Charlemagne the Great

Robert Sewell   This page was set up by Robert Sewell in July 2006 to show the descent of the Sewell Family from Charlemagne and his ancestors.  Robert Sewell graduated from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) in 1967 with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry.  After a year of studies at the University of Toronto's College of Education, he taught high school science in Collingwood, Ontario for a year and then taught chemistry, physics and general science in Hamilton, Ontario for twenty-nine years.  Robert Sewell retired from teaching in June 1998.

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The Franks and their Kingdoms

    Franks were members of a confederation of Germanic peoples that attacked the Roman Empire beginning in the A.D. 200's.  The Franks were divided into two branches, the Salians and the Ripuarians.  The Salians settled in the Low Countries on the lower Rhine, near the North Sea.  The Ripuarians moved into the region around what are now the cities of Aachen, Trier and Cologne, Germany, in the region of the middle Rhine.

    Frankish history is divided into two periods.  These periods are the Merovingian, from about 481 to 751, and the Carolingian, 751 to 987.  Charlemagne, who was king of the Franks from 768 to 814, created a vast empire.  In 800, Pope Leo III crowned him emperor of the Romans.  After the time of Charlemagne, the Frankish empire began to break up into what later became the kingdoms of France, Germany, and Italy.

    Our genealogical history begins with Clovis, a Ripuarian Frank who was King of Cologne in the early 5th century.  It should be noted that many of the kings at this period of history were really just tribal chieftans; and that this is not Clovis I (466? - 511) who founded of the Merovingian Dynasty.

Generation One
Clovis, a Ripuarian Frank who was the King of Cologne circa 420 AD.  Frankish "kings" at this time were really just local tribal chieftains.
fl. ca. 420 (flourished circa 420)
Clovis had a son:

Generation Two
Childebert who was a the King of Cologne circa 450 A.D.
fl. ca. 450
Childebert had a son: Generation Three
Siegbert the Lame who was the King of Cologne.
Murdered in 509
Seigbert was murdered by his son: Generation Four
Cloderic the Parricide who was briefly the King of Cologne.  Cloderic murdered his father in 509, and was himself murdered the same year by Clovis I, the founder of the Merovingian Dynasty.
For more about Clovis I and the times in which he lived, click on The Merovingians.

Cloderic married a kinswoman of Clothilda, the Burgundian Princess and wife of Clovis I.  They had a son:

Generation Five
Munderic, Lord of Vitrey
Munderic was "very young" in 509 when his father was murdered by Clovis I.
Munderic revolted against Thierry (I), a son of Clovis (I), who killed him.
Munderic married Perthois and they had the following sons: Generation Six
St. Gondulfus
Born in 524
Died on July 6, 607.
St. Gondulfus was Bishop of Tongres (consecrated in 599), Governor of Marseilles in 581 and Mayor of the Palace to Theibert (I).

St. Gondulfus is almost certainly the father of Duke Bodegisil (II); see F.L. Weis, Ancestral Roots, Baltimore, 1999, 190-6. Other earlier works including George Andrews Moriarty: The Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, Mormon Pioneer Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985, pages 5 and 241, show St. Gondulfus' brother Duke Bodegisil (I) or perhaps another brother, name unknown, of St. Gondulfus and  Duke Bodegisil (I) as the father of Duke Bodegisil (II).

While it may seem strange to us to-day for a "saint" and a "bishop" to have had children, this was not the case in early mediæval times. Married clergy were the rule rather than the exception until Gregorian reforms of the 11th century. By the late middle ages, there were virtually no married clergy.

St. Gondulfus was a political figure; he was Governor of Marseilles and Mayor of the Palace and was not consecrated until quite an old man in 599. As well, it was very unusual among the early Franks for a son to have the same name as his father as would be the case if Bodegisil (I) had been the father of Bodegisil (II). The same name was used to indicate a close kinship such as the uncle and nephew relationship here.

St. Gondulfus had a son:

Generation Seven
Duke Bodegisil (II) was the Governor of Aquitane.
Killed in 588
Duke Bodegisil (II) married Oda, a Suevian and they had a son: Generation Eight
St. Arnoself of Metz was the Bishop of Metz and is also known as Arnold, Arnulf and Arnuiph.
He was a member of the court of the Frankish king Theodebert (II) of Austrasia. A noble, Arnoself married Doda, and their son was Ansegisel. Doda became a nun, and Arnulf made plans to enter a monastery but was named the bishop of Metz around 616. He continued his court services, making Clotaire of Neustria the king of Austrasia. He also served as counsellor to Dagobert, King Clotaire's son. In 626, Arnulf retired to a hermitage at Remiremont, France. His feastday is July 18.

Born in 582
Died on August 16, 641
St. Arnoself married Clothilde (Doda) who became a nun at Trèves in 612
St. Arnoself and Clothilde had a son:

Generation Nine
Duke Ansigise who was Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia in 632 and is also known as Anchises, Ansegisel and Ansegilius.

Born circa 602
Died (murdered) in 685
Married:  St. Bégue or Begga, daughter of Pépin the Old of Landen who was Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia in 623 and a counsellor of Dagobert (I), King of Austrasia. St. Bégue's mother was St. Itta, said to be a daughter of Arnoldus, Bishop of Metz, said to be a son of Ansbertus, the Gallo-Roman Senator and his wife Blithilda.  On the death of her husband in the year 691, St. Bégue built a church and convent at Andenne on the Meuse River and died there. Her feast day is December 17th.

Duke Ansigise and St. Bégue had a son:

Generation Ten
Pépin of Heristal who was Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia.
Born circa 635
Died on December 16, 714
Pépin married first to Plectrud, a daughter of Hugobert and Irmina, and they had the following sons: Pépin was associated with Aupais (Aupaïs, Elphide or Chalpaida?) who is said to have been be a concubine. Historically, this referred to a secondary or inferior wife and may help explain why some sources claim that Pépin and Aupais were married. They had a son: Generation Eleven
Charles "The Hammer" Martel who was the Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia, and as such, was the virtual ruler of France.  Please click on Charles Martel for further details.

Born in 676
Died on October 22, 741
Charles Martel married first to Rotrou or Chrotrud who was perhaps a daughter of St. Liévin, Bishop of Trèves.  Charles and Rotrou had the following children:

Charles Martel married second to Swanhilde or Sunnichilde, daughter of Theodebert, Duke of Bavaria and they had the following children:

Generation Twelve
Pépin the Short, King of the Franks who was Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia and who had himself declared King of the Franks in 751.  Please click on Pépin the Short for further details.

Born circa 715
Died on September 24, 768
Pépin the Short married in 740 to Bertha or Bertrada II of Laon also known as "Bertha Broadfoot".  She was the daughter of Caribert (or Herbert), Count of Laon and granddaughter of Bertha, a Merovingian Princess who was in turn a daughter of Thierry (III), King of Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy.

(George Andrews Moriarty: Plantagenet Ancestry Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985, page 232. Click HERE to see this page.)
Please click on Bertha for this line.

    Some sources, eg. World Book 2000, © 1999 IBM Corporation, suggest that Bertrada or Bertha was known as "Queen Goose-Foot" or "Goose-Footed Bertha", and is the original “Mother Goose”.  Hence, we can also list “Mother Goose” among our illustrious forebears.

Pépin the Short and Bertha of Laon had the following children:


Armorial Bearing of CharlemagneGeneration Thirteen
Charlemagne, Emperor of the West ruled jointly with his younger brother Carloman from 768 until 771, at which time Carloman died.  Charlemagne greatly extended his empire, and was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III on December 25, 800.  Charlemagne was predeceased by two of his sons, and was succeeded by his sole surviving son, Louis the Pious.  Click on Charlemagne for further details.

Born on April 2, 742 at either Ingolheim or Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
Died on January 28, 814 at Aachen

Charlemagne married in 771 at Aachen to Hildegarde of Vinzgau, and they had the following children:

Charlemagne had additional wives, an abundance of girlfriends and many more children.

Generation Fourteen
Pépin (I), King of Italy  who was crowned King of Italy by his father Charlemagne in 781.

Born in April 773
Died on July 8, 810, before his father Charlemagne.
Pépin married in 795 to Bertha who may have been his cousin; a daughter of  his Uncle Carloman. Pépin and Bertha had a son:

Generation Fifteen
Bernhard, King of Italy who revolted in July 817 when his uncle, Louis (I) the Pious who had succeeded Charlemagne as Emperor, proceeded to divide the empire among his sons, Bernhard's cousins.
    Bernhard doubtless felt that his father Pépin had been crowned King of Italy by Charlemagne and that he should follow his father as the full fledged King of Italy.  Louis the Pious, however, had a different view of the situation.  Seeing as Pépin had died before Charlemagne, Louis the Pious felt that as Charlemagne's heir, he was overall king or emperor; and that Bernhard was perhaps sort of a sub-king.  Bernhard's revolt didn't work, and he was forced to submit to Louis in December 817.
    Eventually, by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the territory that had been Bernhard's Kingdom of Italy was awarded to Louis the Pious' son Lothaire who became Holy Roman Emperor.
    Please click to see a Map of the Carolingian Empire after the Treaty of Verdun of 843.

Born circa 797
Died on August 17, 818 at St. Amrosius, Mailand
Berhard married in 813 to Kunigunde (also Cunegonde or Cunigunde)  and they had a son:

Generation Sixteen
Seigneur Pépin de Peronne
Born in 817
Died after 840
Seigneur Pépin was probably the Lord or Count of Peronne and St. Quentin in the Vermandois; an area in Picardy in northern France. Seigneur Pépin had the following children:

Generation Seventeen
Herbert (I), Count of Senlis and Vermandois
Born circa 840
Died (murdered) circa 900 – 908

Herbert (I) married Bertha, a daugher of Guerri (I), Count of Morvois and they had the following children:

Generation Eighteen
Herbert (II), Count of Vermandois

Herbert (II) married Liegarde (or Hildebrante) a daughter of Robert (I), King of France and his first wife Aelis.  (See Capet, Generation Nine), and they had the following children:

Generation Nineteen
Robert, Count of Troyes and Meaux
Born circa 910
Died circa 967/68
Robert married Adelaide, a daughter of Giselbert, Count of Burgundy and his wife Ermengarde.
Robert and Adelaide had the following daughters:

Albert (I) "the Pious", Count of Vermandois
Born circa 915
Died in 987
Albert married Gerberga of Lorraine.  Click on The Merovingians for Gerberga's descent from Clovis and the Merovingian Kings.
Adalbert and Gerberga had a son:

Generation Twenty
Herbert (III), Count of Vermandois

Born circa 954
Died about 1000
Herbert married Ermengard, a daughter of Reinald, Count of Bar and they had a son:

Generation Twenty-one
Odo, Count of Vermandois

Born circa 1000
Died May 25, 1045
Odo married Parvie, Parrie or Parrè, and they had a son:

Generation Twenty-two
Herbert (IV), Count of Vermandois
Herbert (IV) married Adela, daughter of Raoul (III) Count of Valois and the Vexin, and they had a daughter:

Generation Twenty-three
Adelaide of Vermandois
Died in 1123
Adelaide married to Hugh "the Great" de Crépi, Count of Vermandois, son of Henry (I) Capet, King of France and brother of Philip (I), King of France.  Click on Hugh "the Great" for details.
Adelaide and Hugh had a daughter:

After Hugh’s death, Adelaide married secondly to Reinald, Count of Clermont.

Generation Twenty-four
Isabel de Crépi of Vermandois who is also know as Elizabeth de Crépi of Vermandois
Died before July 1147
Isabel married first to Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan.  Robert de Beaumont, son of Roger, Seigneur de Beaumont, was present at the Battle of Hastings.
Isabel and Robert had the following children:

Isabel married secondly circa 1118 to William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Warren & Surrey and they had the following children:

Generation Twenty-five
Adelaide de Warren who is also known as Ada de Warren.

Died in 1178
Adelaide married in 1139 to Henry, Earl of Huntingdon who was the son of David (I) "the Saint", King of Scotland and Matilda of Nothumberland.  Henry was next in line as King of Scotland, but he died about a year before his father.  When David (I) died in 1153, he was succeeded Henry's son, Malcolm (IV).
Adelaide de Warren and Henry of Huntingdon had the following children:

Generation Twenty-six
David, 9th Earl of Huntingdon

Please click on Earl of Huntingdon for the continuation of this line.

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