MALE Ermentrude de Roucy

Wife of Aubry II, count of Mâcon, and Otte-Guillaume, count of Burgundy.

Ermentrude appears with her first husband Aubry II, count of Mâcon, in three charters dated to 14 January in the 20th year of Lothaire (and thus 14 January 971, as one of the charters places the event on a Saturday) ["S. Alberici, comitis, qui elemosina ista fieri et firmari rogavit. S. Ermentrudis, conjuge sua. S. Leotaldi. ...", Cart. Cluny, 2: 368 (#1291)]. The other two charters evidently have a Liétaud (a subdeacon) and an Aubry (sometimes placed, without adequate evidence, as sons of Aubry and Ermentrude) signing between Aubry and his wife Ermentrude [Bresslau (1879-84), 38, n. 5; Rameau (1901), 138; Bouchard (1987); all cite Juénin, N. Hist. de Tournus, Preuves, p. 116ff. (not seen by me)]. In January 992, she was witness to a charter of a certain Eldevertus ["S. Ermentrudis comitissæ." Cart. Cluny, 3: 137 (#1915)]. In a charter of ca. 994, count Otto (evidently Otte-Guillaume) appears with a countess Irvis, undoubtedly either a nickname of Ermentrude or a corruptly copied form, as Otte-Guillaume and Ermentrude must have been married for some time before that ["Otto comes, Irvis comitissa." Cart. Cluny, 3: 399 (#2267)]. She was still living in March 1002, when she appears with her husband William and son Guy in a charter ["... Wille[l]mi comitis et uxoris ejus Ermentrudis, et filii eorum Widonis, ..." Cart Cluny, 3: 617 (#2552)].

Date of birth: Say 950.
Ermentrude's maternal grandparents Giselbert and Gerberga were married in 929 [Continuator Reginonis, s.a. 929, MGH SS 1: 616; Annales Heremi, s.a. 929, MGH SS 3: 141], her brother Bruno was born about 956 (see the page of Ragenold), and Ermentrude was married by 14 January 971. Thus, this estimate is probably not off by more than a few years.
Place of birth: Unknown.

Date of death: 5 March, 1002×4.
She was still living in March 1002 [Cart Cluny, 3: 617 (#2552), see above], but apparently deceased in 1004, when her husband made a donation for the souls of his stepfather Henri, mother Gerberge, son Guy, and wife Ermengarde ["Otto comes, cognomento Willelmus, ... Dedit idem comes Otto sancto Benigno potestatem Vivariensis ville pro anima Hinrici ducis, qui eum loco filii adoptavit, et genetricis sue Gerberge uxoris predicti ducis, ac filii sui Widonis, et Hermintrudis coniugis. ..." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 162-4]. Anselme cites the necrology of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon as giving 5 March for her date of death [Anselme 8: 410].
Place of death: Unknown.

Father: Ragenold/Renaud, d. 10 May 967, count of Roucy.
The identification of Ermentrude's father has sometimes been disputed, but seems correct. See Ragenold's page for a discussion.

Mother: Alberada, daughter of Giselbert, duke of Lorraine.
For the well established connection of Ermentrude to her mother Alberada, see the Commentary section.


(1) Aubry II, living 971, count of Mâcon.
The identification of Ermentrude de Roucy with the woman of that name who married count Aubry II of Mâcon is based on a list of counts of Mâcon appearing in the cartulary of Saint-Vincent de Mâcon, indicating that Otte-Guillaume married the widow of Aubry II ["... atque post illum, Albericus filius Leotaldi comitis; quo mortuo, dominus Guillelmus comes uxorem illius accepit; ..." Cart. Mâcon, 6 (#7)]. See the discussion of this in the Commentary section.

(2) Otte-Guillaume, d. 1026, count of Mâcon; count of Burgundy.
["Hoc anno obiit Otto Burgundiae comes." Annales S. Benigni Divionensis, MGH SS 5: 41]
See the Commentary section.


(by Aubry)

FEMALE Béatrix, d. prob. after 1028;
m. (1)
Geoffroy (II), d. 991×7, count of Gâtinais, before 979-991×7;
m. (2)
Hugues du Perche.
Béatrix was definitely a daughter of Aubry II, and probably by his marriage to Ermentrude. See the pages of Aubry and Béatrix for further discussion.

(by Otte-Guillaume)
["Necnon etiam Willemus, Heinrici ducis privignus, Adalberti Longobardum ducis filius, eidem regi aliquando rebellis extitit, favente ei Landrico Nevernis comite, qui ejus filiam uxorem duxerat, et Brunone, Lingonensi episcopo, cujus habebat in matrimonio sororem. Ex qua suscepit filios et filias, de quibus prius natam Landricus, reliquas uterque Willemus scilicet Pictavensis et Arelatensis duxere uxores; unusque filiorum ejus Rainaldus nomine duxit filiam Richardi Rotomagensis ducis, Adeledam nomine, uxorem." Rodulfus Glaber, lib. 3, ii, 6 (pp. 56-7)]

MALE Guy, d. ca. 1003, count of Mâcon.

MALE Renaud I, count of Burgundy; m. Adélaïde, daughter of Richard II of Normandy.

FEMALE Mathilde, m. Landry, count of Nevers.
Her name is given by a charter of her son Renaud, count of Nevers ["... ego Rainaldus, gratia Dei comes, ..., pro remedio animæ meæ et anima patris mei Landrici et matris mæ Matildis et uxoris meæ Advisæ, et filiorum meorum ..." Cart. Cluny 4: 14 (#2811)]

FEMALE Gerberge, living 1019, m. Guillaume, d. 1018, count of Provence.
Her name is given by several charters, where she appears in the interval 1013×9 [e.g., "ego Wilelmus comes Provincie, conjuxque mea Girberga ..." (1013); "... ego Vuillelmus comes et uxor mea Gisberga ..." (1018); "Ego Geiriberga comitissa ..." (1018); "ego Geriberga comitissa, una cum consensu filiorum optimatumque nostrorum propter remedium anime senioris mei Guilelmi comitis Provincie ..." (1019), Manteyer (1908), 271-2]

FEMALE Agnès, m. (1) Guillaume V, duke of Aquitaine (III of Poitou); m. (2) Geoffroi II Martel, count of Anjou.
["... Agnes comitissa, filia Ottonis cognomento Willelmi, comitis Matiscensis, uxor etiam ejusdem nominis Willelmi, ducis Aquitanorum, ..." Cart. Cluny 3: 765-6 (#2742)]


The identification of Ermentrude

The genealogical connections of Ermentrude depend heavily on the proper identification of same-named individuals appearing in different documents. The case considered here involves the identification as the same person of the individuals appearing in the following three items:

Although the identification of the first two of these is routine and noncontroversial, it is based on the accumulation of a number of pieces of evidence, and does not follow directly from any single source. The identification of the third Ermengarde as being the same person has been disputed in the past, and will be discussed after the other two. Thus, let us show why the Ermentrude who was daughter of Alberada was the same person as Ermentrude, wife of Otte-Guillaume of Burgundy, beginning with the genealogical documents which show Ermentrude and Alberada together.

A letter from Siegfried, abbot of Görze, to Poppo, abbot of Stablo, written in 1043 when the marriage between the emperor Heinrich III and Agnès de Poitou was being negotiated, describes the 3:3 degree of consanguinity between the prospective bride and groom ["... Heinricus rex ex Mathilde genuit tres filios: Ottonem imperatorem, Brunonem archiepiscopum, Heinricum ducem; duas quoque filias, Gerbergam et Hadwidem. Quarum altera, id est Hadewidis, Hugoni; altera, id est Gerberga, nupsit Gisleberto duci eique filiam Alberadam nomine peperit. Post obitum vero Gisleberti iuncta est in matrimonium Ludovico Francorum regi, a quo filios duos, Lotharium regem et Karolum ducem, filiamque Mathildam, postea Cuonradi regis Burgundionum uxorem suscepit. Porro ex his sororibus, non quidem de uno patre, sed de una matre scilicet Gerberga genitis, de altera quidem, id est Alberada Ermentrudis, de altera vero, id est Mathilde, Gepa, quae et Gerberga, processit. Et haec prima generatio. Sane Ermentrudis Agnetem, Gepa vero Gislam augustam sororemque Mathildem genuit. Et ecce secunda generatio. Gislae autem filius, domnus Heinricus rex, et Agnetis filia simulque equivoca, Agnes ipsa videlicet, de qua hoc totum agitur, in tertia genealogica linea invenitur. Audivi autem dictum esse regi, aviam suam Gepam non ex Mathilde, sed ex priore Cuonradi regis uxore fuisse progenitam. Quod non ita esse et veridicorum hominum asserit relatio et ipsa feminarum ostendit equivocatio. A Mathilde enim magni Heinrici regis conjuge usque ad Mathildem huius regis materteram genealogiae descensio per Mathildes et Gerbergas facta est, ita ut Mathildis, Gerbergae filia, aviae suae equivoca, filiam suam matris nomine vocaret et nepti suae nomen suum ut haereditarium relinqueret." Giesebrecht (1881-95), 2: 714-5 (document #10)].

Leaving off the parents and siblings of the elder Gerberga (and ignoring the problem involving Gepa's mother, which in any case is irrelevant for our purposes), the following table shows us what the letter has to say about Gerberga's spouses and descendants.

Similar information is given in an eleventh century genealogical table, evidently compiled in the time of the emperor Heinrich III (the latest of his family to appear in this version of the table), consisting of many descendants and other relatives of the German king Heinrich (Henry) I (d. 936) [MGH SS 6: 32; see also MGH SS 3: 215, giving a table with the same information plus later additions]. This table omits Giselbert, Louis, and Conrad, and adds two siblings of Gepa, showing the same relationship between Agnès and Heinrich as the above table. The part of this table which is of immediate interest to us is further confirmed by a genealogical notice given in a letter copied onto one of the manuscripts of Flodoard's annals ["Mathilde et Alberada filiae fuerunt Gerbergae; de Mathilde processit Rodulfus rex et Mathildis soror eius, de Alberada Ermentrudis; de Mathilde, filia Mathildae, Berta. De Ermentrude Agnes; de Berta Geraldus Genevensis; de Agnete Wido." Flodoard, Annales, 159; Alberada and Alfratha are variants of the same name]. The information is contained in a letter written by "Raynaldus, comes Portinensis" to a duke of Aquitaine with initial "G" ["Duci Aquitanorum G. Raynaldus, comes Portinensis, ..." ibid., 158-9]. These men can apparently be identified as Renaud I, count of Burgundy (1020-1057), and his nephew Guillaume VI (Guy-Geoffroy), count of Poitou and duke of Aquitaine (1027-1057) [see the discussion by Lauer in Flodoard, Annales, liii-lvii], and the letter is evidently a response to a request by Guy-Geoffroy (Wido) for information about the family of his mother Agnès and their relationship to Gerald of Geneva.

As is common in sources of this type, the names of the husbands of certain women are often not given, but some of these husbands are readily identifiable from other sources. Beginning at the bottom of the table with the younger Agnès (of Poitou, wife of Heinrich III) and with her brother Wido (i.e., Guy-Geoffroy of Poitou and Aquitaine), we can work our way routinely upward, filling in details from various sources, as follows.

The most important relationships given in the above points can be summarized in the following table.

The excellent fit of this table with the previous table can be easily seen. With the word avunculus having its most common meaning of maternal uncle, we get Alberada as the mother of bishop Bruno, count Giselbert, and Ermentrude, wife of Otte-Guillaume. The count Guy who appears as a consobrinus of bishop Bruno may be Otte-Guillaume's and Ermentrude's son, then (joint) count of Mâcon. Alberada's husband, who is not directly documented, was Ragenold/Renaud of Roucy. Although this has sometimes been disputed, the evidence for this seems sufficient to make a good case, and is discussed on the page of Ragenold/Renaud.

The marriage of Ermentrude to Aubry II of Mâcon

The genealogy of Ermentrude is complicated by the existence of a dissenting opinion, which does not accept the marriage of Ermentrude to count Aubry II of Mâcon, and would consider Ermentrude, wife of Aubry, and Ermentrude (of Roucy), wife of Otte-Guillaume, to be two different women. The source of the claim that Otte-Guillaume married Aubry's widow is a list of counts of Mâcon which appears in the cartulary of Saint-Vincent de Mâcon.

"Hec sunt nomina Comitum Matisconensium. Primus, Albericus Narbonensis qui, accipiens filiam Raculfi vice-comitis post mortem domini Bernonis Matiscensis episcopi, comitem se fecit; post hunc, Leotaldus filius ejus; atque post illum, Albericus filius Leotaldi comitis; quo mortuo, dominus Guillelmus comes uxorem illius accepit; atque post hunc, Otto comes fuit; et post hunc, Gaufridus; post Gaufridum, Guido; illo mortuo, dominus Guillelmus, filius Rainaldi comitis; et post hunc, Rainaldus filius ejus; post hunc, Stephanus; et postea Guillelmus Alemannus." [Cart. Mâcon, 6 (#7)]

The usual interpretation is that the Guillelmus comes who appears between Aubry II (Albericus) and Otto is Otte-Guillaume, appearing under one of his two names. Rameau argued against the identification, suggesting instead that the husband of Aubry's widow was a certain count of Mâcon named Guillaume "Barbe-Sale" [Rameau (1901), 139, n. 1]. However, the count called Guillaume "Barbe-Sale" in numerous late medieval and early modern sources is based on the "Willelmus, cognomine Bucca uncta" who appears briefly in the work of Adémar de Chabannes in a conflict with Hugues, count of Chalon and bishop of Auxerre [Adémar Chab., iii, 50 (p. 173)]. In fact, Adémar was referring to Otte-Guillaume (whom the sources sometimes call Otto, sometimes Guillaume, and sometimes both Otto and Guillaume), with an unflattering nickname, and Guillaume "Barbe-Sale" had no existence as a separate individual [see Poupardin (1907), 219, n. 2; Bouchard (1987), 265, n. 28; see also the page of Aubry II]. Since the only known counts of Mâcon between Aubry II and Otto were Otte-Guillaume and his son Guy (a joint count who died in his father's lifetime), there does not seem to be any good reason to doubt that the above list was referring to Otte-Guillaume, especially since Aubry's only known wife and Otte-Guillaume's first wife had the same name.

One argument which has been brought against the identification of Aubry's wife and Otte-Guillaume's wife is chronological. Aubry was evidently still alive at the time of a charter which mentions his land as neighboring that of a certain Arembertus ["... hoc est vineam ubi Arembertus residet, et terminatur de tribus partibus via publica, a sero terra Sancti Romani et Alberici, comitis. ... anno XXVIII regnante Lothario rege." Cart. Cluny, 2: 627 (#1582)]. The lack of any indication in the charter that Aubry was deceased has generally been interpreted as indicating that he was still alive at the time. The charter is dated to the 28th year of king Lothair, which would be from 12 November 981 to 11 November 982 if dated from Lothair's declaration as king on 12 November 954. On the other hand, Otte-Guillaume's grandson Otto appears for the first time as "adolescens" in a charter of 1004 ["S. Ottonis adolescentis comitis" Cart. Mâcon, 283 (#487)]. Vajay interpreted this term as "adolescent" in the strict sense, suggesting that Otto's birth was as early as 992, placing the birth of his father Guy at ca. 975 [Vajay (1962), 162, n. 3], which, if correct, place Guy's birth before Aubry's death. However, there is no need to interpret the word "adolescens" in such a strict way [see the discussion of Otte-Guillaume's birthdate on Otte-Guillaume's page], and all we really know is that the younger Otto was born before 1004. This still allows a plausible (if somewhat tight) chronology, allowing sufficient room after Aubry's death for the marriage of Ermengarde to Otte-Guillaume and Guy's birth, even if Aubry died as late as 982. Since it is not necessarily the case that Aubry's death needs to be placed that late (see the page of Aubry II), there is no valid reason to accept this objection to the statement by an apparently reliable source that Otte-Guillaume married Aubry's widow. It is interesting to note that Vajay, in arguing against this identification, did not even mention the primary source on which it is based [Vajay (1962)].

Another objection to the identification which has been raised should also be mentioned briefly. However, it is based on an assumption regarding the parentage of Otte-Guillaume's mother Gerberge which is now widely regarded as incorrect. If Gerberge were in fact a daughter or granddaughter of count Liétaud of Mâcon, as was often argued in the past, then the identification of Ermentrude, wife of Aubry II (son of the said Liétaud), with Ermentrude, wife of Otte-Guillaume, would have Otte-Guillaume marrying the widow of his uncle or granduncle, something that would have been likely to raise an objection on canonical grounds. However, since there is strong evidence that Gerberge was in fact a daughter of Lambert, count of Chalon, this objection is based on an underlying premise which is probably false. This matter is discussed in great detail on Gerberge's page.

Supposed sons by Aubry (no good evidence):
MALE Liétaud, fl. 971, subdeacon.
MALE Aubry, fl. 971.
As discussed on the page of Aubry II, there is no clear proof that these were Aubry's sons, and even less evidence that they were Ermentrude's. If Liétaud was a subdeacon in 971, it is not chronologically feasible to make him a son of Ermentrude.

Conjectured daughter by Aubry:
FEMALE NN, m. Ebles, son of Guillaume II (IV) "Fier-à-Bras", count of Poitou and duke of Aquitaine.
(conjectured mother of Ebles I, count of Roucy and archbishop of Reims and Liétaud de Marle)
This conjectured link has no direct support. Ebles and Liétaud appear as siblings in the Foigny Genealogy [Genealogiae Fusniacenses, c. 3, 10, MGH SS 13: 252-4] and Aubry de Troisfontaines [MGH SS 23: 823], but no early source gives their parentage. They are often placed without proof as sons of Ermentrude's brother count Giselbert of Roucy [e.g., Moranvillé (1922), 34]. Mathieu's conjecture that Ermentrude was the grandmother of these two siblings would have the advantage of simultaneously explaining the succession to the countship of Roucy and the appearance of the name Liétaud as a brother of Ebles, but is otherwise unsupported by the evidence [Mathieu (2000)].

Supposed additional son (nepos of her brother Bruno):
MALE Bruno, archdeacon of Langres.
As nepos of Ermentrude's brother bishop Bruno ["Bruno Archid. nepos Domni Brunonis Episcopi." Chron. S.-Bénigne, 295], the younger Bruno is sometimes placed as a son of Ermengarde [Anselme 8: 410; Petit (1894), 1: 111; Bouchard (1987), 270 (qualified as uncertain)]. However, since Ermentrude's sister (name unknown, married to Frotmund of Sens) had a son named Bruno who was a cleric, it is likely that it was he who was the archdeacon [see the page of Ermentrude's father Ragenold/Renaud of Roucy].


Adémar Chab. = Jules Chavanon, ed., Adémar de Chabannes - Chronique (Paris, 1897).

Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols (Paris, 1726-33).

Bouchard (1987) = Constance Brittain Bouchard, Sword, Miter, and Cloister - Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198 (Ithaca & London, 1987).

Bresslau (1879-84) = Harry Bresslau, Jahrbücher des Deutschen Reichs unter Konrad II, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1879-84).

Cart. Cluny = A. Bernard & A. Bruel, Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, 6 vols., (Paris, 1876-1903).

Cart. Mâcon = M.-C. Ragut, ed., Cartulaire de Saint-Vincent de Mâcon (Mâcon, 1864).

Chron. S.-Bénigne = E. Bougaud, ed., Chronique de l'abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon (Dijon, 1875).

Flodoard, Annales = Ph. Lauer, ed., Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1905).

Giesebrecht (1881-95) = Wilhelm von Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, 5th ed., 6 vols. (Leipzig, 1881-95).

Halphen (1903) = Louis Halphen, ed., Recueil d'annales angevines et vendômoises (Paris, 1903).

Manteyer (1908) = Georges de Manteyer, La Provence du premier au douzième siècle (Paris, 1908).

Marchegay & Mabille (1869) = Paul Marchegay & Émile Mabille, eds., Chroniques des églises d'Anjou (Société de l'Histoire de France, Paris, 1869).

Mathieu (2000) = Jean-Noël Mathieu, "La succession au comté de Roucy aux environs de l'an mil. Les origines de l'archevêque de Reims Ebles (1021-1033)", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 75-84.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Moranvillé (1922) = H. Moranvillé, "Origine de la Maison de Roucy", Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes 83 (1922):11-42.

Petit (1894) = Ernest Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne de la race Capétienne, 10 vols. (Paris, 1894; Kraus reprint, 1976).

Poupardin (1907) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Bourgogne (888-1038) - Étude sur les origines du royaume d'Arles (Paris, 1907).

Rameau (1901) = Mgr. Rameau, "Les comtes héréditaires de Mâcon", Annales de l'Académie de Mâcon, 3ser., 6 (1901): 121-209.

Rodulfus Glaber = Maurice Prou, ed., Raoul Glaber - les cinq livres de ses histoires (900-1044) (Paris, 1886).

Secretan (1867) = Ed. Secretan, "Notice sur l'origine de Gérold, comte de Genève", Mémoires et documents publiés par la Société d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de Genève 16 (1867): 201-303.

Settipani (1994) = Christian Settipani, "Les origines maternelles du comte de Bourgogne Otte-Guillaume", Annales de Bourgogne 66 (1994), 5-63.

Vajay (1962) = Szabolcs de Vajay, "A propos de la 'Guerre de Bourgogne' - Note sur les successions de Bourgogne et de Mâcon au Xe et XIe siècles", Annales de Bourgogne 34 (1962): 153-169.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008.

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