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AD 810?-1295?

(Bentheim, Ghent, Kennemerland, Niftarlake, Vlaardingen, Westergo, Westfriesland, Zeeland)

Historical notes on Holland, Genealogical data

For younger generations of ancestors who are descended from this family:
see page on Boulogne
see page on Looz
see page on "Capet" Kings of France
see page on Van Beveren
see page on Gelre
see page on Van Ochten
see page on Avesnes

Historical notes on Holland

The name Holland is probably derived from "Holtland", a wooded area in the coastal marshlands that existed at the time, north-east of the present city of Leiden, without cities, trading centres or monasteries to speak of. What existed then of Leiden was in the Bishop of Utrecht's domain. In spite of Holland's modest beginnings, a steady expansion of its area and growth in political and economic status took place. The increasing prominence of Holland as the focus of the emerging Dutch nation was achieved under extremely violent circumstances, characteristic of the European political arena at the time.

The river Rhine used to be the border of the ancient Roman Empire. The civilised Romans gladly left the wet and unpleasant north of the Rhine to its primitive inhabitants, a pagan tribe known as the Frisians who's area extended as far north as the river Weser, now in Germany. Only long after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, the European political scene finally caught up with the Frisians. Meanwhile, south and west of the river Rhine, great changes had already been taking place. The Merovingian Franks under their leader Chlodovech (Clovis) had managed to gradually fill the power vacuum the Romans had left behind in Western Europe, first defeating the Roman general who ruled Northern Gaul, Syagrius, at Soissons in 486; then the Alaman tribe who had ventured across the Rhine into Alsace, at Tolbiac in 496, securing Chlodovech's eastern border; and the Visigoths at Vouillé in 507, driving them south across the Pyrenean mountains into Spain. Much later, in 635, the Merovingian King Dagobert I took on the Frisians and conquered Utrecht, but after Dagobert's death in 639 the Frisians simply retook it. In 690, Pepin II of Herstal, formally the "major domus" ("mayor of the palace", "hofmeier") of the Merovingian King Theuderich III, but who had become the Kingdom's actual ruler, defeated the Frisian King Radbod (Radboud) at Dorestad and sent out (Saint) Willibrord in an attempt to turn the Frisians into Christians and keep them quiet. This was not very easy, after the death of Pepin in 714, Radbod chased the Franks and their Bishop out again and destroyed all their churches. But Pepin's successor Charles Martel continued his policies, and after the death of Radbod in 719 Willibrord could return to Utrecht. The end was however not yet in sight, in 754 Archbishop (Saint) Boniface, a most senior church official who had been sent out to convert the Frisians, was murdered near Dokkum together with 50 men who accompanied him. Even now, over 12 centuries later, the reverberations of this terrible act of violence still sound: every Dutch schoolchild can tell you who was murdered near Dokkum in 754 (which may indeed be the only thing they know about early Dutch history).

In spite of all this, the Frankish tide could not be stopped, and all of the Frisian territories ended up as part of the Empire. Especially the western part, which we now call "Holland", adapted well to Frankish rule. Under Emperor Louis "the Pious", Charlemagne's son and successor, the first Counts in "Holland" held the position of "preafectus", the military commander-in chief who could call up all able men within 12 hours to defend their livelihood against the Vikings. Besides acting as judge in legal conflicts between citizens, this was probably the only task for which some sort of government authority was needed. After centuries of brutal sea-borne raids the Viking menace finally had died down by 1007, but the Counts in Holland were still needed as military leaders. Within the crumbling remains of Charlemagne's Empire, wars and an exchange of political murders continued between Holland and its feudal overlords, the Dukes of Lower-Lorraine in the south-east; its independent-minded West-Frisian subjects in the north, its neighbours the Frisians in the north-east across the Zuiderzee; and its powerful regional rivals the Bishops of Utrecht in the east, the Counts of Flanders in the south-west.
(A very interesting book was written on these wars, in Dutch, by Ronald P. de Graaf: "Oorlog om Holland 1000-1375", Uitgeverij Verloren, Hilversum 1996, ISBN 90-6550-278-5.)

Genealogical data

Child of
and Unknown

(See 39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34 generations back)

Gerulf I, Count of Westergo
(16 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000000032 %)
* ? x Unknown + ?
Gerulf, first mentioned in 833, was a vassal of King Louis I The Pious". On 8-7-839 he was given Westergo, a "gouw" in the north-west of Friesland. In 856 he became a monk in Corvey where he later died.

Child of
Gerulf I, Count of Westergo (?-?)
and Unknown

(See 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 33 generations back)

Gerulf II, "Count in Holland"
(16 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000000064 %)
* 860? x Unknown + ?
Gerulf was an assistant to Godfried "the Sea King", a Viking chief who in 882 had himself christened and was made ruler of Friesland by the incompetent Emperor Charles III "The Fat" (who also happens to be our ancestor) in an attempt to pacify Godfried and prevent further murderous raids by his Viking armies. This policy failed, and Friesland became a convenient Viking base which was used to enlarge Godfried's area. Gerulf took part in plotting the murder of Godfried in 885 at a meeting with the Emperor's representatives in Herispich (in the Betuwe area in the Province of Gelderland) where he had been invited. This ended the Viking rule in Friesland, and on 4-8-889 Arnulf of Carinthia, King of the East-Frisians, gave him Kennemerland, a coastal area in the present-day Dutch province of Noord-Holland.

Children of
Gerulf II, "Count in Holland" (860?-?)
and Unknown

(See 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32 generations back)

Dirk I, "Count in Holland"
(16 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000013 %)
* 890? x Geva ? + 6-10-939
Dirk, first mentioned in 916, was a supporter of West-Francia. He was given the town of Egmond and surroundings by King Charles "the Simple" on 15-6-922 and could add Tessel, north of Kennemerland, to his area. His wife Geva was possibly a Karolingian, a daughter of Pepin of Italy.

Waldger, Count of "Niftarlake"
* ? + ?
Of Waldger almost nothing is known, exept that he was Count of a "gouw" called Nifterlake, to the west of Utrecht.

Child of
Dirk I, "Count in Holland" (890?-939)
and Geva (?-?)

(See 36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31 generations back)

Dirk II, "Count in Holland"
(16 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000025 %)
* 920? x Hildegard of Flanders + 6-5-988
Dirk was a much more important figure than his predecessors, who succeeded in expanding his area southward with Maasland, in exchange for military support and other services for Emperor Otto III of Germany. After the death of his father-in law Arnulf "The Great" of Flanders in 965, Dirk II took over the County of Ghent which made him also a vassal of the King of West-Francia.

Children of
Dirk II, "Count in Holland" (920?-988)
and Hildegard of Flanders (?-975?)

(See 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30 generations back)

Arnulf "of Ghent", "of Westfriesland", "Count in Holland"
(16 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000051 %)
* 950? (Ghent) x Liutgarde of Luxembourg (between 5-980 and 8-980) + 18-9-993
Under Arnulf, Ghent was lost again in 988 to Count Boudewijn IV of Flanders. However, Arnulf's grandson Lambert I of Ghent married Boudewijn IV's daughter Hermengarde. Arnulf died in battle against the West-Frisians near Winkel in 993.

Egbert of Holland, Archbishop of Trier
* 952? + 9-12-994
Egbert became chancellor for Emperor Otto II of Germany in 976 and Archbishop of Trier in 977

Erlinde of Holland
* ? + ?

Children of
Arnulf "of Ghent", "Count in Holland" (950?-993)
and Liutgarde of Luxembourg (?-1005?)

(See 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29 generations back)

Adalbert I, "Burggraaf" (Viscount) of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 970? x Unknown + 1041
For his descendants see below

Aleida of Holland ("of Westfriesland", "of Ghent")
(11 times our ancestor, blood-relationship %)
* 987? (Ghent) x I. Baudouin II, Count of Boulogne II. Enquerrand I Isembart, Count of Ponthieu + 1045?
For her descendants by her first husband see the page on the Counts of Boulogne

Dirk III "of Jerusalem", "Count in Holland"
(5 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000056 %)
* 981? (Ghent) x Othelhildis of the Noordmark + 27-5-1039
Count Dirk, who succeeded his father in 993, enlarged his area with West-Vlieland and Rijnland at the expense of Bishop Adalbold of Utrecht, who however remained his overlord, and with the swamps near the Merwede river. He invited Frisian pioneers to drain the waters in these areas and to settle as colonists. He built a fortification in Vlaardingen from which he began collecting exceptionally high taxes from all passing ships. This was a blatant disregard of the rights of the King. To restore free shipping, he was attacked on 29-7-1018 by a fleet of Duke Godefroid I of Lower-Lorraine, reinforced by soldiers of Bishop Adalbold II of Utrecht. Dirk, in his stronghold, did not attack the disembarking troops and was soon completely surrounded by the enemy. His local "Frisian" troops withdrew and waited. Perhaps this was planned, because the attackers were greatly hindered in their assault on Dirk's fortification by the many canals and dikes that were built in this swampy countryside, possibly enhanced by defensive wooden walls and other obstructions. Duke Godefroid and Bishop Adalbold were surpised by the circumstances in the terrain, and decided to regroup and try from another direction. This manoeuvre went terribly wrong, and the army ended up in a very awkward position. To make matters even worse, at this point the rumour arose that the army was now being attacked by the Frisians, and soon panic broke out. The invaders tried in great disorder to return to their ships, which however in the meantime had withdrawn to deeper water because of the approaching ebb-tide. Count Dirk, watching these developments from his stronghold, gave the sign to the Frisians, who now mercilessly set upon their disorganised enemies of whom many drowned or were killed before reaching their ships, because of the weight of their armour. The Duke, the Bishop and some of their company would no doubt also have been killed, had it not been for Count Dirk who took them prisoner. They were released unharmed not long afterwards, having been taught a costly lesson, and certainly not feeling any friendlier towards their unruly vassal.
For his descendants see below

Syvaert (Siegfried) of Holland
* ? + 6-6-1030

Children of
Adalbert I, "Burggraaf" (Viscount) of Ghent (970?-1041)
and Unknown

(See .. generations back)

Lambert I of Ghent
* 1000? x Hermengarde of Flanders + 1034
Lambert's wife was the daughter of Boudewijn IV, Count of Flanders and Otgiva of Luxembourg

Hendrik of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 1005? x Sybille de Guines + ?
For his descendants see below

Children of
Dirk III, "Count in Holland" (981?-1039)
and Othelhildis of the Noordmark (?-1044)

(See 29, 28 generations back)

Dirk IV, "Count in Holland"
* 1015? (Vlaardingen) + 13-1-1049
Dirk IV, who also was called "Margrave of Vlaardingen" after his main stronghold, expanded his area to the south and the east. He plundered the areas of the Bishops of Utrecht and Liège in 1046. A retaliatory attack by Emperor Heinrich III of Germany and the two bishops took place in 1047, but the invaders had to withdraw because they could not maintain their army in this difficult terrain during winter. In the same year, when a great revolt broke out against Emperor Heinrich, Count Dirk of course sided against him, together with Boudewijn V, Count of Flanders and Duke Godefroid II "The Bearded" of Upper-Lorraine (the nephew of Duke Godefroid I of Lower-Lorraine) who had been cheated by the Emperor out of Lower-Lorraine, part of his inheritance. This insurrection failed, and Duke Godefroid now lost Upper-Lorraine as well, but eventually he was made Duke of Lower-Lorraine. In 1049, Count Dirk was to take part in peace negotiations with the Bishops of Utrecht, Liège and Metz near the present city of Dordrecht, but he seems to have neglected his personal security because he was ambushed and killed. Dirk IV was unmarried.

Floris I, "Count in Holland"
(5 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000011 %)
* 1017? (Vlaardingen) x Gertrud (Geertruid) of Saxony (around 1050) + 28-6-1061 (Nederhemert)
Count Floris I, who succeeded Dirk IV in 1049, continued Holland's expansion southwards. In 1061 he was victorious in a battle against Ecbert I of Friesland near Nederhemert, but afterwards Count Floris was killed there while resting under a tree, probably on orders from Emperor Heinrich IV of Germany. (According to one of my sources, Floris' physical remains show that he was a giant of over 2 meters tall.)
After this murder, West-Vlieland and Rijnland were taken back again by Willem, the Bishop of Utrecht, Holland's eastern neighbour and a supporter of the German Empire. To combine forces against the Emperor, Floris' widow Gertrud married the powerful Robrecht "De Fries" of Flanders, Holland's south-western neighbour, who had become Count by defeating and killing his young nephew Arnulf III "The Unfortunate" at the battle of Kassel in 1071. Gertrud and her new husband Robrecht together also became our ancestors, see the page on Flanders.
For Floris and Gertrudes descendants see below

Luitgard of Holland
* 1019? + 1038?

Bertrade of Holland
* 1021? + 1056?

Swanhilde of Holland
* 1023? + 1079?

Child of
Hendrik of Ghent (1005?-?)
and Sybille de Guines (1020?-?)

(See .. generations back)

Boudewijn I of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 1025 x Oda + 1082
For his descendants see below

Children of
Floris I, "Count in Holland" (1017?-1061)
and Gertrud of Saxony (1028?-1113)

(See 28, 27 generations back)

Adelheid (Aleida) of Holland
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000011 %)
* 1045? (x Boudewijn I, Count of Guisnes ? x Arnold I/IV?, Count of Looz ?) + 1085?
There is confusion about Adelheid's husbands.
For the family of Adelheid's (possible) second husband see the page on Looz

Dirk V, Count of Holland
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000011 %)
* 1052? (Vlaardingen) x Othelhildis of Saxony (before 26-7-1083) + 17-6-1091
Supported by his stepfather Count Robrecht of Flanders, Gertrud's son Dirk V recaptured his former possessions in 1076. They ordered the assassination of Duke Godefroid III "The Hunchback" of Lower-Lorraine who was seriously wounded in an ambush near Vlaardingen in 1076 and died shortly afterwards. (Dirk and Robrecht were probably aware that Duke Godefroid was the last of his line, and that Lower-Lorraine would now pass to Godefroid of Bouillon, who might have been expected to have a more positive attitude.) After the Duke's murder, Dirk and Robrecht went on to defeat the army of Koenraad, the new Bishop of Utrecht at the castle of IJsselmonde, taking him prisoner. These events ended the period of dominance by Utrecht and marked the beginning of Holland as a regional power with greater independence from the German Emperors and the Dukes of Lower-Lorraine.
For his descendants see below

Bertha of Holland
(2 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000011 %)
* 1054? x Philippe I, King of France (1072) + 1094 (Montreuil-sur Mer)
For her descendants see the page on the "Capet" Kings of France

Machteld of Holland
* 1057? + ?

Children of
Boudewijn I of Ghent (1025?-1082)
and Oda (1035?-1082)

(See .. generations back)

Boudewijn II of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 1055? x Regnevide ("Reine") + 1097
For his descendants see below

Gertrude of Ghent
* 1075? x Arnulf II d'Ardres + 1138

Child of
Dirk V, Count of Holland (?-1091)
and Othelhildis of Saxony (?-?)

(See 27 generations back)

Floris II "The Fat", Count of Holland
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000022 %)
* 1083? x Petronilla of Lorraine (1113) + 2-3-1121 (Egmond)
Floris' wife is called Geertruid (Petronillla) of Saxony by some sources, which is due to a mix-up, see the page on Alsace
For his descendants see below

Children of
Boudewijn II of Ghent (1055?-1097)
and Regnevide ("Reine") (1065?-?)

(See .. generations back)

Boudewijn III of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 1090? x Luitgard Berthout (of Grimbergen, of Mechelen)+ 1127
For his descendants see below

Jan of Aalst
* 1095? + 1145

Children of
Floris II "The Fat", Count of Holland (?-1121)
and Petronilla of Lorraine (1082?-1144)

(See 26 generations back)

Dirk VI, Count of Holland
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000045 %)
* 1110? x Sophia of Rheineke (before 1135) + 5-8-1157
Before he took over as ruler, his mother Petronilla was regent. In 1123 she was involved in the uprising against Emperor Heinrich V of Germany, but was defeated in a battle. Things improved when Lotharius III became Emperor, her half-brother. In 1130, Dirk could add Rijnland to his area which included the city of Leiden, the former property of the Bishops of Utrecht. He had to fight his brother, Floris "the Black", see below.
For his descendants see below

Floris "the Black"
* 1110? + 7-11-1133 (Utrecht)
Floris became leader of the West-Frisians to establish himself as a rival to his brother. Floris and his army ransacked his Dirk's possessions at least once, in Haarlem in 1133. Emperor Lotharius III of Germany helped to bring about peace. Floris then focused his attention to Utrecht, where he drove out the Bishop and his government with the help of dissatisfied "ministerialen" (the lower local nobility). Floris took over, but was murdered in an ambush shortly afterwards by our ancestor Godfried of Cuijk, Count of Werl-Arnsberg, and his brother Herman. According to "Nijhoffs Geschiedenis-lexicon" by H.W.J. Volmuller, Floris "The Black" had started an affair with Heilwiva, Count Godfried's rich niece. Her Van Cuijk uncles were very much opposed to this liaison, and in the ensueing feud, Floris was killed. It is interesting to note that Godfried's daughter Alveradis later married Otto IV, Count of Bentheim, one of the sons of Count Dirk VI of Holland.

Simon (Symon) of Holland
* ? + 7-11-1147
Simon was "kannunnik" (canon) in Utrecht

Hedwig (Hadewig) of Holland ?
* ? x Gerard I, "Count of Gelre" + ?
(Hedwig may have been a daughter of Count Floris II.)
For her husband's family see the page on the Counts (Dukes) of Gelre

Child of
Boudewijn III of Ghent (1090?-1127)
and Luitgard Berthout (1090?-?)

(See .. generations back)

Beatrix of Ghent
(.. times our ancestor, blood-relationship .. %)
* 1120? x I. Henri I de Bourbourg (1134) II. Dirk IV van Beveren (1151?) + 1160
For her descendants by her second husband Dirk see the page on Van Beveren

Children of
Dirk VI, Count of Holland (1110?-1157)
and Sophia of Rheineke (1115?-1176)

(See 25 generations back)

Sophie of Holland
* ? + ? (after ?-12-1210)

Floris III, Count of Holland
(1 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000029 %)
* 1134? x Ada of Huntingdon (of Scotland) (28-8-1162) + 1-8-1190 (Antioch, Turkey)
Floris fought many wars, not only against the West-Frisians, but he also took on his powerful southern neighbour Flanders. In 843 the Scheldt river had been made the natural border between the German Empire and Francia, except for Zeeland which was not split up but became part of the German Empire. In the Scheldt estuary, Flanders ruled the west bank and Holland the east bank. These waters were of great strategic importance because of the trade routes, an important source of income for both Counts, and Zeeland was also a very fertile area with a good grain harvest. In 1165 Floris launched a military campaign to win complete control over Zeeland, including the parts west of the river Scheldt. His army was however defeated by that of Boudewijn V /VIII, Count of Hainaut and of Flanders (also our ancestor) who had military support from Boulogne. Floris himself was surrounded and captured, and he spent the next two years in a Flemish prison. Then in 1167 the treaty of Brugues was signed in which Holland gave up collecting taxes from passing ships at Geervliet, and Zeeland was declared a condominium of Flanders and Holland. This meant in fact that it became a no man's land in which the local nobility became semi-independant. This compromise was of course not the end of the conflict, which would flare up again several times over the next 150 years. Floris was a true political supporter of the German Emperor Frederik Barbarossa, and they both took part and died in the Third Crusade. In May 1190 Floris commanded the army that stormed Iconium (now Konya, Turkey). He died in Antioch a few months later.
For his descendants see below

Dirk ("The Pilgrim") of Holland
* 1139 + ? (after 24-12-1151)

Otto IV of Holland, Count of Bentheim
(2 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000006 %)
* 1135? x Alveradis of Arnsberg (of Cappenberg) + 1208?
Otto was Count of Bentheim (now in Germany) and also of Coevorden in The Netherlands. In 1173, he travelled with his mother Sophia of Rheineck on her second journey to Jerusalem where she died a few years later. Count Otto returned and became an assistant to the Emperor of Germany. In 1189 he took part in the Third Crusade with his brother Floris III.
For Otto's descendants see below

Boudewijn (Baldwinus) II of Holland, Bishop of Utrecht
* after ?-12-1139 + ?-4-1196 (Mainz)

Dirk of Holland, Domproost of Utrecht
* after ?-12-1151 + 28-8-1197 (Pavia)

Robert of Holland ("Florisbroeder")
* 1138? + ? (before 1190)

Dirk of Holland
* ? + ? (died young)

Sophia of Holland
* ? + ? (after 1210)
Sophia was abbess of Fontamala and Rijnsburg, she abdicated in 1186.

Hadewig of Holland
* ? + ? (after 1200)
Hadewig was a nun in Rijnsburg

Geertruid of Holland
* ? + ? (died young)

Petronella of Holland
* ? + ?

Children of
Floris III, Count of Holland (1135?-1190)
and Ada of Huntingdon (of Scotland) (?-1208)

(See 24 generations back)

Dirk VII, Count of Holland
* ? x Aleida of Kleve (Cleves) (Loosduinen 1186) + ?-11-1203 (Dordrecht)
Dirk became Count of Holland after the death of his father in 1190. In 1179, Holland had started again to collect taxes in Geervliet from all passing ships in the river Scheldt, disregarding the treaty of 1167 that his father had been forced to sign. Dirk VII even won the approval for this from Emperor Heinrich VI in 1195, a nice dividend for Holland's political support for the German Emperor. The Count of Flanders of course could not accept this, and in the same year, while Dirk and his army were in the north fighting the West-Frisians, its army attacked Walcheren in Zeeland to end Holland's taxation for good. Count Dirk managed to beat the West-Frisians first, immediately turned south and beat the invading Flemish army as well. In 1200 Count Dirk joined Count Otto I of Gelre in his war against Duke Hendrik I of Brabant. A motive for Dirk VII to fight Brabant would have been to win control over the trade-routes along the Rhine, Waal, IJssel and Meuse rivers. Duke Hendrik won, and Dirk had to accept Brabant as overlord for Dordrecht and the surrounding area. But in 1202 Dirk and his ally Otto I were on the offensive again and even plundered Hendrik's city of 's-Hertogenbosch. Their army was however beaten on the way back near Heusden. The two Counts were both taken prisoner, after which they had to accept the dominance of Duke Hendrik in "Lower-Lorraine". Dirk died in 1203 of an illness, without male heirs but with three daughters. His eldest daughter Ada (Adelheid) was married off quickly to Ludwig of Looz (in Dutch "Lodewijk van Loon"), causing the "Loonse" war of succession between them and Willem, Count Dirk's brother and intended successor, see below.

Floris of Holland
* ? + 1210 (Middelburg)
Floris was Domproost of Utrecht

Margaretha of Holland
* 1164 x Dietrich V / III of Kleve (Cleves) (Lisse 1182) + after 1203
For the family of Margaretha's husband see the page on Kleve

Willem I, Count of Holland
(1 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000006 %)
* 1168? x I. Aleida of Gelre (Stavoren 1197) II. Maria of Brabant (19-4-1220) + 12-2-1221/1222
Willem was in the Third Crusade with his father, Count Floris III, and he took part in the siege of Akko in 1191. Unlike his father, he did come home alive. His elder brother, Dirk VII became the new Count, but Willem established himself as the leader of the West-Frisians to have his own sphere of influence against that of his brother, in a repeat of the rivalry between Dirk VI and Floris "The Black", see above. In 1195, while Count Dirk VII was away on an expedition to fight off yet another invason in the south by the army of Philipe of Namur, who had also become the Regent of Flanders and Hainaut, Willem and his Frisians launched an attack on Alkmaar, his brother's northern stronghold. Willem's sister-in law Aleida of Kleve (Cleves), who had gone to the nearby Abbey of Egmond for safety, managed to organise a very effective defence which included bribing some West-Frisian leaders. Her troops even came close to taking Willem prisoner. Count Dirk VII returned victorious from his battles in the south, so Willem was forced to make peace and retire to East-Friesland.
But very soon after the death of Count Dirk in 1203, Willem and Dirk's widow Aleida went to war again, this time in the so-called "Loonse" war of succession. Aleida had wasted no time to marry her daughter Ada off to Ludwig II (Louis, Lodewijk) of Looz and Rieneck (Loon), who apparently wanted very much to take over the County of Holland. The newlyweds gathered support for their claim to the County of Holland against that of Willem. They found allies in the Bishops of Utrecht and Liège, Count Philipe of Namur, the Regent of Flanders and Hainaut (intent on revenge for Flanders' defeat against Holland in 1195), Duke Philip of Schwaben (the rival "Stauf" Emperor to the "Welf" Otto IV of Braunschweig) and others. Their opponent Willem was supported by Duke Hendrik I of Brabant as well as by the lesser nobility in Holland and by the free farmers. Duke Hendrik of Brabant must have disliked the prospect of being surrounded by an alliance of Aleida and Ada, the wife and the daughter of his former adversary the Count of Holland in the west, the Count of Namur (also the Regent of Flanders and Hainaut) in the south-west, the ambitious Count Ludwig, now Ada's husband, in the south, the Bishop of Liège also in the south, the Duke of Schwaben (the "Emperor") in the east and the Bishop of Utrecht in the north. There was no higher authority to decide in this matter because Germany was fully occupied with its own war of succession between the "Staufen" and the "Welfen". These conflicts were also mingled with the war between England and France.
Very early in the war, in December 1203, Willem managed to take his niece Ada prisoner. First she was sent to the island of Texel and later to England. But in 1204, Count Philipe of Namur, the Regent of Flanders and Hainaut attacked and occupied Walcheren. Willem was barely able to escape, hiding in a small fishing boat, covered with nets. The tide turned against Wilem when Count Ludwig and the Bishop of Utrecht conquered the cities in Holland and seemed to have won the war. But Willem, while still hiding, managed to organise a people's insurrection in Zeeland against their new lords, which gained momentum in Holland itself. Then, the Bishop of Utrecht suddenly changed sides to Willem, as a clear indicaton that Ludwig was losing the confidence of his supporters. A peace treaty was signed in 1206 which divided Holland between Willem and Ludwig. This ended the armed conflict, but Willem now started a political offensive for the support of the neighbouring rulers and of the population within his opponent's fiefdom. This he did very effectively. Especially after Ludwig's last important ally, Duke Philip of Schwaben had been murdered in 1208, Willem gained the upper hand and by 1210 he had effectively become the single ruler of Holland. On 13-1-1213 Emperor Otto IV officially made Willem ruler of all lands that had formerly belonged to Counts Floris III and Dirk VI, leaving Ludwig, Ada and her mother Aleida with empty hands in spite of all their efforts. Ludwig died from poisoning in 1218.
Willem joined the Anglo-Welf side in the German war of succession, but King Philipe II "Augustus" of France and his "Staufen" allies won decisively at the battle of Bouvines in 1214, in which Count Willem was taken prisoner. He quickly changed sides to the victorious Franco-Staufen, and in 1216 he joined the army of the French Crown Prince (the future King Louis VIII) to depose the English King John "Lackland". Pope Innocentius III, the ally of King John and the Welfs, excommunicated Count Willem for this, but after Willem had played an important part in the Crusade to Damiate in Egypt in 1217-1219, he and the new pope Honorius III were reconciled and his excommunication was anulled.

Boudewijn (Balwinus) of Holland
* 1186? + 19-7-1204

Ada of Holland
* ? x Otto of Brandenburg + ?

Agnes of Holland
* ? + 22-4-1228
Agnes was abbess of Rijnsburg in 1205

Elisabeth of Holland
* ? + ?

Hadewigs of Holland
* ? + ?

Children of
Otto IV, Count of Bentheim (1135?-1208?)
and Alveradis of Arnsberg (1140?-after 1205)

(See 24 generations back)

Marina of Bentheim
(2 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000012 %)
* 1190? x Riculf I van Ochten (around 1225) + ? (after 13-5-1252)
There has been discussion about this presumed (half-?) sister of Count Boudewijn. In 1937 an article by J. de Groot was published in "De Nederlandse Leeuw" with convincing circumstantial evidence for this family link, which was however disputed in a later article in the same publication by M.J. Waale, in 1995.
For the descendants of Marina and Riculf see the page on the Van Ochten family.

(Not known if any other children)

Children of
Willem I, Count of Holland (1168?-1222)
and Aleida of Gelre (1187?-1218)

(See 23 generations back)

Ricardis of Holland
* ? + ?

Ada of Holland
* 1200? + 1258 (Rijnsburg)

Floris IV, Count of Holland
(1 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000012 %)
* 24-6-1210 x Machteld of Brabant (5-11-1214) + 19-7-1234 (Noyon/Corbie)
Duke Hendrik I married his daughter Machteld off to Count Floris IV of Holland. Her assignment was probably to help keep things quiet on this border. His other daughter Margaretha, who was married to Gerard IV, Count of Gelre and Zutphen, must have had a similar assignment. Count Floris took part in the Crusade against the "Stedingers" in 1234. He was an enthousiastic participant in tournaments, and was usually victorious. At he tournament in Corbie, however, he died at the hands of the Count of Clairmont, who had discovered that Floris had fallen in love with his wife and wanted to make sure that the affair was put to and end. Floris' death also caused the death of his lover, the Countess of Clermont, from grief a few days later.

Otto III of Holland, Bishop of Utrecht
* 1212? + 11-4-1249
After the death of his brother Willem, Otto took over as guardian for his nephew Count Willem II.

Willem of Holland
* 1214? + 3-9-1238
Willem was guardian for his nephew Count Willem II.

Richardis of Holland
* ? + 3-1-1262 (Delft)

Ada of Holland
* ? + 1257 (Rijnsburg)
Ada was abbess in Rijnsburg

Children of
Floris IV, Count of Holland (1210-1234)
and Machteld of Brabant (?-1267)

(See 22 generations back)

Willem II, Count of Holland, King ("Rooms-koning") of Germany
* between 19-7-1227 and 23-2-1228 (Leiden) x Elisabeth of Brunswick (Brunswick 25-1-1252) + 28-1-1256 (Hoogwoud)
Count Willem was ally of Pope Innocentius IV, and joined the side of the Anglo-Welf party in the war of succession against Friedrich II of Hohenstaufen. Supported by Duke Hendrik II of Brabant, Willem was elected King of Germany in 1247. He conquered Aix-la-Chapelle/Aachen and was crowned in 1248 as successor to the defeated Hendrik Raspe who had been killed in the process. Another conflict arose soon afterwards, this time with Flanders. After the defeat of Count Floris III and the treaty of 1167 Zeeland had become a condominium of Flanders and Holland, see above. The Count of Holland had in fact become the ruler of Zeeland east of the Scheldt river, but he still had to accept the Count of Flanders as his overlord concerning the parts of Zeeland west of the Scheldt river. Now that Willem had become King he became the feudal overlord of Countess Margaretha of Constantinopel (also our ancestor), the Regent of Flanders, as far as her part in the condominium in Zeeland was concerned. At the same time, Margaretha remained Willem's superior in his capacity as ruling Count of the parts of Zeeland west of the Scheldt river. This was of course an impossible situation. Margaretha kept demanding that Willem would pay tribute to her, which he - as her King - could of course not accept. In 1252, Willem had enough of this dispute and he used his royal powers to take the disputed area away from Margaretha and placed it under the control of his brother-in law Jan I of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut, the husband of Aleida of Holland, see below. After this insult, Countess Margaretha gathered military support in France and attacked the island of Walcheren in Zeeland in 1253, where her army suffered a terrible defeat, see below.
Willem was at the peak of his powers when in 1256 the Pope invited him to Rome to be crowned as Emperor. First, Willem wanted to put an end to the West-Frisian insurrection. King Willem himself was leading the expedition, in the winter of 1256. Alone on horseback, looking for the road to the town of Hoogwoud, he carelessly went too far ahead of his footsoldiers who were moving awkwardly forward over the frozen lakes. The ice broke under Willem's horse and struggling in vain to get out of the cold water, Willem was attacked and killed by a band of enemy guerilla's who had been hiding between the high reeds. Only after he had been killed, a few renegade Hollanders with the Frisians recognised their victim. Willem was not yet thirty years old. The shock of King Willem's sudden death went all over Europe. (Normal procedure would have been to capture him, and release him for a very high ransom and political concessions.)

Floris "de Voogd" ("the Guardian") of Holland
* ? x Aleida of Avesnes + 24-3-1258
Floris was acting ruler of Holland for his brother, King Willem. Together with Jan I, Count of Avesnes, he delivered a terrible defeat to the army of Flanders which had invaded Walcheren in 1253, capturing its two commanders, Gwijde and Jan of Dampierre, both sons of Countess Margaretha. After King Willem's violent death in 1256, Floris became Regent of Holland for Willem's young son Floris V, and signed a peace treaty (the "Dit de Péronne") with Flanders in September 1256. It reaffirmed Flanders' rights concerning Zeeland west of the Scheldt river (which would have been out of the question if King Willem had still been alive); the condominium in the rest of Zeeland was ended; Flanders had to pay compensation for damages caused by the war; and Margaretha's sons returned home. Floris "de Voogd" was killed in a tournament in 1258.

Aleida (Aleidis), Countess of Holland
(1 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000024 %)
* ? x Jan I of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut (25-10-1246) + between 9-4-1284 and 1-3-1294
After the deaths of King/Count Willem II in 1256 and his brother Floris "de Voogd" (the regent) in 1258, Countess Aleida (who's husband Jan I of Avesnes had died in 1257) became regent of Holland for her young nephew Floris V, Willem II's son. Aleida's army was however defeated in 1263 by Count Otto II of Gelre (also one of our ancestors) who made himself the regent and acting ruler until Floris V became of age. After he had taken over in 1266, Count Floris V became an effective and popular ruler. He ended the political role of the Bishop of Utrecht, and he even succeeded in breaking the resistance of the West-Frisians, partly by force, and partly by gaining their support by building effective dikes and roads for the benefit of all. The conflict with Flanders was however still raging. In 1290 Margaretha's son Gwijde III of Dampierre, Count of Flanders attacked Walcheren again and treacherously captured Count Floris on arrival in Biervliet, where he had been invited to take part in mediation talks by Duke Jan I of Brabant. Now a prisoner, Floris was forced to great concessions in the conflict over control of the trading routes in the Scheldt estuary. But as soon as he was released, Floris reneged on his forced "deal". In 1296, on the advice of Aleida's son Jan II of Avesnes, an enemy of the Dampierres, Count Floris changed sides to France in its conflict with England. Floris V had come to distrust King Edward I of England, who had become friendly towards Gwijde of Dampierre, preferring to trade wool with Flanders rather than Holland. Floris calculated that King Philipe IV of France would not accept his vassal Gwijde of Dampierre becoming too close to France's enemy England, and would therefore be a useful ally both of Hainaut and of Holland against England and Flanders.
King Edward I did of course not accept Floris' turnabout and he immediately contacted some of Floris' political opponents in Holland. He ordered Floris' capture and transport to England, probably to force him to change his mind again or to depose him. Shortly afterwards, Floris was captured while on a falcon hunt and was locked up in the castle at Muiden. The news spread quickly and the castle was besieged by armed farmers who came to their Count's rescue. Floris was bound and put on a horse, accompanied by his captors who tried to get him out of the country. They were however intercepted, and just as Count Floris was about to be liberated his captors stabbed and hacked him to death. Floris' young son and heir Jan I died a few years later, in 1299, and so the title was transferred to Aleida's son Jean II of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut who thus unexpectedly became Count of Holland as well.
For Aleida's descendants see the page on Avesnes.

Machteld of Holland
* before 1234? + ? (before 1267)

Margaretha of Holland
* 1234 x Herman, Count of Henneberg + 26-3-1277
Margaretha died after having given birth to twins, Johan and Elisabeth.

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