The Merovingians

Robert Sewell   This page was set up by Robert Sewell in July 2006 to show the descent of the Counts of Vermandois from Merovech, after whom the Merovingian Kings of France were named. 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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Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map for other pages in this series.

The information presented here has been taken from the following sources:
World Book Millenium 2000 Deluxe Edition, © 1999 World Book Inc., © IBM Corp.
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopædia 99, © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation
Norman F. Cantor (ed.) The Encyclopædia of the Middle Ages, New York, 1999
Fredrick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard:  Ancestral Roots, Baltimore, 1999
Barnes and Judson:  History Atlas of Europe, Macmillan Inc., New York, 1998
Berhard Grun, The Timetables of History, New York, 1991
Patrick J. Geary:  Before France and Germany, Oxford University Press, 1988
George Andrews Moriarty: The Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa,

Mormon Pioneer Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985.
The Pictorial Encyclopædia, New York, 1954
The Book of History (18 Volumes), London, 1914
Periodical Historical Atlas of Europehttp://www.euratlas.com
The Kings of France, http://www.beyond.fr/history/kings.html


Click for  PDF index 
For an overview of these times, click on The Merovingian Dynasty.

Generation One
Chlodio, Chieftain of the Salian Franks

    Often described as "King of the Franks", Chlodio may be more accurately referred to as a "Chieftain of the Salian Franks". Frankish warriors served as Roman soldiers; and this service was rewarded as the Salians were allowed to spread out from their "reservation" known as Toxandria (Tiesterbant near Campine in the southern Netherlands) into what is to-day Begium, northern France as well as along the lower Rhine. Much of this expansion was peaceful, although in 428 and again in 450 the Roman general Ætius crushed Frankish uprisings led by Chodio. At other times, there was close co-operation as in the Frankish support given Ætius in his defeat of the Huns near Orléans in 451.

. . . Patrick J. Geary:  Before France and Germany, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 80
. . . Norman F. Cantor:  Encyclopædia or the Middle Ages, New York, 1999, p. 307


Chlodio's successor, possibly a son, and certainly a relative, was:

Generations Two to Nine from Brian Tompsett: Directory of Royal Genealogical Datahttp://www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/genealogy/royal/
beginning with  Merovech, http://www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/cgi-bin/gedlkup/n=royal?royal11921
and from 
Patrick J. Geary:  Before France and Germany, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 232-233

Please note that it is stated in Fredrick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard: Ancestral Roots,
Line 240 (Baltimore, 1999) that this genealogical information is "questionable".

Generation Two
Merovich, Chieftain of the Salian Franks

Merovech
Acceded in 447; Died in 458

    As for Chlodio before him, Merovich is often described as "King of the Franks". He is also known as Merovech, Merovæus, Merovée, and Merowig. The Merovingian kings were named after Merovich.

    Merovich is said to have been born of two fathers. When already pregnant by King Chlodio, his mother went swimming in the ocean where she was seduced by an unknown marine creature, a “bestæ Neptuni Quinotauri similis”.  This creature, part man, part bull, and part marine creature, impregnated the Queen a second time. Thus Merovech carried the blood of the Frankish rulers as well as that of an aquatic creature.

    Merovich and his descendants are known as "the Sorcerer Kings"; and are said to have possessed supernatural powers including the abilities to cure illness simply by touching the afflicted and to tame wild animals as well as clairvoyant and telepathic powers.

Merovich was succeeded by a relative, possibly a son:


Generation Three
Childeric I, Chieftain of the Salian Franks
Acceded: circa 460; Died: 482

  Also referred to as "King of the Franks", Childeric was one of several tribal leaders of the kindred of Chlodio and Merovech.  He began to lead the Franks prior to 463 and was the last Frankish chieftain to continue the tradition of service under Roman commanders.  Although he had some sort of falling out with the Roman commanders in Northern Gaul, he remained intimately involved in the world of late Roman civilization.  He may have received direct subsidies from Constantinople as well.

. . . Patrick J. Geary:  Before France and Germany, Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 80


Childeric married to Basina, and they had the following children:


Generation Four
Clovis I, King of the Franks
Born in 463?; Acceded in 482; Baptized on September 22, 496; Died in 511.

    Clovis is also referred to as Chlodowech, Chlodovech, Chlodovic, Chlodovicus, and Chlodwig; but "Clovis" is used most frequently.
    Clovis is considered the founder of the French State.  In 486, in co-operation with other Frankish chieftains, he defeated the last great Roman army in Gaul under the commander Syagrius near Soissons. He then went on to defeat many minor princes, kings and tribal chieftains to form the first Frankish Kingdom.  However, the exact chronology of Clovis' reign is hopelessly obscure; even the identity of the various peoples he is said to have defeated and absorbed into his kingdom is debatable.
    Clovis I married in 493 to Clotilda (475 - 545), later St. Clotilda, daughter of Childperic, King of the Burgundians.  Clotilda was a Christian and is said to have been instrumental in the conversion of Clovis I to Christianity.  According to legend, an angel gave Clovis I an iris flower or "fleur-de-lis" after accepting the Christian faith, and Clovis I then used fleur-de-lis as his symbol.
    However, it is entirely unlikely that Clovis underwent an experience of profound enlightenment during which he renounced the many Celtic, Germanic and Roman deities to embrace Jesus Christ.  He more likely viewed Christ as another powerful god; an ally he could call upon to give him victory in battle.
    At the time of his death, his kingdom covered most of what is now France and the western part of Germany.  According to ancient Frankish law and tradition, the kingdom was split up among his sons Clodomir, Theodoric I (also Thierri I), Childebert I and Clothaire I. The situation was far from peaceful as the Merovingian Kings spent much of the next two centuries squabbling over the various thrones. Although a temporary union of the Frankish Kingdoms occurred several times when a single heir survived, the situation was chaotic as various kings sought to displace one another.

Clovis I
leftClovis I (465 - 511), 
King of Franks from 481 to 511
rightSt. Clotilda (475 - 545), 
married Clovis I in 493
Clothilda
Clovis married in 493 to Clotilda (475 - 545), and they had the following sons:
The Main Divisions of the Frankish Kingdoms under the Merovingian Kings
Map about 600 Aquitaine:  modern S.W. France south of Loire River.

Austrasia:  modern N.E. France and N.W. Germany; sometimes including Neustria.

Bourgogne or Burgundy:  modern S.E. France.

Neustria:  modern Belgium and N.W. France north of Loire River.

courtesy of
http://www.euratlas.com


Generation Five
Clothaire I, King of Neustria and Austrasia
Died in 561

Clothaire had the following sons:

Clothaire I
Generation Six
Chilperic I, King of Neustria
Died in 584

Chilperic married to Fredegund and they had a son:

Chilperic I
Generation Seven
Clothaire II, King of the Franks
The Frankish Kingsoms of Neustria, Austrasia and Burgundy 
were united briefly under Clothaire II from 623 and 629.
Died in 629
Clothaire had the following sons:
Clothaire II
Generation Eight
Dagobert I, King of the Franks
The Frankish Kingsoms of Neustria, Austrasia and Burgundy were united briefly under Dagobert I from 629 until his death in 639. According to ancient Frankish law and tradition, the kingdom was split up among his sons. 
Dagobert I was the last great Merovingian ruler. After his death, powerful officials and aristocratic families played an ever increasing role in ruling the various kingdoms of the Franks.
Died in 639
Dagobert I
Dagobert married first to Gomatrud.
Dagobert married second to Nantechild, and they had a son: Dagobert married third to Ragnetrud, and they had a son:


Generation Nine
St. Sigebert III, King of Austrasia.
Acceded in 639; Died in 656

Sigebert had the following children:

St. Sigebert adopted the following child:
Generations Ten to Sixteen are from 
Fredrick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard:  Ancestral Roots, Line 240 (Baltimore, 1999) 
It is stated in Ancestral Roots that the genealogical information up to this point is "questionable".

Generation Ten
Dagobert II, King of the Franks
While Dagobert II was "King of the Franks", palace officials were by this time playing an ever increasing role in ruling the kingdom. Following Dagobert's death in 679 or 680, a confusing series of ever weaker kings, beginning with Dagobert's cousin Theuderic (Thierry) III, sat on the throne.

Acceded in 676; Died in 679 or 680.

Dagobert had a daughter:

For an overview of these times and the ultimate demise of the Merovingians, click on The Merovingian Dynasty.

Generation Eleven
Adela
    Adela is accepted by Eckhardt as daughter of Dagobert II but believed by Hlawitscha to be daughter of Hugobert and Irma, mother of Aubri I, Count of Blois. (The identification of Adela’s parents depends on a forged charter.)

Adela had a son:


Generation Twelve
Aubri I, Count of Blois

Aubri I had a son:


Generation Thirteen
Aubri II, Count of Blois

Aubri II had a daughter:


Generation Fourteen
Theidlindis
Thiedlindis married Count Gainfroi who flourished circa 795 and was a son of Mainier, Count of Sens, Duke of Austrasia (791 - 796, died in 800), and his wife, a daughter of Duke Haudre.
 


Generation Fifteen
Giselbert, Count in the Massgau
Massgau is in the valley of the Meuse river.
Acceded in 839; Died in 842

Giselbert probably married a sister of Echard, Count of Hesbaye, and they had a son:


Generation Sixteen
Giselbert, Count of Darnau
Acceded in 846; Died in 863

Giselbert married  Helletrude of Lorraine (also called Ermengarde), a daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Lothaire I and they had a son:


Generation Seventeen
Régnier I, Count of Hainaut
Generations Seventeen to Nineteen from Fredrick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard:  Ancestral Roots, Line 140 (Baltimore, 1999)
Died between October 25, 915 and January 19, 916

Régnier married first to Hersent, a daughter of Charles II "The Bald", King of France and they had a son:

Régnier married second to Alberade of Mons.
 

Generation Eighteen
Giselbert, Duke of Lorraine
Died in 939

Giselbert married Gerberga of Saxony, a daughter of Henry I "the Fowler", King of the Saxons.
Giselbert and Gerberga had a daughter:


Generation Nineteen
Gerberga of Lorraine
Born circa 935

Gerberga married Albert I, Count de Vermandois who is also known as Adalbert, Count of Vermandois.
Gerberga and Albert had a son:

Please click on Herbert III, Count of Vermandois for the continuation of this line.
 

Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map for other pages in this series.

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