FEMALE Gerberge

Wife of Foulques II, count of Anjou.

No known record mentions Gerberge during her lifetime. In charters of March 966 and 19 June 966, Gaufridus, comes Andegavorum, mentions his brother abbot Widdo, father Fulco and mother Gerberga [Cart. S.-Aubin 1: 268-9, 4-7], and in a charter of 970, count Gaufridus mentions his father Fulco and mother Gerberga [Cart. S.-Aubin 1: 38-9].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: Before September 958, probably before 953.
Place of death: Unknown.
Not long after the death of Alain II Barbetorte of Bretagne (Brittany) in 952, Foulques II of Anjou married the widow of Alain [Chron. Nantes, c. 37 (pp. 107-8)], and Gerberge was certainly deceased by that time. The second marriage of Foulques took place before September 958, when Foulques was present at an assembly of Breton leaders at Angers [Morice (1742) 1: 346-7].

Father: Unknown.
Mother: Unknown.
For conjectured origins, see the Commentary section.

Spouse: Foulques II "le Bon", d. 958×960, count of Anjou, after 941-958×960.
See the page of Foulques II for details.


MALE Geoffroy I "Grisegonelle", d. 987, count of Anjou;
m. (1)
Adèle, living 6 March 974, daughter of Robert I, count of Troyes.
m. (2)
Adélaïde, living 999, widow of Lambert, count of Chalon.

MALE Guy, living 13 April 993, d. 8 February 994×6, abbot of Cormery, Villeloin, Ferrière, and Saint-Aubin; bishop of Le Puy, 976-994×6.

FEMALE Adélaïde alias Blanche, d. 1026;
m. (1) Étienne de Brioude, fl. 936-957, d. prob. 970×5;
m. (2) Raymond de Toulouse;
m. (3) ca. 980, Louis V, d. 21 May 987, king of France, 986-7;
m. (4)
Guillaume I (or II), d. aft. 29 August 993, marquis of Provence.

Probable additional daughter:

m. Gautier I, count of Valois, Vexin, and Amiens.


Conjectured father (possible): Geoffroy (I), fl. 933-941, count [of Gâtinais?]; count of Nevers?; viscount of Orléans?
Conjectured mother (possible): Ava, fl. 936-40.
In an act of 933 at Auxerre, a count Geoffroy, a vassal of king Raoul, is mentioned in connection with 60 manses in the comitatus of Gâtinais ["... Gauzfredus comes ... cum mansis LX ex Wastinensi comitatu, ... Actum Autissiodoro." RHF 9: 579; Settipani (1997), 233, gives the date 935]. In November 941, a count Geoffroy, presumably the same man, witnesses a donation of land in Gâtinais to Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire ["... in Guastinensi pago ... Sig. Gauzfredi comitis ..." Cart. Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, 1: 121-2 (#47)]. Although Geoffroy appears in both cases with regard to land in Gâtinais, he is not specifically called count of Gâtinais. His appearance in 933 in an act at Auxerre suggests a possible Burgundian connection. Thus, it has been suggested that this count Geoffroy was the same person as the count Geoffroy who appears at Nevers with his wife Ava on 8 April 936 ["... ego, in Dei nomine, Gauzfredus, disponente Deo comes, et uxor mea Ava, ... Signum Gauzfredi comitis, et signum Avane, uxoris ejus, ... Actum Nivernis civitate publice ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 435 (#446)]. This count also appears in a charter of June 936 ["... ego Gauzfredus, ..., et uxor mea Ava, ... Signum Gauzfredi comitis, et signum Avæ, uxoris ejus, ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 438-9 (#449)] and in one of July & September 940 with his wife Ava and brother Gauzbert ["ego, in Dei nomine, Gauzfredus comes et conjux mea Ava, ... pro remedio animarum nostrarum et fratris mei Gauzberti, ... Signum Gauzfredi commitis, et Ave, uxoris ejus, ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 496-8 (#511)]. This is probably also the count Geoffroy who appears in a charter of Liétaud, count of Mâcon on 12 April 935 ["S. Gaufredi comitis." Cart. Cluny, 1: 421 (#432), the exact date might not be correct]. He has also been identified with the Geoffroy, viscount of Orléans who appears in May 942 (or 939?) in a charter of Hugues le Grand for Saint-Julien de Tours ["S. Gaufredi Aurelianensium vicecomitis. ... Data mense maio ... anno scilicet Dominicæ incarnationis DCCCCXLIIº sive anno tertio regnante Hludovico rege." Rec. Chron. Touraine, 234; also RHF 9: 723, dating it to May 939, with the words "anno scilicet Dominicæ incarnationis DCCCCXLIIº sive" missing].

Gerberge was placed as a daughter of Geoffroy by Maurice Chaume in 1925 [Chaume (1925), 1: 533 (table 3), with a "solid" line on the table, but no documentation]. Christian Settipani, in a detailed discussion of Gerberge's ancestry, reached the same conclusion [Settipani (1997), 226-247]. The primary motivation for this conjecture is onomastic, and concerns the name Geoffroy. The son and heir of Foulques II and Gerberge had this name, which is not known to have been present in the family of Foulques. Thus, the argument goes, the name Geoffroy must have been present in Gerberge's family, and Settipani suggests that research on Gerberge's family should begin with the hypothesis that her father was named Geoffroy [Settipani (1997), 228]. The case is perhaps overstated, since it is difficult to rule out the possibility that the name Geoffroy appeared somewhere in the family of Foulques (say, in undocumented sons who died young), and Geoffroy I Grisegonelle may have been named after some relative other than a grandfather. Nevertheless, given the apparent connections of Geoffroy I Grisegonelle and his family in Gâtinais [see, e.g., Guillot (1972), 3-4], the conjecture that he was a maternal grandson of Geoffroy (I), apparent count of Gâtinais, is more plausible than the other conjectures that have been made about Gerberge's origins.

Conjectured father (unlikely): Ratburn I, fl. 912-945, viscount of Vienne.
Conjectured mother (unlikely): Gerberge, daughter of Hector.
Ratburn I appears as viscount on several occasions between 912 and 945, in the latter year with his wife Walda ["... ego, in Dei nomine, Ratburnus vicecomis et uxsor sua Vualda, ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 625 (#671)]. He appears to have been the father by an earlier marriage of Ratburn II, who on 22 September 976 mentions his grandfather Hector, mother Gerberge, and brother bishop Hector ["... ego Ratburnus, ... per commendationem avi mei Hectori et genetricis mee Girbergie et fratrem meum Hectorum, episcopum, ..." Cart. Cluny, 2: 485 (#1429); for the viscounts of Vienne, see Poupardin (1901), 351-6 (Appendice IX); Settipani (1997), 245-7]. Bernard Bachrach's conjecture that Ratburn and Gerberge were the parents of Gerberge, wife of Foulques II, is based primarily on the name Gerberge, but also partly on the fact that by the middle of the tenth century, the dynasty of Anjou was showing some Burgundian connections [Bachrach (1986)]. Bachrach also suggested that Gerberge's granddaughter
Ermengarde, daughter of Geoffroy I Grisegonelle, was named after Ratburn I's apparent mother Ermengarde [Bachrach (1986), 7, who incorrectly identifies Geoffroy's daughter Ermengarde with his other daughter Gerberge]. However, Settipani has pointed out that Ermengarde could have been named after her mother Adèle's maternal grandmother Ermengarde, wife of Giselbert of Burgundy (whose mother was also an Ermengarde) [Settipani (1997), 227-8]. Depending heavily on the onomastic argument, with a rather weak geographical connection, this conjecture is not very convincing.

Conjectured father (no evidence - improbable): Roubaud.
Conjectured brother (no evidence - improbable): Boso, d. after March 965, count of Arles.
[Mabille (1871), lxiv-lxv, no evidence offered]


Bachrach (1986) = Bernard S. Bachrach, "Some Observations on the Origins of Countess Gerberga of the Angevins: an Essay in the Application of the Tellenbach-Werner Prosopographical Method", Medieval Prosopography 7.2 (1986): 1-23.

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

Cart. S.-Aubin = Bertrand de Broussillon, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Aubin d'Angers, 3 vols. (Angers, 1903).

Cart. S.-Benoît-sur-Loire = Maurice Prou & Alexandre Vidier, eds., Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, 2 vols. (Paris, 1900-12).

Chron. Nantes = René Merlet, ed., La Chronique de Nantes (Paris, 1895).

Guillot (1972) = Olivier Guillot, Le Comte d'Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle (Paris, 1972).

Mabille (1871) = Émile Mabille, Introduction au Chroniques des Comtes d'Anjou (Société de l'Histoire de France, vol. 155, Paris, 1871).

Morice (1742) = Dom Hyacinthe Morice, Memoires pour servir de preuves à l'histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne, 3 vols, (Paris, 1742).

Poupardin (1901) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Provence sous les Carolingiens (Paris, 1901).

Rec. Chron. Touraine = André Salmon, ed., Recueil de Chroniques de Touraine (Tours, 1854).

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

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.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 29 May 2012.

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