Anglo-Saxon Genealogies

Germanic pre-Christian ideas of ancestry wouldn’t necessarily be totally intuitive to a modern person looking back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMdvYxKnWM4

This is a favorite topic of mine. I rarely pass up a chance to point out others who agree with me. Here, Simon Roper.

The old, poetic genealogies handed down by our remote ancestors “were probably not completely reflective of genetic relationships in the same way as our modern idea of a family tree would be, so a lot of them seem to go back to a god like Woden, although post-Christianization the royal family trees were retroactively so that the god was somewhere in the middle of the tree rather than at the base. And in fact these genealogies seem to have reflected socio-political associations a bit more than they represented actual, real genetic descent as we would see it.

So, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that probably people coming from elsewhere and integrating into the local society could possibly be accommodated into that genealogy without actually having been a known blood relation of anybody in the group.

It’s clear that not being of genetically Anglo-Saxon ancestry did not preclude a person becoming a very active member of society with a lot of responsibility. So identity was rooted in descent but that descent was not necessarily strictly generation to generation genetic descent; that’s a very modern way of viewing it.

It’s broader than that, even. As an example well-known to historians, the genealogy of the Wessex kings descended from Cerdic seems to have been grafted on to the older and more prestigious genealogy of the kings of Bernica (Kenneth Sisam, “Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogies”, Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 39, pp. 287–348 (1953)).

These can be difficult concepts if you’re not used to them. I’m reminded of an old professor of mine who used to say, “Objectivity is nothing more than consensual subjectivity.” Powerful stuff. Think about that for a minute.

When we know there might be something to see, it’s not hard to find ways in our own culture where people see genealogical and cultural identity in different ways.

At a different point in this presentation Roper says, “Think of how many different ways people view their identity today – I know people who consider themselves British but have two natively Japanese parents, and people who consider themselves French despite not having had a French ancestor in more than a hundred years. Neither of these is an invalid way of viewing identity, but it goes to show that we cannot agree on what constitutes cultural heritage and identity nowadays. . . .

Our ancestors thought genealogy should reflect cultural relationships. We think genealogy is only true if it represents biological facts. We’re not talking across the generations about similar but different things. We can’t use their information for our purposes.

Medieval Irish Genealogies

A good orientation to the problem of trusting medieval Irish genealogies. Don’t make the mistake of copying what you find online. It’s all very interesting, but it’s not vetted genealogy.

Donnchadh Ó Corráin, “Creating the Past: The Early Irish Genealogical Tradition” in Chronicon 1 (1997) 2: 1-32.

ABSTRACT: Traditionally Irish early medieval genealogies were seen as the product of oral tradition, recorded at an early period by monastic writers. This is mistaken. No doubt there was an oral genealogical knowledge, but the genealogical record is modelled on the Old Testament genealogies.

Holy Grail, Holy Fraud

Honestly, nothing makiies me crazy quite like supposedly serious genealogists taking data straight from books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail and others of that ilk that should be just entertainment. I often think I should take on a systematic study and create a website devoted to the subject. Not going to happen, so I’m happy to find this article by Jason Colavito.

The claim that the Knights Templar are the secret guardians of the Holy Grail, identified as the Holy Bloodline formed by the children of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, is of very recent vintage, but due to its promotion in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code (2003) and on TV shows like America Unearthed (2012-present), the idea, first proposed in 1982, has become an industry, gradually subsuming other medieval “mysteries” of equally dubious provenance, particularly the claim that a Scottish noble named Henry Sinclair discovered America in 1398. There is not one single authentic medieval document that (a) confirms a Holy Bloodline of Jesus, (b) links Henry Sinclair to the Knights Templar, or (c) documents any voyage by Henry Sinclair to anywhere outside of Europe. How the myth formed is an astonishing story on its own.

Related Post

  • Swanstrom, Justin. “Holy Grail.” Swan Knight <yellacatranch.com>, Jan. 1, 2000. Retrieved Oct. 29, 2019.

Revised to update link.

Foreign Origins

Our European ancestors often did genealogy as propaganda. Nowadays it’s sometimes hard to convince new genealogists, people who might have only a limited historical education, that there wasn’t some secret, oral, underground stream of tradition that has been suppressed by clumsy academics.

No. It was pure propaganda, and today we can see through it easily.

When I was in college, we translated Virgil’s Aeneid in Latin class; a project that spanned a full year. I loved that story. I still do. Priam murdered at the altar. Aeneas and his family fleeing the burning city. This is the stuff of legend.

But it’s all just a propaganda. The legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, who fled the city, eventually settled in Italy. He was the supposed ancestor of Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome, and more importantly ancestor of the family of Julius Caesar. Virgil wrote his famous poem to help aggrandize Caesar and his family.

The story worked to connect upstart Rome to the ancient and considerably more sophisticated culture of Classical Greece.

And medieval propagandists took a page from Virgil. If Rome had a Trojan ancestor, then as heirs of Rome their national lineages had to be just as good. The Franks invented Francio. The British invented Brutus. The Scandinavians turned Thor into Tror. All Trojan princes. “Heirs to Troy, and by extension to the Roman Empire, they had a right to rule inherited from the heroes of classical antiquity.

Royal Fakes

One of my main academic interests is the way genealogical fakes are created and preserved. For many years I was active on Geni.com, working with other volunteer curators to round up and fakes, get them corralled, and so improve the quality of the medieval tree there. In the end it turned out to be a losing battle.

Even so, most of my genealogical correspondence continues to be people asking my opinion about different lines where they suspect a fake. Answering those messages is a lot of work. And, truthfully, my heart isn’t really in it right now. I’m off on other things.

I’ve stumbled across a YouTube channel — UsefulCharts — that does some pretty good work on presenting basic information on this topic. So, I’m going to take the easy way out and just link to some of them. I don’t agree with every point of every presentation, and I would caution that many of the presentations oversimplify. But still.

There are some shortcuts that will save you a lot of time if you accept them upfront. Despite what you might read in the popular press and on the Internet:

  • There are no proven descents from Adam and Eve.
  • There are no proven descents from King David.
  • There are no proven descents from Jesus.
  • There are no proven descents from Joseph of Arimathea.

On the other hand:

  • Everyone in Europe is probably descended from Charlemagne.
  • Everyone in the British Isles is probably descended from William the Conqueror.
  • Everyone in the British Isles is probably descended from Edward III.

Everyone is descended from royalty. Not everyone can prove their connection to these lines, but having a proven lines is very common. If you have one, very cool, but you’re not special.

Revised Oct. 27, 2019 to add link.

Ragnar Lodbrok

I have a special affection for Ragnar, but not for the reasons you’d think. I’m a volunteer curator at Geni.com, but several years ago I got thrown out of the site by another curator, Anette.

We have a Ragnar Lodbrog project at Geni, as you might expect. Anette started the project. A bunch of us worked on it. Until Anette got mad. Then she threw me out of the project, along with at least one other guy. Not satisfied, she also threw me out of Geni itself, then (so very strange) removed herself from the project.

Wow. Some strong feelings there.

That whole tantrum was my fault, I suppose. I said no real academic thinks Ragnar Lodbrok is real. It turned out Anette did think he was real and did think of herself as an academic. So.

Geni let me back into the site but not back into the project.

Coming back to reality, there are a few different choices for dealing with Ragnar academically.

The majority view of experts was articulated by Stewart Baldwin as far back as 1997. He argued for a Ragnar who is a composite of different figures from different stories. This is also the view expressed by Hilda Ellis Davidson.

My own view, for what it’s worth, is that the father of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army who invaded English in 865 is likely the core of Ragnar’s legend. His story grew because their stories grew. Everything, including his ancestry, is likely an accretion, although the name Ragnar might be authentic.

More Information

  • Stewart Baldwin, Was Ragnar Lodbrok Historical? (rev. 1997), at Scangen.se, visited Nov. 17, 2019. Ragnar is probably a composite of different characters.
  • Jackson Crawford, The Sons of Ragnar (Oct. 4, 2018), at YouTube.com, visited November 17, 2019. Already in the sagas Ragnar is the quintessential viking, more than he is any sort of historical personage.
  • Jackson Crawford, Who was Ragnar Lothbrok? (Dec. 28, 2016), at YouTube.com, visited November 17, 2019. He might be a historical figure if he was the Reginheri who raided in France in 845 but if so his story has been much expanded.
  • Hilda Ellis Davidson (editor), Saxo Grammaticus: The History of the Danes (1980).
  • Arith Härger, The Truth About Ragnar Lothbrok (Nov. 14, 2018), at YouTube.com, visited Nov. 17, 2019. Ragnar is probably a composite of different characters.

Great Heathen Army

They found it. Or more accurately, they’ve decided what they found in 1979 really is it. I’m talking about a mass grave at Repton in Derbyshire. The experts have solved a dating problem. Now it seems very likely the bodies are from the Great Heathen Army.

Here’s the short version.

In 865 vikings from coming from the Continent joined forces to invade the kingdoms that comprised what is now England. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle called them the Great Heathen Army. In legend, the army was led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, who had a grudge against King Aelle of Nlorthumbria because he had killed their father.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the army wintered at Repton 873/4, and thereafter split up. The mass grave discovered there contains (probably) 264 bodies, of which 80% are males between the ages of 15 and 45. Many of them have signs of violent injury.

That looks like an army. There doesn’t seem to be any historical record that would explain the mass grave. The likeliest explanation is that members of the nearby military camp suffered some sort of epidemic.

More Information

You’re Descended from Royalty

Everyone is descended from royalty. It’s just the way it works. At this point this fact should be so well known the universal reaction should be a yawn. But somehow the news hasn’t reached a lot of researchers. So, worth another post.

Adam Rutherford wrote about this recently. He starts off, “Charlemagne, Carolingian King of the Franks, Holy Roman Emperor, the great European conciliator; your ancestor. I am making an assumption that you are broadly of European descent, which is not statistically unreasonable but certainly not definitive. If you’re not, be patient, and we’ll come to your own very regal ancestry soon enough.

Good for you, Adam. One of these days I’m going to dig into my maze of links and come up with more on this topic.

Fictitious Habsburg Genealogies

Genealogists today often think of genealogy as a search for the truth about family relationships and history. But, for our royal and noble ancestors genealogy was something different.

It was a two-pronged propaganda campaign. One goal was to prove they were an ancient and distinguished family. The other goal was to prove that they were entitled to whatever titles, territories, and privileges they claimed.

The Habsburgs are a particularly well-documented example of the way medieval genealogies changed over time.

Colonna

When Count Rudolf von Habsburg (1218-1291) was elected Holy Roman Roman Emperor in 1273 the Habsburg family seems to have had no genealogical tradition about their origins. If they did have, it has since been lost.

Rudolf was avidly interested in genealogy. Very soon after he was elected he circulated the idea the Habsburgs were descendants of the Colonna family. The Colonna are an Italian noble family, said to be a branch of the Counts of Tusculum, who in turn were supposed to be descended from the Roman gens Julia, the family of Julius Caesar. So, at a stroke, a formerly obscure Swiss family was linked to ancient Rome. Not surprisingly, Rudolf’s new imperial dynasty also gained apparent legitimacy.

The idea that the Habsburgs were descended from the family of Julius Caesar gave them an opening to tag onto an older bit of political propaganda. Caesar himself claimed to be a descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was the son of a Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Venus (Greek: Aphrodite), according to Homer’s Iliad. Virgil’s Aeneid tells the story of how Aeneas gathered the Trojan survivors along with the statues of the household gods of Troy, and eventually settled in Italy where he became the ancestor of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, and his companions became the ancestors of the Romans.

So, this genealogy made the Habsburgs not only the heirs of Rome but also the heirs of the Trojans and the founders of Rome.

  • Chronik der 95 Herrschaften (Chronicle of 95 Seigneurs) by Leopold of Vienna (Leopold Stainreuter) (late 14th century). A compilation of the 95 rulers of Austria from Noah down to the present. In 1453 Frederick III used this compilation to have a memorial created in St. George’s church in the castle at Wiener Neustadt. The memorial shows 107 coats of arms, most of them the imaginary arms of fictitious Austrian rulers from Noah down to himself. Frederick had himself portrayed in the central field as ruler of the Austrian domains.

Pierleoni

The Colonna story continued as the official history of the Habsburgs until the reign of Maximilian I (1459-1519), the next family genealogist.

In 1476 a Swiss monk, Heinrich von Gundelfingen, produced a new genealogy showing the Habsburgs were actually descendants of the Pierleoni family. This genealogy might have been prepared for Maximilian’s wedding the following year to Mary of Burgundy.

The Pierleoni, like the Colonna, were an Italian noble family. They claimed descent from gens Anicia through Roman Emperor Olybrius (died 472).and the counts of Aventine. The previous genealogy had underlined the legitimacy of the Habsburgs as an imperial dynasty. This one also emphasized their sanctity. St. Benedict (480-543), the founder the Benedictine order, and Pope Gregory the Great (c540-604) were Anicii. Other famous members included the philosopher Boethius (c480-524), author of Consolation of Philosophy, a very popular and influential work, and Roman Emperor Petronius Maximus (c396-455).

This version of the Habsburg genealogy was still being published as late as 1694, when it reached its peak of popularity under Leopold I (1640-1705). Unfortunately it turned out to be too good to be true, although the full extent of the fraud wasn’t understood until 1836 (Fürst Eduard Maria von LichnowskyGeschichte des Hauses Habsburg).

The Pierleoni were really descendants of Leo de Benedicto Christiano, a Jewish banker who had converted to Christianity in the 11th century.

Trojans and Merovingians

Maximilian I launched a search for his family’s origins, and promoted the production of illuminated manuscripts, illustrated genealogies, and treatises on heraldry. In 1498 he commissioned Dr. Konrad Turst in Zurich to search for documents in the family’s Swiss homeland. He also engaged many of the leading scholars of his age as consultants, including Konrad Celtis, Johannes Cuspinianus, Konrad Peutinger, Willibald Pirckheimer, and Johannes Stabius, as well as Abbot Trithemius, and his own historiographers Jakob Mennel (Manlius) and Ladislaus Sunthaim.

In his earlier years Maximilian was inclined to accept the Pierleoni descent. Later, he favored research that showed he was a descendant of the ancient Trojan kings through the Merovingians. The French kings claimed the same origin, but their line went through the Carolingian usurpers. Claiming a different version of the same line allowed Maximilian to present himself as the legitimate heir of the ancient kingdoms of Gaul and Germany, and provided a justification for his territorial expansion into France and Burgundy.

There were variations of the Trojan line, even during Maximilian’s lifetime. One version traced the line back to the Trojan hero Hector. Maximilian had this line published in a book prepared for Charles VIII of France when he was trying to convince Charles to marry his daughter. Other versions took the line back to the Egyptian god Osiris and to the biblical Noah. Konrad Celtis went a different direction — he traced the Habsburgs back to the Norse god Tuisco, the ancestor of the Teutons.

  • Trithemius (1495-1503): 1, Marcomir. 2. Anthenor. 3. Priamus. 4. Helenus. 5. Diocles. 6. Helenus. 7. Basanus. 8. Chlodomer. 9. Nicanor. 10. Marcomir. 11. Clodius. 12. Anthenor. 13. Clodomer. 14. Merodach. 15. Cassander. 16. Ancharius. 17. Franco (um Beginn unserer Zeitrechnung). 18. Clogius. 19. Herimer. 20. Marcomir. 21. Clodomir. 22. Anthenor. 23. Ratterius. 24. Richimer. 25. Odemar. 26. Marcomir. 27. Clodomer. 28. Favabert. 29. Sunno. 30. Childerich. 31. Berthar. 32. Clodius. 33. Walther. 34. Dagobert. 35. Clogio (died 309). 36. Clodomer. 37. Richimer. 38. Thedemer. 39. Clogio. 40. Marcomir. 41. Dagobert (died 385). 42. Genebald. 43. Faramund. 44. Clodius. 45. Merovech. 46. Childerich. 47. Chlodevech usw. (Chronicon Hirsaugiense)
  • Gebweiler (1530): 47. Chlodvech. 48. Chlothar. 49. Sigubert. 50. Childbert. 51. Theodebert. 52. Sigubert. 53. Otbert. 54. Bebo. 55. Robert. 56. Amprintus (Rampert). 57. Guntram. 58. Luthard. 59. Betzo. 60. Rapoto. 61. Berengar. 62. Otto. 63. Werner. 64. Albert I. 65. Albert II. 66. King Rudolf I.
  • Memorial of Maximilian I (1572), at Hofkirche, Innsbruck. The original plan for Maximilian I’s cenotaph was that it would be surrounded by 40 large statues of his famous ancestors, 100 smaller statues of the family’s patron saints, and 34 busts of Roman emperors who had been his predecessors.The work was never finished. The completed work included 28 statues of his ancestors, including King ArthurTheodoric the Great, and Clovis I; 23 statues of the family saints, including St. Morand; and only 21 busts of the Roman emperors.
  • Genealogy of Philip II of Spain (16th century), traces his ancestry to Adam through Hercules Lybius: 1. Adam. 2. Seth: 3. Henos: 4. Cainan: 5. Malaleel: 6. Iared: 7. Henoch: 8. Mathusalam: 9. Lamech: 10. Noe: 11. Iapeth: 12. Iauan: 13. Dodanin: 14. Hercules: 15. Thusco: 16. Altheo: 17. Blascon: 18. Cambo Blascon: 19. Dardano: 20. Ericthonio: 21. Troe: 22. Iilo: 23. Loomedonte: 24. Priamo: 25. Heleno: 26. Genger: 27. Franco: 28. Esdron: 29. Gelio: 30. Rasabiliano: 31. Plaserio: 32. Plesron: 33. Eliacor: 36. Gaberiano: 35. Plaserio: 36. Antenor: 37. Priamo: 38. Heleno: 39. Plesron: 40. Basabiliano: 41. Alexandre: 42. Priamo: 43. Getmalor: 44. Almadion: 45. Diluglio: 16. Heleno: 47. Plaserio: 48. Diluglio: 40. Marcomiro: 50. Priamo: 51. Heleno: 52. Antenor: 53. Marcomiro: 54. Antenor: 55. Priamo: 56. Heleno: 57. Diocles: 58. Basano: 59. Clodomiro: 60, Nicanor: 61. Marcomiro: 62. Clodio: 63. Antenor: 64. Clodomiro: 65. Merocado: 66. Casandre: 67. Antario: 68. Franco: 69. Clogion: 70. Marcomiro: 71. Clodomiro: 72. Antenor: 73. Paterio: 74. Richimero: 75. Odemara: 76. Marcomiro: 77. Clodomiro: 78. Faraberto: 79. Sunon: 80. Hilderico: 81. Baltero: 82. Clodio: 83. Valter: 84. Dagoverto: 85. Clogion: 86. Genebaldo: 87. Dagoverto: 88. Clodion: 89. Marcomiro: 90. Faramundo: 91. Clodion: his son, 92. Merobeo: 93. Childerico: 94. Clodoreo: 95. Clotario (or Olotario): 96. Sigisberto: 97. Thoeberto: 98. Bebo: 99. Roperto: 100. Amprinto: 101. Gontramo: 102. Luthardo: 103. Betgon: 104. Rapoto: 105. Berengario: 106. Othon: 107. Vernero: 108. Alberto Elrico: 109. Alberto, 2: 110. Rodulpho: 111. Alberto, 3: 112. Alberto Elsabio: 113. Leopoldo: 114. Ernosto: 115. Federico: 116. Maximiliano: 117. Don Philipe, 1:118. D. Charolus: 119. D. Philipe, 2: 120. D. Philipe, 3: 121. D. Philipe, 4: 122. D. Philipe, 5. (John O’Hart, Irish Pedigrees (1892)).
  • Arbor Monarchia (1698), a hand painted tree about 25 feet tall created for Leopold I to show the Habsburg descent from Adam, who is said to have died in the Year of the World 930 and was buried on Mount Calvary. This tree is now in the Vienna State Archives.

Etichonen

In 1649 French genealogist Jérôme Vignier advanced a new idea about the Habsburg origins. He based his theory on a manuscript fragment he found in Lorraine, but never produced the manuscript. He traced their ancestry back to Eticho, duke of Alsace in the 7th century, and from him back to Aegamajor domo of Clovis II in the 6th century.

At the time, this line had political implications. The Habsburgs were no longer the heirs of the ancient French kings, they were one branch of a subordinate family.

Then, in the early 18th century the Habsburgs had a succession crisis. Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740) was the last of the male line. His daughter and heiress, Empress Maria Theresa married Francis I Stephen, duke of Lorraine and later titular emperor.

The Habsburg family seized on Vignier’s research. Marquard Herrgott (1694-1762), a monk at Sankt Blasien, compiled a genealogy history at the request of Charles VI — The dukes of Lorraine were also descended from Eticho, so the Habsburg family wasn’t really extinct. Charles VI’s son-in-law was just a different branch of the same family (Genealogia diplomatica Augusta Gentis Habsburgicæ (1737)).

Yet, both Julien Havet and Horace Round later ridiculed Vignier’s research. Havet thought it was a “remarkable coincidence” that Vignier’s discovery “was full of genealogical details, that is to say, exactly what he wanted in order to prove his theory.” (Horace Round, “Our English Hapsburgs: a Great Delusion” in Studies in Peerage and Family History, pp. 216-249 (1901), quoting Julien Havet).

  • Jean-Jacques Chifflet (1650): As an agent for the Habsburgs in Spanish Netherlands, he wrote political tracts upholding the rights of the Habsburgs against France. In Stemma Austriacum annis abhic millenis(1650), he reversed his previous opinion about the Habsburg ancestry and accepted Vignier’s theory, Later, he discovered the tomb of Childeric I (died 480/1) at Tournai. He published an inventory of its contents (Anastasis Childerici I. Francorvm Regis, sive Thesavrvs Sepvlchralis Tornaci Neruiorum (1655)). This inventory was in fact a piece of political propaganda, written to discredit the Bourbon kings of France as heirs of the Merovingian dynasty (Anthony Wagner (1973)).
  • Kirchmair (1677): 1. Ethico. 2. Etho. 3. Alberich. 4. Ottbert. 5. Leutfrid. 6. Hunfrid. 7. Guntram der Reiche. 8. Landolus. 9. Radbot. 10. Werner I. 11. Otto. 12. Werner II. 13. Albert. 14. Rudolf. 15. Albert. 16. König Rudolf I.
  • David Blondelli bei Kirchmair (1677/80): Archinoald. 2. Leudesius. 3. Adalrich-Ethico. 4. Hetto. 5. Alberich. 6. Eberhard. 7. Hugo. 8. Guntram. 9. Landolus. 10. Radbot. 11. Werner. 12. Otto. 13. Werner. 14. Werner. 15. Albert. 16. Rudolf. 17. Albert. 18. König Rudolf I.
  • Eccard (1721): Leuthar, Herzog von Alamannien, d. 554. 2. Leudefred I. 3. Leudefred II. 4. Ethico I. 5. Ethico II. 6. Alberich (Bego I). 7. Eberhard I. 8. Bego II. 9. Eberhard II. 10. Eberhard III. 11. Hugo I. 12. Guntram. 13. Lanzelin usw.
  • Herrgott (1737): 1. Ethico. 2. Adalbert. 3. Liutfrid II. 4. Liutfrid III. 5. Liutfrid IV. 6. Hugo I. 7. Liutfrid V. 8. Hunfrid. 9. Guntram der Reiche. 10. Lantoldus. 11. Radbot. 12. Werner. 13. Otto II. 14. Werner III. 15. Albert III. 16. Rudolf. 17. Albert IV. 18. König Rudolf I.

Count Guntram

In 1889 Franz von Krones definitively put an end to the old myths (Grundriss der österreichischen Geschichtsforschung).

The majority view in modern times is that the Habsburgs are descended from Count Guntram the Rich, who held lands in the Aargau area of Switzerland. The Acta Murensia, a manuscript history written in the 12th century, was lost in the monastery library at Muri until its discovery in the 16th century. The annals give an account of the lives of the early Habsburgs, and prove they descend from this Guntram.

He might (or not) have been the same person as the Guntram who was duke of Upper Alsace (count of the Sundgau). This other Guntram had his lands confiscated in 952 as a punishment for rebelling against Emperor Otto the Great. His property was granted to the bishop of Constance in 962. If the two men were the same, he lost his lands in Alsace because it was part of the Holy Roman Empire but kept his lands in Aargau because it was part of the old Kingdom of Burgundy, not part of the Holy Roman Empire.

And, if the two men were the same then Guntram really was a descendant of Duke Eticho, although descent from Aega is now known to be fictitious.

  • Acta Murensius says he was a son of Theodebert, king of Helvetia and Alemannia.
  • The Vita Sancti Deicoli names “primogenitus Heberardus, secundus Hugo, tercio Guntramnus” as the three sons of Hugo [VI of Nordau].
  • The Notitiæ Altorfenses names “Guntramus filius Hugonis” in relation to a donation of property to the monastery “pro anime sue remedio”.
  • “Otto…rex” donated several named properties “in pago Elisaza…et in comitatu Bernhardi comitis…in villis Brumagad, et in Mumenheim et in Grioz et in Walahon et in Bernnesheim et in Moreseim”, confiscated from “Guntrammus”, to Kloster Lorsch by charter dated 11 Aug 953
  • Otto…rex” donated property “in ducatu Alamannico in comitatu Burchardi ducis Durgeuue…in villa Askinza” [Eschenz in Thurgau] which had been confiscated from “Gundranmus comes” to Kloster Einsiedeln by charter dated 6 Jan 958.
  • “Otto…rex” gave property in “Cholumbra et Hitinheim” which previously belonged to “Guntramnus in Hillisazaas” to “fideli nostro Rudolfo” by charter dated 14 Apr 959. This Rudolf was the son of Rudolf of Burgundy and Berta of Swabia.

Habsburg DNA Project

The organizers of the Habsburg DNA Project believe the Habsburgs have a very different origin.

See Harry Hoppes Hoax at Family Tree DNA . . .

Feilding Family

The English Feilding family, earls of Denbigh, had a tradition they were descended from Gotfrid, count of Habsburg-Laufenburg (died 1271), through a son also named Geoffrey who settled in England temp. Henry III and took the surname Feilding. The claim has been discredited.

Sources

  • Alphons Lhotsky, Das Haus Habsburg (1971)

Note

Prepared as an overview for the Geni project of same name.

Documenting Royal Ancestry

From Nathan W. Murphy at FamilySearch:

“Everyone descends from royalty, right? So why make a fuss about it? In spite of this truism, many of us, especially Americans, are fascinated by the thought of documenting royal ancestry. We come across kings and queens in online family trees and wonder – are these trees accurate? Let’s walk through the process royal hereditary societies use to judge whether or not an applicant for membership has a documented line.

From You Back to the American Immigrant

“First, check to see if the immigrant ancestor in your purported royal line can be found on accepted gateway lists. A finite number of American immigrants can be documented as descendants of royalty. These immigrants are known as “gateway ancestors” and are the focus of intense scrutiny and study by expert genealogists. Approximately 650 gateway immigrants are known to have arrived in what is now the United States during the colonial period. One such list of gateways, which I help maintain, is on the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne website.

Read More: Documenting Royal Ancestry