MALE Geoffroy (II)

Viscount of Châteaudun, 1003×4? - ca. 1038×9.

Between 1004 and the 1030's, various records show that the viscount of Châteaudun was named Geoffroy. Unfortunately, there has not been agreement on whether these records concern a single Geoffroy, or two viscounts Geoffroy in father-son succession. In 1004, a viscount Geoffroy appears in a charter ["signum Gaufredi vicecomitis" Cart. Marmoutier Dunois, 4 (#3)]. Between 1015 and 1023, a viscount Geoffroy and his son Geoffroy appear together as witnesses ["S. Hugonis archiepiscopi. ... S. Guasfredi vicecomitis. Item Guasfredi, filii ejus" Lex (1892), 145 (Pièces justificatives #13)]. However, it is not clear whether the Geoffroy who was viscount in the 1030's is the father or the son in this record. This is discussed in the Commentary section. Between 1007 and 1029, viscount Geoffroy appears with his son Hugues and wife Helvise ["Ego Gaufredus vicecomes, ... S. Gauzfredi vicecomitis, ... S. Hugonis, filius ipsius vicecomitis. S. Helvidis, uxoris ejus." Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 2: 400-1 (#2)]. In the first year of king Henri I of France (20 July 1031 - 19 July 1032), Geoffroy, viscount of Châteaudun, in his foundation charter for Saint-Denis de Nogent, mentioned his sons Hugues and Rotrou, his avunculus Bouchard, and his mother Melisende, and included his wife Helvise as a witness ["... ego Gauffridus, Castridunensium vicecomes, ... cum consensu filiorum meorum Hugonis videlicet et Rotroci, ... et terram Burcardi avunculi mei, ... Post mortem autem matris mee Milesendis, dono ecclesiam de Campo-Rotundo, ... + S. domini Gaufridi, vicecomitis ... + S. Hugonis, filii domini Gaufridi vicecomitis. + S. Rotroci, fratris ejus. + S. Eleusie, matris eorum. ..." Cart. S.-Denis de Nogent, 13-19 (#5)]. Geoffroy, viscount of Châteaudun signs as a witness on 16 April 1034 ["Gaufridus, vicecomes Dunensium" Lex (1892), 155 (Pièces justificatives #21)], and on 27 March 1035 ["Signum Gosfredi vicecomitis" Lex (1892), 168 (Pièces justificatives #7)]. Geoffroy was assassinated at Chartres, probably about 1038 or 1039 [see below under date of death].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: ca. 1038×9.
Place of death: Chartres.
A charter of his son Rotrou for Saint-Denis de Nogent on 11 January 1078 states that Geoffroy was assassinated as he was coming out of the church of Notre-Dame de Chartres ["Interea vero inopina mors, apud urbem Carnotensem, eum, ab ecclesia matris Domini redeuntem, furtivis gladiis invasit, ..." Cart. S.-Denis de Nogent, 21 (#6)]. Another version of the charter adds the detail that Geoffroy was surrounded by his knights at the time ["Interea ergo improvisa mors in Carnotina urbe eum ab ecclesia Matris Domini redeuntem atque suorum militum longo ordine circumdatum furtivis anticipavit gladiis, ..." Cart. Cluny, 4: 634 (#3517)]. The date is subject to some uncertainty. Geoffroy appears to have been recently deceased at the time of a 1038×40 charter of his son Hugues ["Post mortem vero vicecomitis Gausfredi, cum filius ejus Hugo patris successisset in honorem, ... " Cart. Marmoutier Dunois, 2 (#1)].

Probable father: Fulcois, count [of Mortagne?].
Geoffroy's son Rotrou names his avus Fulcois in one record [see below under Rotrou]. Since Rotrou's maternal grandmother is otherwise accounted for, Fulcois was probably his paternal grandfather and thus father of Geoffroy. See the Commentary section below for a more detailed discussion.

Mother: Melisende, still living 1031.
As noted above, Geoffroy mentioned his mother Melisende in a charter of 1031×2.

Spouse: Helvise, living 1031, daughter of Rainard, lord of Pithiviers, and his wife Helvise.
André de Fleury states that Hugues de Mortagne was a nephew of [Odalric], bishop [of Orléans]. Odalric is not explicitly named until the next chapter, but it is clear that it is he who was meant, because it is stated later in the same chapter that another nephew of the said bishop was another Hugues, Hugues Bardoul, who is known to have been a nephew of Odalric ["... Hugo Mauritaniensis, vir admodum strenuus in rebus bellicis et genere nobilis, nepos prætaxati antistitis, ... Cujus obitum comperiens, alter præfati pontificis nepos, dictus et idem Hugo, agnomeine Bardulfus, ..." André de Fleury, Miracula Sancti Benedicti, iii, 18, Mirac. S. Ben., 244; see Devaux (1885-6): 4: 120-1]. The names of Odalric's parents are known to be Rainard and Helvise from the Life of St. Gregory of Nicopolis ["... et oppidis illius regionis Pithuerim ... Erat autem in eodem oppido quædam nobilis matrona, Ailvisa nomine, bonæ memoriæ, quæ et ipsa genitrix unigenitum suum nomine Odolricum, illius videlicet oppidi hæredem, qui et ipse postea Aurelianensis Ecclesiæ factus est Episcopus; patre suo Rainardo jam defuncto atque ante fores Romanæ Ecclesiæ sepulto, amicabiliter educabat." Ex Vita et Miraculis S. Gregorii Episc. Nicopol., RHF 11: 457]. Chronologically, Hugues, son of Geoffroy and Helvise, and brother of count Rotrou of Mortagne, is the obvious candidate to identify as the Hugues de Mortagne who was a nephew of Odalric. Onomastics provides further confirmation, since Geoffroy's wife and Odalric's mother were both named Helvise.


MALE Hugues, fl. 1007×29 - 1039×40, viscount of Châteaudun, ca. 1038×9 - bef. 1060;
m. Adèle, fl. 1039×40.
Hugues appears with his father Geoffroy and his mother Helvise between 1007 and 1029 ["Ego Gaufredus vicecomes, ... S. Gauzfredi vicecomitis, ... S. Hugonis, filius ipsius vicecomitis. S. Helvidis, uxoris ejus." Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 2: 400-1 (#2)]. Between 20 July 1031 and 19 July 1032, he appears with his parents and brother in the foundation charter for Saint-Denis de Nogent [Cart. S.-Denis de Nogent, 13-19 (#5), see above]. Hugues succeeded his father about 1038×9, and a charter of 1038×40 shows Hugues with his wife Adèle ["Post mortem vero vicecomitis Gausfredi, cum filius ejus Hugo patris successisset in honorem, ... apud ipsum vicecomitem et uxorem ejus nomine Adilam ..." Cart. Marmoutier Dunois, 2 (#1); also, another charter of 1039×40: "... de Hugone vicecomite Castri Dunensis, filio Gauzfredi vicecomitis, ..." Cart. Marmoutier Dunois, 45 (#49)]. Hugues apparently died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother Rotrou sometime before 1060.

MALE Rotrou I, d. 1078×80, count of Mortagne, viscount of Châteaudun;
m. Adeliza, fl. 1051×60,
daughter of Guérin de Domfront.
Rotrou succeeded his brother Hugues as viscount of Châteaudun sometime before 1060, and also became count of Mortagne sometime before that date. Between 1051 and 1060, he appears with his wife Adeliza, his son Rotrou and other unnamed children, and mentions his avus count Fulcois, his avunculus Hugues and his father viscount Geoffroy ["..., ego Rotrochus comes de Mauritania, et mea uxor Adeliz et filii nostri, Rotrochus, et ceteri nostri infantes, ... ut annuatim anniversarium avi mei Fulcuich, comitis, et avunculi mei Hugonis et patris mei vicecomitis Gaufridi faciant, ..." Cart. S.-Vincent du Mans, 350-1 (#609)]. In an act dated 11 January 1078, Rotrou, count of Mortagne and viscount of Châteaudun, appears with his children Geoffroy, Hugues, Rotrou, Fulcois, and Helvise ["... ego Rotrocus, comes Mauritanie castri atque Castridunensium vicecomes, ... pater meus, videlicet comes Gaufridus atque vicecomes, ... cum consensu filiorum meorum, videlicet Gaufridi, Hugonis, Rotroci, Fulcoisi ac filie mee Helvise, ... S. Rotroci, comitis, ... S. Gauffridi, filii Rotroci comitis. S. Hugonis, fratris eius. + Rotroci. S. Fulcoisi. + Eleusie, sororis eorum." Cart S.-Denis de Nogent, 19-24 (#6); see also Cart. Cluny, 4: 634 (#3517)]. Rotrou is presumed to have died before 1080, when his son Hugues appears as viscount of Châteaudun [Cart. Marmoutier Dunois, 130 (#140)].

Probable grandfather: Geoffroy (I), fl. 967?-985, viscount of Châteaudun.
Probable grandmother: Hildegarde, d. after 1005.
As discussed below in the Commentary section, Geoffroy is apparently identified as the nepos of Hildegarde's son bishop Hugues of Tours, which, if the word nepos has its usual meaning of "nephew", would make Geoffroy a grandson of Hildegarde and her probable husband Geoffroy (I).

Probable ancestor: Rotrou de Nogent, fl. 967?-996.
Rotrou appears as a witness on a false act of king Lothaire of France 7 July 967 ["S. Rotrochi" Rec. actes Lothair & Louis V, 141 (#60), a falsification of the 11th or 12th century, but perhaps based on an analysis of an authentic act that had been lost]. His first certain appearance is in an act of 8 September 975 ["S. Roterici" Cart. S.-Benoît-sur-Loire, 1: 152 (#61)]. He then appears fairly regularly for the next two decades, in charters of 5 February 978 ["Rotrocus" Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1: 65 (#8)], 3 May 983 ["S. Rotrochii" Lex (1892), 122 (Pièces justificatives #1)], before 986 ["Rotrocus" Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1: 72 (#13)], 985 ["S. Rotroci" ibid, 1: 79 (#18)], 12 February 996 ["Signum Ratroch." Lot (1903), 426], and 996×1001 ["S. Rotroci." Lex (1892), 133 (Pièces justificatives #7)]. In addition to the above charters, in which Rotrou appears without further designation, there are two charters which supply additional information. One, dated 989, calls Rotrou a Norman ["S. Rotroci Normanni." Lex (1892), 125 (Pièces justificatives #3)]. Another, undated, is a donation by Rotrou (called "de Nogent" in the heading of the charter) of property in Thivars, near Chartres, to Saint-Père de Chartres [heading: "De terra data in villa quæ Thevas dicitur a Rotroco de Nogiomo." body of charter: "In Dei nomine, Rotrocus seculari miliciæ deditus et Odonis comitis fidelitati devotus, ..." Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1: 87 (#4)]. In addition, two twelfth century references mention Rotrou in connection with the Perche during the wars of Richard I of Normandy with Thibaud "le Tricheur", count of Blois and Chartres. He is called count of the Perche by Wace in his Roman de Rou ["Rotro, li quens del Perche" Wace, Roman de Rou, 4134 (1: 187)], and he is connected with the Corbonnais in the Norman chronicle of Benoît de Sainte-More ["Rotrou e cil de Corbuneis" Benoît de Sainte-More, 22564 (2: 244)]. Since the principal possessions of Geoffroy (II) were at Nogent, and he gave his son the very uncommon name Rotrou, the earlier Rotrou would make a very plausible ancestor (grandfather?) of Geoffroy.


As noted above, the mother of Geoffroy is well documented to be a certain Melisende. However, besides count Fulcois, several other fathers have been proposed for Geoffroy:

Conjectured father: Geoffroy, viscount of Châteaudun.
(existence as a separate individual unlikely)
[Murs (1856), 131; Romanet (1890-1902), 30 (table), 44 (table); Keats-Rohan (1997), 202 & n. 72; Settipani (1997), 262 (table)]

Conjectured father (more probably a grandfather): Rotrou de Nogent, fl. 967?-996.
[Thompson (2002), 195-6 (hypothesis 2)]

Falsely attributed father: Guérin/Warin de Domfront.
[Bry (1620), 137-8; Anselme 3: 306]

Falsely attributed father: Geoffroy (I), fl. 967-985, viscount of Châteaudun.
Falsely attributed mother: Hildegarde. d. after 1005.
[Boussard (1962), 312 n. 87, making Geoffroy (II) a brother of archbishop Hugues] In this case, it looks as if Boussard actually indended to make the Geoffroy who died ca. 1038×9 the son of a previous viscount Geoffroy [as in Murs, Romanet, Keats-Rohan, Settipani, above], but carelessly left out the younger Geoffroy from his list.

Of these four alternatives, Boussard's error need not concern us further, and the other three will be discussed below.

The ancestry of Geoffroy (II)

Attempts to trace the ancestry of viscount Geoffroy (II) of Châteaudun and of his son count Rotrou of Mortagne have tried to piece together several indications from the sources. First, they were viscounts of Châteaudun, so they presumably need to fit into that family of viscounts in some way. Second, the family property Geoffroy held seems to be concentrated in the area of Nogent-le-Rotrou, so he was presumably a descendant of Rotrou, the tenth century lord of that place who had the rare name Rotrou also borne by one of Geoffroy's sons. Third, his son Rotrou was count of Mortagne, so a descent has been sought from one of the tenth century counts of Mortagne named Hervé. Fourth, Rotrou names his avus count Fulcois in a charter, and a place has to be found in the genealogy for this otherwise unknown count Fulcois. As we shall see, there are a number of variations in the genealogical trees which have been put together from these pieces.

The Viscounts of Châteaudun

Of these families, only the viscounts of Châteaudun appear in the records of the tenth and eleventh centuries on a frequent enough basis to offer some hope of getting a continuous account. Even then, as we shall see, there are significant problems, for example, the existence of two mothers of members of the family whose husbands are not explicitly identified in the records. The following outline is based mainly on the excellent summary given by Settipani [Settipani (1997), 259-261].

As can be seen from the above outline, the identification of individuals is less than clear in many of the above sources. Nevertheless, we see that from before 967 to after 985 the viscount of Châteaudun was named Geoffroy. From before 989 to 1003×4 the viscount was named Hugues. From 1003×4 to ca. 1038×9 the viscount was named Geoffroy. However, the genealogical connections are not completely obvious, and it is not entirely clear whether or not there were consecutive viscounts having the same name, so, for example, we have to allow for the possibility that there were two viscounts named Geoffroy during the period 1003×4 to ca. 1038×9. With the viscount Geoffroy, son of Melisende, who died ca. 1038×9, we have reached a better documented era, and he was succeeded by his two sons Hugues and Rotrou. The principal problems of identification are emphasized here by stating them as a series of ten interconnected questions which appear to isolate the main problem areas. The first four of these questions, discussed briefly here, are also covered on the page of viscountess Hildegard, where they are more relevant.

Question 1: Was the viscountess Hildegard who appears in 980 the same person as viscountess Hildegarde who was mother of archbishop Hugues?

It seems to have been generally assumed that they were the same person. Although the gap of 25×43 years between the records and the fact that the Hildegarde of 980, sister of Gerberge, is not explicitly called viscountess of Châteaudun suggest caution, the identity is plausible enough.

Question 2: Was the Hugues who appears as viscount of Châteaudun from 989 to 1003 the same person as Hugues, archbishop of Tours from 1005 to 1023?

As noted above, in 996×1001 viscount Hugues of Châteaudun was also dean of Saint-Maurice de Tours, a clear indication that he was also the same man as the later archbishop. The fact that archbishop Hugues had a son supports this further.

Question 3: Who was the father of archbishop Hugues?

Since Hildegarde, mother of Hugues, is called viscountess of Châteaudun, there is a reasonable presumption that the father of Hugues was a viscount of Châteaudun. Since Hildegarde held the title of viscountess in 980, her husband was presumably the person who was viscount at that time, namely Geoffroy. On the other hand, a record of about 1000 calls viscount Hugues (whom we have identified with archbishop Hugues) the son of viscount Geoffroy. Thus, two independent lines of argument would name Geoffroy as the father of viscount/archbishop Hugues.

Question 4: How do the individuals mentioned in the short chronicle of Bonneval fit in with the other sources mentioned?

As noted above, the other sources give a consistent picture of a viscount Geoffroy, his wife Hildegarde, and their son viscount/archbishop Hugues, while the Bonneval chronicle gives viscount Geoffroy and his wife Ermengarde and son Hugues. The most likely conclusion is that the short chronicle of Bonneval, a late source with many faults, has accidently mistranscribed the name Hildigardis as Hermengardis at some point in the transmission.

Question 5: Who was the father of Melisende's son viscount Geoffroy?

With Melisende (living 1031×2), her son viscount Geoffroy (d. ca. 1038×9), his wife Helvise, and their sons viscount Hugues and count Rotrou, the genealogy of the family of the counts of the Perche and viscounts of Châteaudun becomes continuously documented. Thus, a crucial first step to continuing the genealogy would be to determine who was the father of Geoffroy and husband of Melisende. To my knowledge, four candidates have been advanced, Guérin de Domfront (Bellême), Geoffroy de Châteaudun, Fulcois, and Rotrou de Nogent. In addition, a previous marriage of Melisende to Hervé II, count of Mortagne, which left no children, has been proposed.

Many of the older secondary sources give Guérin de Domfront as the father [e.g., Bry (1620), 137-8; Anselme 3: 306]. This is ultimately based on the statement of Orderic Vitalis that Guérin was the atavus (strictly, great-great-great-grandfather) of count Rotrou of Perche, great-great-grandson of Melisende ["Guarinus de Damfronte, quem dæmones suffocaverunt Rotronis atavus fuit ..." OV xiii, 3 (5: 3-4); Murs (1856), 66; Romanet (1890-1902), 39 n. 3]. Thus, a strict reading Orderic's statement would place Guérin two generations before Geoffroy, but Guérin and Geoffroy were contemporaries, and seem to have been in roughly the same generation. As usual, birthdates are hard to find, but Guérin's first cousin archbishop Gervaise of Reims was born in 1007 [Ex chronico Remensi, RHF 10: 271; Annales Remenses et Colonienses, MGH SS 16: 731; see the page of Hamon de Château-du-Loir] and Geoffroy's son Hugues was witnessing a charter no later than 1029 [above], placing Geoffroy's likely birth well before 1007, and making it very improbable that Guérin was two generations before Geoffroy, and somewhat unlikely that he was in an earlier generation. Thus, Orderic's atavus needs to be more loosely interpreted, and Murs (quoting Forestier) has provided examples where atavus was used for "great-grandfather" [Murs (1856), 67]. The Vicomte de Romanet suggested that Guérin was the father-in-law of Geoffroy's son Rotrou, and he has been followed in this by most modern authorities. While it would be nice to have better proof of this, making Guérin the father-in-law of Rotrou is by far the most likely interpretation of Orderic's testimony.

Thus, the candidacy of Guérin can be set aside. Each of the other three candidates leads to another question that needs to be answered. If there were two consecutive viscounts of Châteaudun named Geoffroy in the period 1003-39, then the elder of these would presumably be the husband of Melisende. This leads to Question 6. On the other hand, if Geoffroy son of Melisende was the only viscount of Châteaudun during that period, then his father has to be sought elsewhere, and there are two candidates who would seem to fit in somewhere, either as the father of Geoffroy or in some other way. Rotrou de Nogent is an obvious candidate who would seem to be related in some manner, and Question 7 asks how he fits in. Finally, the candidacy of count Fulcois, mentioned in 1051×60 as the (deceased) avus of count Rotrou, is pursued in Question 8.

Based on a genealogy supposedly taken from the cartulary of Saint-Denis de Nogent, Estournet has indicated that Melisende was married first to Hervé II, count of Mortagne, by whom she had no children, and then married Fulcois in about 985 [Estournet (1928), 118-9, citing Bibl. nat., ms. lat. 17049, p. 211]. Unfortunately, he does not quote the passage from the manuscript, making it unclear if the Melisende in question was the same Melisende, mother of Geoffroy, and in any case it is not clear that the manuscript has any authority..

Question 6: Was there one or two viscounts of Châteaudun named Geoffroy in the period from 1003 to 1039?

If it were not for the record of 1015×23 showing a viscount Geoffroy and his son of the same name, we would have no reason to suspect two viscount Geoffroys in the period 1003-39. The record of 1015×23 does not explicitly say that the younger Geoffroy was later a viscount of Châteaudun, but it certainly invites the possibility of a father-son succession between the two Geoffroys. Thus, if Geoffroy son of Melisende was the elder Geoffroy of the record of 1015×23, then the younger Geoffroy would be a son who had probably died by 1031×2. On the other hand, if Geoffroy son of Melisende was the younger Geoffroy of 1015×23, then there would have been a father-son succession of Geoffroys occurring at some point between 1015 and 1032. In the latter case, the answer to Question 5 would be that Melisende's husband was the elder Geoffroy. Since there is good reason to believe that it was Fulcois who was the father of Geoffroy son of Melisende (see Question 8 below), it would follow that there was probably only one viscount Geoffroy from 1003 to 1039, but this conclusion cannot be regarded as definitive.

Question 7: How does Rotrou de Nogent (fl. 967-996) fit into the family of the counts of Perche (if at all)?

Rotrou appears as a witness (generally with no title or location) from 975 (or perhaps 967) to 996. He appears as Rotrocus de Nogiomo in the heading to one charter [Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1: 87 (#4); see above for more details]. The very uncommon name of Rotrou marks him as a possible ancestor of the family, as does his connection to Nogent (not so well documented as we would prefer). If Geoffroy's probable connection to the viscounts of Châteaudun came through his mother Melisende, then Rotrou would be a possible candidate as the father of Geoffroy [e.g., Thompson (2002), 195-6 (hypothesis 2)]. An additional generation, making Rotrou a grandfather of Geoffroy, would seem more likely.

Question 8: Who were count Rotrou's avus count Fulcois and his avunculus Hugues?

The strict definition of avus is "grandfather", with the looser definition of "ancestor" also being possible but less common. The classical definition of avunculus is "maternal uncle", but in medieval times it was commonly used for both a paternal and maternal uncle, much less often as the brother of a more distant ancestor. The specific case of interest here is complicated by the fact that count Fulcois is unknown except for the one document in which he called an avus of Rotrou, and Rotrou's avunculus Hugues has also not been unambiguously identified in any other early document. In the modern secondary literature, Fulcois has been placed as the paternal grandfather of Rotrou [Estournet, Saint-Phalle, Settipani (2000)], as the maternal grandfather of Rotrou [Romanet (1890-1902), 41; Settipani (1997); Thompson (2002), 197 (hypothesis 1)], as a more distant ancestor [Keats-Rohan (1997), 203 n. 73; Settipani (1999)], and as a great-grandfather of Rotrou's wife [Thompson (2002), 197-9 (hypothesis 2)].

The last of these hypotheses would make count Fulcois the father of Mathilde, wife of Guillaume I de Bellême, and mother of Guérin de Domfront, father-in-law of count Rotrou, and it would make Hugues the avunculus a brother of Mathilde (both conjectural connections, since Mathilde's parentage is unknown). In my opinion, this scenario has very little to recommend it. In the vast majority of cases, the words avus and avunculus referred to blood relatives, and it would be very improbable for the terms to refer to more distant relatives of the spouse, as Thompson is suggesting.

In the 1051×60 donation, count Rotrou calls his avus Fulcois a count, but only refers to his father Geoffroy as a viscount (although Rotrou does call his father comes atque vicecomes in the 1078 charter mentioned above). Thus, in order to explain Geoffroy's lack of comital title, it has been suggested that Fulcois was the maternal grandfather of Rotrou [Romanet (1890-1902), 41]. It was also pointed out that the strictest definition of the word avunculus is "maternal uncle" [Thompson (2002), 197], but that argument has little weight, since avunculus was also frequently used for paternal uncles. However, the biggest problem, as has been noted above under viscount Geoffroy's wife Helvise, is that she appears by good evidence to have been the daughter of Rainard de Pithiviers and his wife Helvise, which, if correct, would rule out the possibility that Fulcois was her father.

This would evidently leave Fulcois as a paternal ancestor of Rotrou, possibly as a distant paternal ancestor, but more probably as the paternal grandfather. Indeed, that seems to be the most likely interpretation of the charter, which appears to name the paternal grandfather, paternal uncle, and father, in that order. One problem is that if we assume that Rotrou inherited his comital title from Fulcoin, then it is difficult to see the line of succession to the title. The suggestion that the comital title passed from from Fulcois to Rotrou's avunculus Hugues and then to Rotrou runs into the problem that Hugues is not given the title of count in Rotrou's charter. It could have passed directly from Fulcois to Rotrou if Fulcois survived Geoffroy, but we would expect to see Geoffroy's father in the 1031×2 charter if he was then active. It seems more likely that the title was in abeyance for a number of years. Nevertheless, given that we have a good reason for ruling out Fulcois as the maternal grandfather of Rotrou, it is very probable that Fulcois was Rotrou's paternal grandfather.

As for Hugues, avunculus of Rotrou, he can be plausibly (but not certainly) identified with Hugues du Perche, direct male-line ancestor of the Plantagenets. See the page of Hugues du Perche for more on this.

Qusetion 9: Was the Geoffroy who was mentioned as the nepos of archbishop Hugues on two occasions the same person Geoffroy son of Melisende?

The problem is that Geoffroy, nepos of Hugues, is not explicitly called viscount in either of his appearances (1003×23 and 1032), leaving open the possibility that this nepos is just another relative of the same name who has nothing to do with the succession to Châteaudun. However, this is unlikely, since the two Geoffroys in the record of 1015×23 were almost certainly close relatives of archbishop Hugues, and therefore one of them was very probably the nepos from the records of 1003×23 and 1032. The usual interpretation has been that Geoffroy, son of Melisende, was a nephew of archbishop Hugues, and indeed this was probably the case, but the other alternatives should be briefly mentioned.

At first glance, one alternative would seem to be that the nepos referred to a younger Geoffroy, son of viscount Geoffroy and Helvise. However, this Geoffroy (if he existed) was probably deceased by 1032, since he is not mentioned in the foundation charter of Saint-Denis de Nogent. Also, the younger Geoffroy would not be a nephew of Hugues, since Hugues, son of Hildegard, was not a brother of Geoffroy, son of Melisende. If there were two viscount Geoffroys, father and son, then the nepos could be the elder of them, making Geoffroy son of Melisende a grandnephew of Hugues. However, as we have already observed, it is probable that Melisende's husband was Fulcois, so that even though we cannot rule out this scenario, it is unlikely. Another possibility would be that nepos should be interpreted in some extended way. However, since nepos usually means "nephew", and the term is used on two independent occasions, a different meaning is much less likely.

Question 10: Was Geoffroy son of Melisende a descendant of the dynasty of Châteaudun through his father or through his mother?

If we accept that Melisende's son Geoffroy was a nephew of archbishop Hugues, there is still the problem of whether this relationship would be on the side of Geoffroy's father or his mother. This in turn could depend heavily on the identity of Melisende's husband. If Melisende's husband were an earlier viscount Geoffroy, then he would probably be a brother of archbishop Hugues. If Melisende's husband were Rotrou de Nogent, then it would be Melisende who was probably a sister of Hugues. However, as argued above, the most likely possibility is that Melisende's husband was count Fulcois, but in that case it is hard to determine which parent of Geoffroy was a sibling of archbishop Hugues, because we have no indication of the ancestry of Fulcois. Thus, although it is probable that Geoffroy (II) was a grandson of the viscountess Hildegarde and her probable husband Geoffroy (I), the identity of the intervening generation remains uncertain. See the page of Melisende for a more detailed discussion of this question.

Conjectured daughter (unconvincing):
FEMALE Rotrude, mother of Herbert de Gallardon.
Rotrude is mentioned as the mother of Hervé de Gallardon in a charter of Saint-Père de Chartres, before 1080 ["quidam miles, Herbertus nomine, de Galardone castro, ..., una cum consensu filiorum suorum, Hervei scilicet atque Fulcherii et unicæ filiæ, nomine Guiburgis, ... alodum quem mater sua Rotrudis possedit, ..." Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 224 (#101)]. Merlet conjectures that Rotrude was a daughter of Geoffroy, partly on the onomastic similarity between the names Rotrude and Rotrou, and partly because Gallardon had earlier been in possession of Geoffroy, viscount of Châteaudun [Merlet (1860), 186-7]. While the relationship is possible, the evidence is not very convincing.


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

Archives d'Anjou = Paul Marchegay, Archives d'Anjou (Angers, 1843).

Benoît de Saint-More = Francisque Michel, ed., Chronique des Ducs de Normandie par Benoît, 3 vols. (1836-44).

Boussard (1962) = Jacques Boussard, "L'origine des familles seigneuriales dans la région de la Loire moyenne", Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale 5 (1962): 303-322.

Bry (1620) = Gilles Bry, Histoire des pays et comté dv Perche et dvché d'Alençon (Paris, 1620).

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

Cart. Marmoutier Dunois = Émile Mabille, Cartulaire de Marmoutier pour le Dunois (Châteaudun, 1874).

Cart. S.-Benoît-sur-Loire = Maurice Prou & Alexandre Vidier, Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire (Paris, 1907).

Cart. S.-Denis de Nogent = Vicomte de Souancé & Charles Métais, Saint-Denis de Nogent-le-Rotrou 1031-1789 - Histoire et Cartulaire (Revised and expanded edition, Vannes, 1899).

Cart. S.-Julien de Tours = Charles de Grandmaison, Fragments de chartes du Xe siècle provenant de Saint-Julien de Tours (Paris, 1886) [reprinted (with index) from Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes 46 (1885): 373-429; 47 (1886): 226-273].

Cart. S.-Père de Chartres = Benjamin Guérard, Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Père de Chartres, 2 vols. (Paris, 1840).

Cart. S.-Vincent du Mans = R. Charles & Menjot D'Elbenne, eds., Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Vincent du Mans (Ordre de Saint Benoît) (Mamers & Le Mans, 1886-1913).

Cuissard (1894-6) = Charles Cuissard, "Chronologie des Vicomtes de Châteaudun (960-1395)", Bulletins de la Société dunoise 8 (1894-6): 25-120.

Devaux (1885-6) = J. Devaux, "Essai sur les premiers seigneurs de Pithiviers", Annales de la Société Historique et Archéologique du Gâtinais 3 (1885): 168-178, 250-265; 4 (1886): 94-129, 290-321.

Estournet (1928) = "Les origines historiques de Nemours et sa charte de franchises (1170)" (parts I-III), Annales de la Société Historique & Archéologique du Gâtinais 39 (1928): 105-158.

Keats-Rohan (1997) = K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "'Un vassal sans histoire'?: Count Hugh II (c. 940/955 - 992) and the origins of Angevin overlordship in Maine", in K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, ed., Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997): 189-210.

Lex (1892) = Léonce Lex, Eudes, comte de Blois, de Tours, de Chartres, de Troyes et de Meaux (995-1037) et Thibaud, son frère (995-1004) (Troyes, 1892).

Lot (1903) = Ferdinand Lot, Études sur le règne de Hugues Capet et la fin du Xe siècle (Paris, 1903).

Merlet (1860) = Lucien Merlet, "Gallardon et ses environs", Mémoires de la Société archéologique d'Eure-et-Loir 2 (1860): 283-312, ... .

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Mirac. S. Ben. = E. de Certain, Les Miracles de Sainr Benoit (Paris, 1858).

Murs (1856) = M. O. des Murs, Histoire des comtes du Perche de la famille des Rotrou, de 943 à 1231 (Nogent-le-Rotrou, 1856).

OV = Augustus le Prevost, ed. Orderici Vitalis Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ, 5 vols. (Paris, 1838-55); also available in Marjorie Chibnall, ed. & trans., The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1969-80). As I do not have easy access to all volumes of Chibnall's edition, citations here are given from Prevost's edition.

Petite Chron. Bonneval = René Merlet, "Petite chronique de l'abbaye de Bonneval de 857 à 1050 environ", Mémoires de la Société Archéologique d'Eure-et-Loir 10 (1896): 14-38.

Rec. actes Lothair & Louis V = Louis Halphen & Ferdinand Lot, eds., Recueil des actes de Lothaire et de Louis V rois de France (Paris, 1908).

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Romanet (1890-1902) = Vicomte de Romanet, Géographie du Perche et chronologie de ses comtes (Documents sur la province du Perche, ser. 2, no. 1, Mortagne, 1890-1902).

Saint-Phalle (2000) = Edouard de Saint-Phalle, "Les comtes de Gâtinais aux Xe et XIe siècles", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 230-246.

Settipani (1997) = Christian Settipani, "Les comtes d'Anjou et leur alliances aux Xe et XIe siècles", in K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, ed., Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1997): 211-267.

Settipani (1999) = Christian Settipani, "Les vicomtes de Châteaudun et leur alliés", Prosopon 10 (1999). [This is an earlier version of Settipani (2000), but there are significant differences. The genealogical tables have been poorly converted to .pdf format, and are difficult to interpret.]

Settipani (2000) = Christian Settipani, "Les vicomtes de Châteaudun et leur alliés", in Keats-Rohan & Settipani, eds., Onomastique et Parenté dans l'Occident médiéval (Oxford, 2000), 247-261.

Thompson (2002) = Kathleen Thompson, Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France. The County of Perche, 1000-1226 (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2002).

Wace, Roman de Rou = Hugo Andresen, ed., Maistre Wace's Roman de Rou et des ducs de Normandie, 2 vols. (Heilbron, 1877-9).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 January 2011.

Minor revision uploaded 27 January 2011 (rewrote date of death section & added references), with thanks to Peter Stewart.

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