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AD 890?-1093

"Ardennes" Dukes of (Upper- and Lower-) Lorraine
(Aix-la Chapelle / Aachen, Antwerp and Eename, Bar, the Bidgau, the Methingau, the Sundgau, the Triergau / Trèves, Verdun)

Historical notes on Lorraine, Genealogical data

For younger generations of ancestors who are descended from this family:
see page on Boulogne
see page on De Rumigny
see page on Brabant
see page on Luxembourg
see page on Mousson
see page on Namur
see page on Chiny

Historical notes on Lorraine

The family treated in this page is usually called "Ardennes", although its members were known by many other names, depending on the areas they ruled, the most important of which was Lorraine. The present-day "circonscription d'action régionale" in the north-east of modern France between the Meuse river in the west and the Vosges mountains in the east is still called "Lorraine", but the former Kingdom of Lorraine (derived from the name of King Lotharius II) which was created in 855 was much larger, and included all lands between the rivers Scheldt, Rhine, Saône and Meuse. The kingdom of Lorraine never became a viable social entity because it straddled the border between the Romanic and the Germanic peoples, an area marked by armed conflicts up until World War II (1939-1945). It was an artificial construct, created during the fragmentation of Charlemagne's Empire. Charlemagne's successor Emperor Louis I "The Pious" had decided in 817 that his eldest son Lotharius I would be the sole heir to his Empire, in an attempt to keep it intact. Therefore, his younger sons Louis II and Pépin could only be subordinate rulers, of Bavaria and Aquitaine respectively, as vassals of their elder brother. Problems arose when Emperor Louis remarried in 823 and got a fourth son, Charles II, later called "The Bald", who also was to be given his own fiefdom within the Empire. This was against the wishes of Lotharius, who rightly feared the appearance of yet another threat to his authority.
The three younger brothers and their supporters were not at all satisfied with their small parts of the heritage and started waging war against their elder brother Lotharius. Emperor Louis died in 840, his son Pépin had died earlier, in 838. The remaining younger sons Charles II and Louis II combined forces and attacked Lotharius I, who was defeated in the bloody battle of Fontenoy in 841. In 843, a partition was agreed at Verdun in which Lotharius would hold on to the title of Emperor and would be given a newly created "Middle Realm", a diverse and unmanageable kingdom, stretching from the Netherlands in the north to Italy in the south. It was flanked by "West-Francia", the kingdom of his half-brother Charles II "The Bald" and "East-Francia", the kingdom of his brother Louis (Ludwig) II "The German".

Emperor Lotharius I died in 855, and the Middle Realm was divided between his three sons. Lotharius II became King of the northern part which was later called Lotharingen / Lorraine. His uncles at the western and the eastern borders saw an opportunity to gain control of this area, because Lotharius II and his wife Teutberga did not have any legal heirs. Lotharius did however have children by his concubine Waldrada (and so he still became our ancestor). Unfortunately, he could not get these children legitimated, even though he tried to repudiate Teutberga and marry Waldrada. Perhaps Charles "The Bald" was systematically using his political influence with Pope Nicholas I to frustrate these efforts. Shortly before he would have had a meeting with the new Pope Hadrianus II in 869, Lotharius II suddenly died (or was he murdered?). Lorraine was then annexed by his uncles Charles II "The Bald" and Louis II "The German", who simply divided it between them.

The western part of Lorraine became part of West-Francia, which after the death of Charles II "The Bald" was ruled by his son Louis II "The Stammerer", and by Louis' son Charles III "The Simple" after that. In 911, King Charles III became ruler of East-Francia (Germany) as well because King Ludwig "The Child", the last Karolingian in the east, had died without heirs. The reunification of Charlemagne's former Empire under a single ruler was however short-lived. There was a revolt against the rule of King Charles III in 919, led by our ancestor Giselbert. Charles III was taken prisoner and in 925 the German King Heinrich I "The Fowler" took control over all of Lorraine, which from then on was formally to remain part of Germany until 1648. King Heinrich made Giselbert Duke of Lorraine in 928 and let him marry his daughter Gerberga in order to secure his loyal support. But in 936 Heinrich's son Otto I succeeded as King of Germany and he started to curb the political influence of Giselbert and other important local rulers. They turned to the King of West-Francia for support, which led to war with Germany. Things were decided in 939 at the battle of Andernach, which King Otto won. Duke Giselbert himself drowned in the Rhine while fleeing from his victorious enemy. Giselbert had been supported by King Otto's younger brother Heinrich I of Saxony, Duke of Bavaria. But Heinrich was allowed to make peace with King Otto again, and he became Giselbert's successor as Duke of Lorraine in 940. He was however replaced the same year by Othon of Verdun, a member of the Luxembourg family, old enemies of Giselbert's family.

After Duke Othon's death in 944, Conrad "The Red", King Otto's son-in-law, became the new Duke. Instead of remaining loyal to his father-in-law, Duke Conrad started an uprising in 953, which even had the support of King Otto's eldest son Liudolf. They were however defeated by a coalition led by Reinier III, Duke Giselbert's nephew, who had hoped to reclaim Lorraine for his family as a reward for his support for the King. This policy failed, and the Dukedom of Lorraine was instead given to King Otto's own youngest brother Bruno (Brun), the Archbishop of Cologne. In 958, Reinier III started an uprising against Duke Bruno, which failed. Reinier lost all his possessions and was banished to Bohemia.

In 959, Duke Bruno gave Godefroid, Count of Mons (Bergen) in Hainaut the special assignment to protect Lorraine's western borders, especially against Flanders, part of the French Kingdom. Godefroid was made "Duke of Lower-Lorraine", but Bruno retained overall control and ruled Upper-Lorraine himself. After Bruno's death in 977, Upper-Lorraine was given to Frédéric I of Bar (see below), and Lower-Lorraine to Charles "The Fat", the son of King Louis IV "Outremer" of France, see the page on (Under construction), who married Bonne of Ardennes (see below). After Charles and Bonne's son and successor Otto had died in 1005 (or 1012), he was succeeded as Duke by Bonne's brother Godefroid I, Count of Verdun (see below).

In 1047, during the unsuccesful insurrection against King Heinrich III which was led by Godefroid II "The Bearded" (see below), King Heinrich took Upper-Lorraine away from Godefroid and made Adalbert, Count of Longwy-Metz Duke instead. Upper-Lorraine would never be returned to Godefroid's family, but after the death in 1065 of Frédéric II, Count of Luxembourg, Godefroid became his successor as Duke of Lower-Lorraine. Godefroid II's son and successor Godefroid III "The Hunchback", who was murdered in 1076, would become the last Duke of the "Ardennes" family. His nephew Godefroid of Bouillon was the designated heir. He did however not become Godefroid IV until much later. His succession was disputed by his cousin Albert III, Count of Namur, who also claimed to have rights. Instead of choosing between the contenders, King Heinrich IV of Germany appointed his own two year-old son Conrad as the new Duke, clearly demonstrating that Lower-Lorraine had become irrelevant as a political entity. In 1087, Godefroid of Bouillon finally did become Duke, and he was the last to have some authority in that position. Godefroid is however better known as the famous Crusader who in 1091 became King of Jerusalem. He died there of the plague in 1100.

After the death of Godefroid IV, the title of Duke of Lower-Lorraine went to and fro, with each change on the German throne, between the Counts of Leuven (descendants of Giselbert, the first Duke of Lorraine) and their old Luxembourg enemies, the Counts of Limburg. In 1101, Emperor Heinrich IV appointed Henri I, Count of Limburg as the new Duke of Lower-Lorraine. However, his rebellious son and successor Heinrich V took it away again on 13-5-1106 and made Godfried I "The Bearded", Count of Leuven, Duke of Lower-Lorraine instead. Godfried's family had fought in vain for generations to reclaim the title of Duke since Giselbert lost it and his life in 939, but now it had become mostly ceremonial. Lorraine had in effect ceased to exist as a meaningful political entity. Even so, in 1128 Duke Godfried I was deposed as Duke by King Lotharius, and Walram III, Count of Limburg was made Duke instead. Godfried managed however to hold on to his possessions, and after Walram III had died in 1139, Godfried I's son Godfried II was officially made Duke of Lower-Lorraine by Emperor Conrad III. This did however not stop the Counts of Limburg calling themselves Duke as well. The dispute between the two families over the title of Duke only ended in 1155 when Godfried III, the grandson of Godfried I, married Margaretha of Limburg, the granddaughter of Walram III. Actually, irrespective of who was Duke officially, Lower-Lorraine had effectively become split up: the Counts of Leuven were calling themselves Dukes of Brabant and their rivals calling themselves Dukes of Limburg. Their rivalry remained. In a way, Lower-Lorraine was "reunited" again much later when Duke Henri VI of Limburg lost the battle of Woeringen and his life in 1288, and Limburg its political independence. It was simply annexed by Duke Jan I of Brabant.

Genealogical data

Children of
and Unknown

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

Wigeric (Widric), Count in the Triergau (Trèves), of the Bidgau, Count Palatine of Aix-la Chapelle (Aachen), Count Palatine of Lorraine
(100 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000065 %)
* 890? x Cunegunde of France (909) + 919?
Wigeric's widow Cunigunde married Ricwin (Ricoin) of Verdun around 920, see the page on the Counts of Luxembourg. Ricwin was murdered at the instigation of Wigeric's son Bishop Adalbert, see below.

Children of
Wigeric (Widric), Count in the Triergau (Trèves), of the Bidgau, Count Palatine of Aix-la Chapelle (Aachen), Count Palatine of Lorraine (890?-919?)
and Cunegunde of France (890?-923)

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

Gozelon of the Bidgau
(100 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000013 %)
* 911? x Oda of Metz + 18-10-943
For his descendants see below

Frédéric I, Count of Bar, Duke of Upper-Lorraine
(22 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000032 %)
* 913? x Béatrice Capet (of Neustria, of France) (954) + 18-5-978
Frédéric became Duke of Upper-Lorraine in 977, after the death of Duke Bruno of Saxony, see "historical notes", above. (His elder brother Gozelon had died many years before). Lower-Lorraine was given to Charles "The Fat", the son of King Louis IV "Outremer" of France.
For Frédéric's descendants see below

Adalbert (Adalbero), Bishop of Metz
* ? + 962
According to the sources of Dave Pol, a royal charter of King Charles III "the Simple" names Count Widric, his wife Cunegund and one of his sons, Adalbero, who was Bishop of Metz from 929 until 962. After the death of his father Wigeric, Adalbert's mother Cunegunde remarried Ricwin of Verdun around 920. Ricwin was murdered in 923 by Boso, brother of King Raoul of France, at the suggestion (so he claimed) of Bishop Adalbert.

Liutgard of Trier (Trèves)
(22 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000073 %)
* 915? x I. Adalbert I of Lorraine, Count of Metz (937?) ? II. Eberhard IV of Alsace (of Eguisheim, of the Nordgau) (951?) + 975
For the family of her first husband Adalbert see the page on Metz
For her descendants by her second husband Eberhard see the page on Alsace

Children of
Gozelon of the Bidgau (911?-943)
and Oda of Metz (before 910-after 963)

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

Godefroid "The Prisoner" of Ardennes, Count of Verdun, of the Bidgau, of the Methingau, Margrave of Antwerp and Eename
(56 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000015 %)
* 937? x Mathilde "Billung" of Saxony (963) + 4-9-1005
Godefroid, a supporter of the German Emperor, was imprisoned for three years by the King of France. In 995, after his release, he was made Margrave of Antwerp and Eename, east of the Scheldt river.

Children of
Godefroid "The Prisoner" of Ardennes, Count of Verdun, of the Bidgau, of the Methingau, Margrave of Antwerp and Eename (937?-1005)
and Mathilde "Billung" of Saxony (944-1008)

(See 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28 generations back)

Bonne of Ardennes
* 958? x Charles "The Fat", Duke of Lower-Lorraine + before 979
For Bonne's descendants see ... (Under Construction). Her son Otto, Duke of Lower-Lorraine until his death in 1005 (or 1012), was the last of the Karolingian dynasty.

Godefroid I, Count of Verdun, Duke of Lower-Lorraine
* ? + 26-9-1023
Godefroid, who succeeded his nephew Otto (the son of his sister Bonne and her husband Charles "the Fat") as Duke of Lower-Lorraine in 1005 (or 1012) was a loyal supporter of Emperor Heinrich II of Germany, and he fought against unruly vassals like our ancestors Lambert I "The Bearded", Count of Leuven, who was killed in the battle of Florennes in 1015, and Dirk III, Count of Holland, who won the battle of Vlaardingen on 29-7-1018 and even managed to capture Duke Godefroid and his ally Bishop Adalbold II of Utrecht. Duke Godefroid and the Bishop were released unharmed not long afterwards, having been taught a lesson, but certainly not feeling any friendlier towards the Count of Holland.

Gozelon (Gothelo) I "The Great", Duke of Upper- and Lower-Lorraine, Margrave of Antwerp and Eename
(40 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000022 %)
* 969? x Barbe de Lebarten + 19-4-1044
Gozelon succeeded his brother Godefroid I as Duke of Lower-Lorraine in 1023, and in 1033 he was made Duke of Upper-Lorraine as well, which made him one of the most important rulers within the German Empire and a powerful ally of King Conrad II of Germany. After Gozelon's death, King Conrad's successor Heinrich III decided to curb Lorraine's power and split it up again. He divided it between Gozelon's sons Godefroid II and Gozelon II.
For Gozelon's descendants see below

Frédéric of Verdun
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000010 %)
* 970? x Unknown + 6-1-1022
For his descendants see below

Irmengarde of Verdun
* 980? x Otto I of Kinzisgau + ?

Ermentrude of Verdun
(2 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,000000035 %)
* ? x Arnoul I de Rumigny + ?
For her descendants see the page on De Rumigny

Gerberga of Verdun
(11 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000075 %)
* ? x Folmar II, Count of Metz + ?
For her descendants see the page on Metz

Children of
Gozelon I "The Great", Duke of Upper- and Lower-Lorraine, Margrave of Antwerp and Eename (969?-1044)
and Barbe de Lebarten (964?-1044)

(See 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, 27 generations back)

Oda of Verdun (of Lower-Lorraine)
(7 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000079 %)
* 995? x Lambert II "Balderik", Count of Leuven + ?
For her descendants see the page on Brabant

Gozelon (Gothelo) II "The Sluggard", Duke of Lower-Lorraine
* ? + after 18-5-1046
Gozelon was made Duke of Lower-Lorraine by Emperor Heinrich III, who wanted to split Lorraine up again. Gozelon was however deposed for incompetence in 1046, and was succeeded by Frédéric II, Count of Luxembourg.

Godefroid II "The Bearded", Duke of Upper-Lorraine, Duke of Lower-Lorraine, Marquis of Tuscany
(7 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000064 %)
* 997? x I. Doda II. Beatrix of Tuscany (1054) + 24-12-1069
Godefroid became Duke of Upper-Lorraine in 1044, and he tried for a long time to reunite Upper- and Lower-Lorraine under his rule. When his incompetent brother Gozelon, Duke of Lower-Lorraine, was deposed in 1046 Godefroid expected to succeed him there, but Frédéric II, Count of Luxembourg was made Duke of Lower-Lorraine instead. In 1047 Godefroid, supported by Boudewijn V, Count of Flanders and Dirk IV, Count of Holland (also our ancestors), led an insurrection against Heinrich III. This failed, and in 1047 Upper-Lorraine was taken away from Godefroid and was given to Adalbert, Count of Longwy-Metz (see Alsace) instead.
In 1054 Godefroid married Beatrix, the widow of Margrave Boniface I of Tuscany. When Duke Frédéric II died in 1065, Godefroid became Duke of Lower-Lorraine, but by then he had lost interest because his new rich possessions as Marquis of Tuscany, acquired through his wife, were more important to him.
For Godefroid's descendants by his first wife Doda see below

Regelindis of Lorraine
(23 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000028 %)
* 1005? x Albert II, Count of Namur + after 1067
Regelindis was a daughter of Gozelon I "The Great" of Lorraine, but her mother is unknown. For her descendants see the page on the Counts of Namur

Children of
Frédéric of Verdun (970-1022)
and Unknown

(See 32, 30 generations back)

Sophie of Verdun
(3 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000021 %)
* 1010 ? x Louis II, Count of Chiny + 1078
For her descendants see the page on the Counts of Chiny

Children of
Frédéric I of Bar, Duke of Upper-Lorraine (913?-978)
and Béatrice Capet (of Neustria, of France) (938-after 987)

(See 33, 30 generations back)

Thierry I, Duke of Upper-Lorraine
(22 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000064 %)
* 965? x Richilde of Luneville + 11-4-1032

Ida of Upper-Lorraine
* ? x Radbout of Habsburg + ?

? of Upper-Lorraine
* ? x Dirk I of Wassenberg + ?

Children of
Thierry I, Duke of Upper-Lorraine (965?-1032)
and Richilde of Luneville (975?-?)

(See 32, 30, 29 generations back)

Hildegarde of the Sundgau
* 990? x Foulques (Fulco) III "Nerra" of Anjou + 1-4-1046 (Jerusalem)

Frédéric II, Count of Bar
(7 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000065 %)
* 995? x Mathilde of Swabia + 1027

Adèle of Upper-Lorraine
(15 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,00000062 %)
* 995? x Walram I, Count of Limburg and Arlon + 1027
For her descendants see the page on Luxembourg.

Children of
Frédéric II, Count of Bar (995?-1027)
and Mathilde of Swabia (989?-1033?)

(See 28 generations back)

Sophie of Bar
(7 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000013 %)
* 1022? x Louis II of Mousson (4-5-1037) + 1092?
For her descendants see the page on the Counts of Mousson

Children of
Godefroid II "The Bearded", Duke of Lower-Lorraine (997?-1069)
and Doda (1005?-before 1054)

(See 29, 28 generations back)

Wiltrude of Lorraine (of Bouillon)
* 1025 x Adalbert II of Calw + 1093
For her descendants see the page on (Under construction)

Ida of Lorraine
(7 times our ancestor, blood-relationship 0,0000013 %)
* 1035 x Eustache II, Count of Boulogne (after 1056) + 13-8-1113
For her descendants see the page on the Counts of Boulogne

Godefroid III "The Hunchback", Duke of Lower-Lorraine
* 1045? x Mathilde of Tuscany (1069?) + 26?-2-1076 (Utrecht?)
Duke Godefroid, who had a malformed spine, was a true supporter of the German Emperor Heinrich IV and therefore an enemy of the Counts of Holland who were at the time engaged in a bitter fight for greater political and economic independence. On 26 February 1076, Duke Godefroid was near Vlaardingen, and apparently while sitting on the toilet he was attacked by a murderer called Gijsbert who was supposedly hired by our ancestors Count Robrecht "the Frisian" of Flanders and Count Dirk V of Holland. Godefroid, who was seriously wounded in the abdomen, managed to flee to "Trajectum" (either Ultra Trajectum, Utrecht; or Mosa Trajectum, Maastricht) where he died about a week later. Duke Godefroid had no children, and being the last of his line, he had appointed Godefroid of Bouillon as his heir, see the page on the Counts of Boulogne.
Godefroid's wife Mathilde of Tuscany owned the castle of Canossa where Pope Gregorius was staying early in 1077, waiting to meet Emperor Heinrich IV who had been excommunicated by Gregorius and who now was very anxious to get this annulled, or else lose his crown. The Pope must now have expected to get everything he wanted from Heinrich, but to his surprise, no negotiations were even held. The Emperor cleverly arrived as a simple sinner, a pilgrim with his bare feet in the snow, waiting outside in the cold for three days, begging for the Pope's forgiveness. The Pope had no option but to grant him this. After this he could no longer play a role in his great conflict with the Emperor over the right to appoint local bishops.

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