Medieval Families with Roman Pedigrees

May 2017
1,116
France
#11
I know a family who pretended being the descendants of a roman Earl of a "pagus" (department),the family of the marques de J...… de M...…….In reality,when their cousin the vicomte de Lescure,just diplomated from the "Ecole des Chartes" of the Sorbonne,decided to write the "Armorial of the Aristocracy of the Gévaudan" ,in the purpose to begin his career and to be known,they were horrified to discover that the translation of their oldest documents effectuated by Lescure demonstrated that their real name,francised with the royal ordonnance of Villers Cotterêts (1539:apparition of the civil estate with the mentions of the money given to the priests) was Judeo de Montjudeo (identified in Lacanourgue,city reserved to the jewes of the Gévaudan) and that instead of doing the Crusades,their ancesters were paisible businessmen of clothes, selling stocks,jackets,coats etc....And as they succeeded their business ,they bought a castle and changed their name.....
Thank you Mr de Lescure.
 
May 2017
1,116
France
#12
In fact, even if we are all descendants of Romans,it is impossible to prove it.My preceptor,Mr Francois Jean Mallein (+ 2001) who has created the "Genealogic Bibliothec of Paris" has made 100 000 index cards,corresponding to all the french families mentionned in books and magazines (since 1650.....).As he told me,the most ancient aristocrat french family,the de Rochechouart de Mortemart,is the only one family able to prove that they were present to the consecration of Hugues Capet,in 987.
For the families of "cavalry extraction" (2000) they are not able to pass the line of the "An Mille",because the names were not définitives and could change at each generation,in function of the castle or the alliance.I give you the example of my family,present in the tribunals since 1761 (the end, 1987).....for the right to carry the name of the Dupuy Montbrun.
When the ultimate marques Dupuy Montbrun died in 1741,we revendicate a common origin.The Parliament of Languedoc refuses this favor.In 1760,our cousin d Assas saved the french army in Klosterkamp (Voltaire proposes an eternal military pension approved later by Marie Antoinette and the king); the 31 january 1761,the Parliament says yes…..The names and fornames correspond,but never the dates.
The real family Dupuy Montbrun:Hughes De Podio,cavalry man (miles) died in 1267.His son Allemand ("the german") knight, died in 1311.
Us:Hugues De Podio,miles,dead before 1249,is mentionned in the testament of his brother Bernard,ecuyer (squire) who remembered their common father "Widonis,miles".It proves that the father has no name and came from another town as he his not proprietary of the castle of Du Puy (the Puech) in Àles,Hugues DP has a son Raymond,miles, dead,and Raymond has two sons,Ermengard and Allemand DP miles,both surviving in 1249 under th name of Du Puy.But in fact they live in the castle of their wife and sister in law,Lucile Du Puy,proprietary of the castle by her father Pierre Du Puy,miles,dead.It proves that the name can come from the mother and -or the biggest propriety,because it is imposible that Hugues was married with the wife of his decendant.
 
May 2017
1,116
France
#13
Précisions:
Domicellum,damoiseau,young aristocrat.
Scutifer,ecuyer,squire.
Miles,chevalier,knight.
Magnifici Nobili,from baron to comte,middle and high aristocracy.
The families of barons,bannerets,vicomtes and comtes cannot proved their aristocracy before the "An Mil".Some marques of the Xth century-nothing in common with the marques of Louis XIV-and of course ancient dukes could prove it,but they are all deads.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,891
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#14
The Kings of Wales claimed descent from Magnus Clemens Maximus, the Roman Emporer of the West 383-388 AD.

The Massimo family claimed descent from Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, Roman dictator in the 3rd Century BC.

Both these families have living representatives.
To be precise, some Welsh royal families claim descent from Macsen Wledig, a legendary character. It is possible that families tracing their ancestry to Macsen Wledig were descended from Magnus Maximus (c.335-388)) who was born in Spain and led troops from Britain to usurp the Roman throne in 383, or from Flavius Maximus Magnentius Augustus (c.303-353) who usurped the Roman throne in Britain, Gaul, and Spain in 350, or from Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius Augustus (c.278-312) who ruled in Italy and other regions from 306-312, or from Maxentius's father Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Hercules Augustus (c.250-310) who reigned from 286-305.

The Pilar of Eliseg in Wales was erected by King Cyngen ap Cdell (d. c. 855) and had an inscription which included among other lines:

. . . the monarchy . . . Maximus . . . of Britain . . . Concenn, Pascent, Maun, Annan.† Britu son of Vortigern, whom Germanus blessed, and whom Sevira bore to him, daughter of Maximus the king, who killed the king of the Romans.
This indicates the dynasty of Powys may have been descended from a daughter of Magus Maximus who married Vortigern.

There were other early British dynasties, dynasties that claimed agnatic (male only) descent from Macsen Wledig.

Some Welsh dynasties also claimed descent from men named Constantine, or similar names. Naturally many of those Constantines were identified with the most famous Constantine of all, Constantine I the Great. Late Roman emperors named Constantine or similar included:

Constantius III (reigned 421)
Constantine III, usurper from Britain. (r.407-411)
Constans II (son & co emperor of Constantine III (r.409-411)
Constans I (r. 337-350) son of Constantine I.
Constantius II (r. 337-361) son of Constantine I.
Constantine II (r. 337-340) son of Constantine I.
Constantine I (r. 306-337) son of Constantius I.
Constantius I Chlorus (r.305-306).

And there were many other Romans named Constantine or similar after those became imperial names.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,094
#15
I was looking at the OP's interest in claims of Roman descent, rather than actual proof of it.

With that in mind, some of the Byzantium nobility claimed descent from the Romans - for example the Ducas family claimed descent from a cousin of Emperor Constantine I, and the Phocas family claimed descent from the gens Fabii.

In Italy, the Colonna family and the Orsini family both claimed descent from the gens Julii.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,891
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#16
I was looking at the OP's interest in claims of Roman descent, rather than actual proof of it.

With that in mind, some of the Byzantium nobility claimed descent from the Romans - for example the Ducas family claimed descent from a cousin of Emperor Constantine I, and the Phocas family claimed descent from the gens Fabii.

In Italy, the Colonna family and the Orsini family both claimed descent from the gens Julii.
At one time the Habsburgs also claimed descent from the Colonna and the Gens Julia.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,094
#17
At one time the Habsburgs also claimed descent from the Colonna and the Gens Julia.
Yes. Some families seemed to change their minds over who they wanted to claim descent from, not just due to new information being found but also depending on the religious/political atmosphere of the times.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,891
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#18
William Henry Turton's The Plantagenet Ancestry: Being Tables Showing over 7,000 of the ancestors of Elizabeth (Daughter of Edward IV, and wife of Henry VIII) https://www.amazon.com/Plantagenet-Ancestry-Ancestors-Elizabeth-Daughter/dp/0806303301

Includes a few dubious descents from Romans.

I remember there is a line of descent from Eudocia (439-466/74?) daughter of western emperor Valentinian III and granddaughter of eastern emperor Theodosius II. She was taken to Carthage after the Vandal capture of Rome in 455 and married the future King Huneric about 460. Their son Hilderic was King of the Vandals 523-530. The Plantagenet Ancestry traces a line of descent from a Vandal princess descended from Eudocia who married a legendary Danish king and was the ancestress of a long line of legendary Danish kings of the Scylding and other dynasties down to Gorm the Old (reigned c. 936-c.958), often considered the first fully historical Danish king.

Thee is also a somewhat dubious line of descent from Visigothic kings, that also includes descent from the famous Queen Brunhilda (c.543-613), as well as descent from Pedro Augusto, a brother of Emperor Maurice (r. 582-602).

I may add that by combining various genealogical legends one can trace a line of descent from Emperor Maurice down to some present day persons, including the Agha Khan. See this thread for a discussion of some of the issues. Emperor Maurice and Khosrow II of Persia

I may note that Gorm the Old is an ancestor of almost all modern European royalty and a large percentage of European nobility and many commoners. His genealogical heir, according to post number 34 in this thread: Heirs of the Kingdom of Denmark

So the closest heirs of King Knud/Canute the Great (c. 985/95-1035) would be the heirs of his two sisters or half sisters, daughter of King Sweyn Forkbeard.

One full sister or half sister, Gytha or Gyda, married Erik Haakonsson Jarl (d. 1023/24). Their heirs are traced to Count Franz Gisbert of Limburg-Stirum (b. 1943) in posts numbers, 39, 40, and 41 on pages 4 and 5 of the thread Heirs of the Kingdom of Norway. Heirs of the Kingdom of Norway

Estrid was a half sister of King Knud/Canute the Great but was certainly of legitimate birth. She married Ulf Thrugilson, and their only child who has descendants traceable to the present is King Svend/Sweyn II Estridsen (1020?-1074/76) of Denmark. King Knud/Canute II "The Holy" (c. 1042-1086) was the oldest son of King Sweyn II Estridsen to have descendants to this day. Depending on which son of Bengt "Snivil" was older, the heir of the first dynasty of Denmark would be either Prince Alexander of Isenburg (born 1969) according to posts numbers 6 and 7 on page 1 of this thread, or Chandler Newell Jr. (b. 1948) according to posts numbers 25 & 26 on page 3 of this thread, and if my sources are correct.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,891
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#19
)
Marie August of Anhalt, 1898-1983, has a line which goes back to Charlemagne

Of course Charlemagne's line reputedly goes back further to Arnould de Tongres 582 - 641
Half of the population of Europe seems to be descended from Charlemagne - including myself!
Charlemagne (742-814) was the son of Mayor of the Palace and later King Pepin the Short (714-768) and his wife Bertrada "Big Foot" of Laon (720-783), daughter of Charibert of Laon (died before 762). Charibert was the son of Bertrada of Prum (c.670-after 721) who might possibly have been a daughter of Theuderic III, King of Neustria and Austrasia (c.651-691). Theuderick III's ancestry would go back to the semi-legendary Merovech (c. 411-458), ancestor of the Merovingians. Bertrada of Prüm - Wikipedia

A 9th century genealogical legend claimed that Charlemagne was descended from a daughter of Emperor Justinian II (668-711) on Charlemagne's mother's side. Justinian II's first wife Eudocia was probably dead or divorced by the time Justinian II married his second wife Theodora of Khazaria, in 702. A daughter of Justinian II, presumed to be named Anastasia, was engaged to Tervel, Khan of Bulgaria, between 704 and 705. It is unknown whether the marriage took place. A daughter of Justinian II by his first marriage would have been born about 683 to 702, and thus have been about 18 to 37 years older than Bertrada of Laon (720-783) and could have been her mother or grandmother. A daughter of Justinian II by his second marriage would have been born about 703 to 711, and thus have been about 9 to 17 years older than Bertrada of Laon (720-783) and thus could possibly have been her mother.

As I wrote, Charlemagne (742-814) was the son of Mayor of the Palace and later King Pepin the Short (714-768). Pepin the Short was a son of Charles Martel (c. 688-741), Duke and Prince of the Franks, and Mayor of the Palace, and his wife Rotrude (d. 724) who is believed to have probably been a daughter of Lambert, Count of Hesbaye and sister of Robert I, Duke of Neustria. a probable ancestor of the Robertians and the Capetians. Lambert II, Count of Hesbaye (669-742) is believed to have been a son or grandson of Robert II, lord chancellor of the Franks, or less probably a son of Warinus and Gunza. Lambert, Count of Hesbaye - Wikipedia

Charles Martel (c. 688-741), Duke and Prince of the Franks, and Mayor of the Palace, was the son of Pepin II of Herstal (c.635-714), Duke and Prince of the Franks, and Mayor of the Palace, and his mistress Alpaida (c.654 -c.714).

Pepin II of Herstal (c.635-714), Duke and Prince of the Franks, and Mayor of the Palace, was the son of Ansegisel (c. 602/610- by 679) and Saint Begga (615-693). Saint Begga (615-693) was the daughter of Pippin I "of Landen" (c.580-640), Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, and his wife Saint Itta (692-652). Pepin I "of Landen" was reportedly son of a noble named Carloman Pepin of Landen - Wikipedia. Saint Itta (692-652) is said to have been the sister of Saint Modoald, bishop of Trier, and of Saint Severa, an abbess. Itta of Metz - Wikipedia Saint Itta may have been from a Gallo-Roman senatorial family and a daughter of Arnoald, Bishop of Metz Arnoald - Wikipedia, a son of Ansbertus Ansbertus - Wikipedia.

So Ansegisel (c. 602/610- by 679) was the paternal great great grandfather of Charlemagne (742-814).

Ansegisel (c. 602/610- by 679) was the son of Saint Arnulf, Bishop of Metz Ansegisel - Wikipedia. St. Arnulf (c.582-640s), (the Arnoud de Tongres mentioned by authun) was an important noble and government official who was also Bishop of Metz.

St. Arnulf and Peppin I "of Landen", two of the 16 great great great grandfathers of Charlemagne, are about the earliest certain ancestors of Charlemagne. But that hasn't stopped people from speculating about his ancestry for about the last 1,200 years.

It is believed that St. Arnulf's father was a Frank named Bodegisel.

Bodegisel (died 585 or 588) was a powerful Frankish noble, murdered by a mob in Carthage while returning from Constantinople. He was the son of Mummolin, Duke of Soisons. Bodegisel - Wikipedia

Mummolin (b. c. 500) was a son of Munderic and his wife Arthemia, daughter of senator Florentinus. Mummolin - Wikipedia

Munderic (killed. 532/33)
He married a daughter of Florentinus (born 485), a Roman senator, and his wife Artemia, daughter of Rusticus of Lyons.
Munderic claimed the throne, saying he was a son of Chlodoric the Parricide. Munderic - Wikipedia

Chlodoric the Parracide (d. c. 509) was the son of a Frankish king, incited by the rival Frankish king Clovis to kill his father and seize the throne, but then killed by Clovis's men, and Clovis took over his kingdom. He was the son of King Sigobert the Lame. Chlodoric the Parricide - Wikipedia

King Sigobert the Lame (killed c. 509), was allegedly the son of a Childebert. Sigobert the Lame - Wikipedia Childebert could have been a son, nephew, brother, uncle, first cousin, or more distant relative, of Merovech or Meroveus, ancestor of the Merovingians, but that is just speculation.

As Wikipedia says about St. Arnulf:

He is claimed to be a direct descendant of Flavius Afranius Syagrius, being a case for descent from antiquity.
And:

The Vita Sancti Arnulfi, written shortly after the saint's death, states that he was of Frankish ancestry, from "sufficiently elevated and noble parentage, and very rich in worldly goods".[1]

Shortly after 800, most likely in Metz, a brief genealogy of the Carolingians was compiled, with no verifiable historical basis. It was modelled in style after the genealogy of Jesus in the New Testament. According to this source, Arnulf's father was a certain Arnoald, who in turn was the son of Ansbertus and Blithilt (or Blithilde), an alleged and otherwise unattested daughter of Chlothar I. This claim of royal Merovingian descent is not confirmed by the contemporary reference in the Vita. Under Salic Law no children of Blithilde would be recognized as legitimate heirs to the dynasty, so an event like this would hardly be recorded, least remembered after many centuries.

J. Depoin observed that Arnulf was identified as a Frank in contemporary documents, whereas Arnoald was identified by Paul the Deacon as a Roman.[2] Based on the Vita Gundolphi Arnulf's father was Bodegisel, a Frankish noble. David Humiston Kelley then proposed that Arnoald was likely an ancestor of the Carolingians through a daughter Itta, wife of Pepin of Landen. Christian Settipani carefully revisited and expanded upon the work of Depoin and Kelley, and concurred in Arnulf's descent from Bodegisel instead of Arnoald, but noting that there was a connection between the Ripuarian Frankish royal house and the Carolingians. He argued (without dismissing the possibility of Itta's being Arnoald's daughter) that there was a connection through Arnulf's wife Doda, whom he posited as a daughter of Arnoald. Kelly then considered probable Settipani's proposed connection between the Carolingians and Arnoald.

Arnulf of Metz - Wikipedia

So there is speculation that Charlemagne might have been descended from various Gallo-Roman nobles.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,891
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#20
Some Welsh dynasties also claimed descent from men named Constantine, or similar names. Naturally many of those Constantines were identified with the most famous Constantine of all, Constantine I the Great. Late Roman emperors named Constantine or similar included:

Constantius III (reigned 421)
Constantine III, usurper from Britain. (r.407-411)
Constans II (son & co emperor of Constantine III (r.409-411)
Constans I (r. 337-350) son of Constantine I.
Constantius II (r. 337-361) son of Constantine I.
Constantine II (r. 337-340) son of Constantine I.
Constantine I (r. 306-337) son of Constantius I.
Constantius I Chlorus (r.305-306).

And there were many other Romans named Constantine or similar after those became imperial names.
I note that alleged descent from the family of Constantine I also has alleged descent from earlier emperors. His father was Constantinius I Chlorus (c. 250-306). Constantius Chlorus - Wikipedia

Constantinus I Chlorus, Caesar from 293-305 and Augustus from 305-306, was officially named Marcus Flavius Valerius Constantinius Heraclius from 293, taking the name of Valerius in honor of his father in law Emperor Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius.

The dynasty is also called Neo-Flavian because every Constantinian emperor bore the name Flavius, similarly to the rulers of the first Flavian dynasty in the 1st century.
Constantinian dynasty - Wikipedia

Thus it would be only natural to speculate whether the Neo-Flavian dynasty was descended from or related to the earlier Flavian dynasty.

Born in Dardania, Constantius was the son of Eutropius, whom the Historia Augusta claimed to be a nobleman from northern Dardania, in the province of Moesia Superior, and Claudia, a niece of the emperors Claudius II and Quintillus.[6] Modern historians suspect this maternal connection to be a genealogical fabrication created by his son Constantine I,[7] and that his family was of humble origins.[2]

Claudius II Gothicus (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius Augustus) was born May 10, 214 and died January 270, ruling from 268-270. Thus his alleged niece Claudia could have been born about 224-264, and could have become a mother about 240 to 304, while Constantinus I was born about 250.

Claudius' origin is uncertain. Born on May 10, 214,[1] he was either from Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior or from Naissus in Moesia Superior.[2] According to the fourth-century Epitome de Caesaribus, he was thought to be a bastard son of Gordian II,[3] but this is doubted by some historians.[4]
Claudius Gothicus - Wikipedia

Claudius's brother Quintillus was also emperor for months in 270:

Quintillus was born at Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior.[2] Originating from a low-born family, Quintillus came to prominence with the accession of his brother Claudius Gothicus to the imperial throne in 268. Quintillus was possibly made Procurator of Sardinia during his brother’s reign.
The Historia Augusta reports Claudius and Quintillus having another brother named Crispus and through him a niece, Claudia, who reportedly married Eutropius and was mother to Constantius Chlorus.[13] Some historians however suspect this account to be a genealogical fabrication to flatter Constantine I.[14]
Quintillus - Wikipedia

Gordian II (c. 192-238) or Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus, was emperor for 21 days with his father Gordian I.

Born c. 192, Gordian II was the only known son of Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus the Elder. His family were of Equestrian rank, who were modest and very wealthy.[citation needed] Gordian was said to be related to prominent senators.[4] His praenomen and nomen Marcus Antonius suggest that his paternal ancestors received Roman citizenship under the Triumvir Mark Antony, or one of his daughters, during the late Roman Republic.[4]Gordian’s cognomen ‘Gordianus’ suggests that his family origins were from Anatolia, especially Galatia and Cappadocia.[5]

According to the notoriously unreliable Historia Augusta, his mother was a Roman woman called Fabia Orestilla,[2] born circa 165, who the Augustan History claims was a descendant of Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius through her father Fulvus Antoninus.[2] Modern historians have dismissed this name and her information as false.[6] There is some evidence to suggest that Gordian's mother might have been the granddaughter of the Greek Sophist, consul and tutor Herodes Atticus.[7] His younger sister was Antonia Gordiana, who was the mother of Emperor Gordian III.

Gordian II - Wikipedia
Thus it was chronologically possible for Gordian II to be the father of Claudius II Gothicus.

Antoninus Pius lived from 86 to 161, and his only wife was Anna Galeria Faustina (c. 100-140), married 110/15, and Marcus Aurelius lived from 121 to 180, his only wife being Faustina the Younger (c. 130-175/76), married in 145. Chronologically the mother of Gordian II could have been a granddaughter of Antoninus Pius or a daughter of Marcus Aurelius, but modern historians consider the claim to be a lie.

So if someone accepts the family trees tracing ancestry back to the Neo-Flavian dynasty, they can then accept a bunch of other genealogical claims and make the Neo-Flavians descended from or related to various earlier emperors and senators, including Claudius II Gothicus, the Gordians, Marcus Aurelius, and Antoninus Pius. Believe it or not.
 

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