollo. The first man known to have borne the name was a Viking who settled with his followers in what we now know as Normandy. The French King, Charles the Simple, thought it wiser to grant the Norsemen this pleasant land rather than have them threaten Paris. The treaty of the Saints Clair-sur-Epte of 911 confirms this. It was signed here where Ganger-Hrolf was also baptised. A statue of him stands nearby now.

Some say that Rollo was the same as Ganger-Hrolf, or Rollo the Ganger. A gigantic man for his time, Rollo was nicknamed Rolf the Ganger (or walker), reputedly because when he sat on his horse his feet touched the ground! It is more likely though, that he was a good marcher. Anyway, his giant steps brought him the Dukedom of Normandy as the first Duke. Four generations later, his descendant, Robert the Magnificent (or Robert the Devil - depending on your point of view), Poisoned his elder brother, succeeded as Duke, had a son by Herleve, the daughter of a Falaise tanner, and died on a pilgrimage atoning for his sins.

Robert's son, William "Rollo", survived a perilous childhood and conquered England in 1066. With him he brought some of his trusted Rollo relations. The Normans' also ventured into Italy, This may explain the presence of the name Rollo there today.

Rollos arrived in Scotland by the early 14th century (at the latest). [Balfour Paul's Scots Peerage (1910) gives the first name in Scotland as Willelmus de Rollok, in Berwick's muster-roll, 1312]. This may either have been the result of King David I's policy of inviting Normans' to help him govern his unruly realm 200 years before, or due to immigration at a later date.