MALE Giselbert

Duke of Lorraine, probably 928-939.
Lay-abbot of Echternach, 915-939.
Lay-abbot of Stavelot-Malmedy.
Lay-abbot of Saint-Maximin.
Lay-abbot of Saint-Servais.
Lay-abbot of Chèvremont.

Giselbert appears during his father's lifetime (in his last year) as lay-abbot of Stavelot-Malmedy on 14 April 915 [Wampach (1935), 167-170 (#145)]. Giselbert was present at the assembly at Heristal on 19 January 916, where his brother Regnier II was also present [Parisot (1898), 617; Wampach (1935), 170 (#146)]. Flodoard states that in 920, many men of Lorraine abandoned Charles "the Simple" and chose Giselbert as their princeps ["... Gisleberto, quem plurimi Lotharienses principem, relicto Karolo rege, delegerant ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 920, 4]. However, in 923, Giselbert is only called count [ibid., s.a. 923, 19]. Giselbert appears as duke in charters on a regular basis from 928 on [Parisot (1898), 615]. He was also lay-abbot of Echternach [Catalogi abbatum Epternacensium, MGH SS 13: 739, 741], Stavelot-Malmedy [Series abbatum Stabulensium, MGH SS 13: 293], Saint-Servais [RHF 9: 541-2, 546], Saint-Maximin [Ex Sigehardi Miraculis S. Maximini, c. 11-6, MGH SS 4: 231-4], and probably also Chèvrement ["... Capraemontem, Giselberti castrum ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 922, 11; Parisot (1898), 603, n. 6, 612-3]. Giselbert drowned in the Rhine river on 2 October 939, being then in rebellion against Otto I ["Gislebertus dux Lothariensium trans Rhenum profectus praedatum, Saxonibus se dum revertitur insequentibus, in Rhenum fertur desiluisse cum equo; ibique vi enecatus undarum, postea repperiri non potuit, ut fertur. Quidam tamen ferunt, quod a piscatoribus sit repertus et humatus, atque propter spoliorum ipsius ornamenta celatus. Ludowicus rex, in regnum Lothariense regressus, relictam Gisleberti Gerbergam duxit uxorem, Othonis scilicet regis sororem." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 939, 73-4].

Date of birth: Probably in the 890's.
He is referred to as adolescens at around the time of his marriage [Widukind, i, 30, MGH SS 3: 430], and as admodum iuvenis dux [Ex Sigehardi Miraculis S. Maximini, c. 11, MGH SS 4: 231] and iam facto iuvenis [Richer, i, 34, MGH SS 3: 579] at his father's death. While the term adolescens referring to a time in the 920's is certainly an exaggeration, his known marriage did not occur until 929, and it is probable that he was not yet born in 890. On the other hand, he and his (evidently younger) brother Regnier II appear in a list of notables at Heristal in January of 916 [Parisot (1898), 617; Wampach (1935), 170 (#146)], and Regnier II had sons old enough to be hostages in 924 [Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 924, 21]. This makes it unlikely that Giselbert was born as late as 900.
Place of birth: Unknown.

Date of death: 2 October 939.
The year is given by several annalists (see above, and below under place of death). Depoin cites a manuscript necrology giving the date ["VI Nonas octobris. O. Gilebertus dux. ...", and similarly in a calendar in the same manuscript, Depoin (1907), 84-5; the only other known candidate would be duke Giselbert of Burgundy, who died on 8 April 956].
Place of death: Drowned in the Rhine River.
["... et Gisalbertus in Rheno submersus necatur, ..." Regino, Chronicon, s.a. 939, MGH SS 1: 618; "Interim vero Eberhardus dux occisus est, et Gisilbertus dux, in Rheno submersus, mortuus est." Annales Sangallenses brevissimi, s.a. 939, MGH SS 1: 69; Annales Heremi, s.a. 939, MGH SS 3: 142]

Father: Regnier I, d. 915; count; lay-abbot of Echternach, Stavelot-Malmedy, etc.
[Richer, i, 34, MGH SS 3: 579; Catalogi abbatum Epternacensium, MGH SS 13: 739, 741]
A 968 charter of Giselbert's widow Gerberge mentions Giselbert and his parents Regnier and Alberada ["Gerberga divina dispensante clementia humulis Francorum Regina ... et remedio senioris nostri piæ memoriæ Giselberti, suique parentum patris scilicet matris, Rageneri et Albradæ; ..." RHF 9: 666].

Spouse: m. 929 Gerberga, daughter of Heinrich I, king of Germany. She m. (2) Louis IV, king of France.
["Gisalbertus dux Gerburgam filiam Heinrici regis duxit uxorem" Continuatio Reginonis, s.a. 929, Regino, Chronicon, 158; "Gisalbertus dux Gerbirgam, Heinrichi regis filiam, duxit uxorem." Annales Heremi, s.a. 929, MGH SS 3: 141; "Gisalbertus dux Gerbirg duxit uxorem" Annales S. Maximini Trevirensis, s.a. 929, MGH SS 2: 213]


MALE Henri, d. ca. 944, joint-duke of Lorraine (as a child).
The historian Widukind states that Otto (Oddo), son of Ricuin (Ricwinus), was put in charge of Lorraine, and that Henry (Heinricus), son of the deceased duke Giselbert (Isilbertus), was handed over to him to be brought up ["Rex autem audita victoria suorummilitum ac morte ducum, gratias egit omnipotenti Deo, cuius saepius auxilium expertus est oportunum; praeficiensque regioni Lothariorum Oddonem, Ricwinis filium, et ut nutriret nepotem suum filium Isilgerhti, optimae spei puerulum, nomine Heinricum, reversus est in Saxoniam." Widukind, ii, 5, MGH SS 3: 445; see also Ekkehardi Chronicon Universale, MGH SS 6: 187; Annalista Saxo, s.a. 942, MGH SS 6: 604]. He appears to have died about the same time as Otto [for Otto, see the page of Ricuin of Verdun].

FEMALE Hedwig, fl. ca. 934 (sometimes falsely identified as the wife of Sigefroid of Luxemburg)
The Liber Memorialis of Remiremont has a well-known notice in which Giselbert restored the church of St. Peter for the health of his own soul and the souls of his lord Heinrich (i.e., king of Germany) and his wife and children. The list of individuals which follows, before naming Giselbert's followers, lists Giselbert, his wife Gerberga, an Ainricus (i.e., their son Henri), and an otherwise unknown Haduidis ["Dumnus Gislibertus dux, qui pro re[me]dium amine sue et seniori sui dumni Henrici et uxori sue et infantibus suis omnes heclesias sancti Petri nobis restituit. Dumnus Gislibertus dux com om[n]ibus fidelibus suis. Dumna Girberga. Ainricus. Haduidis. ..." Lib. Mem. Remiremont 1: 9 (fol. 6r)]. While not accepting Depoin's thesis that this Hedwig was the wife of Sigefroid of Luxemburg [Depoin (1904), 309-312; see the page of Hedwig, wife of Sigefroid], it is difficult to see who this Haduidis might be other than one of the infantes of Giselbert [see also Hlawitschka (1960), 427, n. 18]. Unless she was the unnamed daughter who was betrothed to Berthold of Bavaria, Hedwig is otherwise unknown.

FEMALE Alberada, m. Ragenold, d. 967, count of Roucy.
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, and includes the statement that Alberada was a daughter of Gerberga and Giselbert ["... 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. ..." Giesebrecht (1881-95), 2: 714-5 (document #10)]. Alberada's status as a daughter of Gerberga is also proven by a genealogical notice added to one manuscript of Flodoard's annals ["Mathilde et Alberada filiae fuerunt Gerbergae; de Mathilde processit Rodulfus rex et Mathildis, soror ejus, de Alberada Ermentrudis; de Mathilde, filia Mathildae, Berta. De Ermentrude Agnes; de Berta Geraldus Genevensis; de Agnete Wido." Flodoard, Annales, p. 159].

FEMALE NN, betrothed to Berthold, duke of Bavaria. (same as one of the other daughters?)
After the death of Giselbert, Berthold was betrothed to a daughter of Giselbert who was not yet of marriageable age ("nondum nubilem filiam"), but it is not clear whether or not the marriage ever took place [Liutprand Antapodosis v, 30, MGH SS 3: 326; "... filiam vero Gisleberti neptam suam imperator Bertaldo duci Baioariorum despondet." Sigebert de Gembloux, Chronica, s.a. 943, MGH SS 6: 348]. It has sometimes been assumed that she was the same as Berthold's widow Biletrud/Willtrude [e.g., Depoin (1907), 85], but there is no proof she was the same person as Giselbert's daughter [see Knetsch (1917), 13].

Daughter of Gerberge, probably by Giselbert:

FEMALE Gerberge, m. Albert, d. 8 September, 987 or after, count of Vermandois.
The marriage occurred before 954 [Lot (1891), 10, n. 6, citing Colliette, Hist. du Vermandois, I, 565-6 (not seen by me)]. That Albert's wife was named Gerberge is confirmed by charters [e.g., a charter of Albert of Vermandois dated November 958×9, Lot (1891), 407-8 (Pièces justificatives #7)]. Sometimes called a daughter of Louis IV by his marriage to Giselbert's widow Gerberge [e.g., Lot (1891), 65, n. 3], she is now generally regarded as a daughter of Gerberge by her first marriage to Giselbert [e.g., Brandenburg (1964), 110; Werner (1967), 464, n. 20; Settipani (1993), 236, n. 332]. The primary evidence that Gerberge was a daughter of the elder Gerberge [not stated by Lot, Brandenburg, Werner, or Settipani] is very thin. There are only two pieces of evidence, the more important of which is a false charter and therefore open to suspicion. First, there is is an act of 979×986 in which king Lothaire (son of Louis IV by his marriage to Giselbert's widow Gerberge) refers to Albert's son bishop Liudolf of Noyon as his nepos ["Liudulfus, nepos noster, Noviomorum paesul" Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V, 127-8 (#55); also in RHF 9: 653]. In addition, there is a false act of supposedly 979×986, which refers to Liudolf and his brothers Albert (II) of Vermandois and Guy as Lothair's nepotes, and refers to their mother as Lothair's sister ["Ista pie memorie nepos noster Lyudulfus, Noviomorum episcopus, ... et assentientibus fratribus suis, nepotibus nostris, Alberto Viromandensi comite et Guidone, ... sorori mee, matri eorum, ..." Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V, 159 (#66); also in RHF 9: 654]. Dümmler and Glocker cite the two 979×986 acts as justification that Albert married a sister of Lothair, but they do not mention that one of the acts was false [Dümmler (1876), 246, n. 1; Glocker (1989), 282-3; Dümmler cites the RHF edition of the charters, and may not have been aware that one was false]. If we accept this (not very strong) case that the younger Gerberge was a sister of Lothair, and therefore a daughter of the elder Gerberge, then chronology would make Giselbert the likely father, because no child of Louis IV and Gerberge could have been born before 940.


Falsely attributed earlier wife: Cunégonde, widow of Wigeric and Ricuin, and granddaughter of Louis II, king of France.
Falsely attributed sons:
MALE Frédéric I, d. 978, duke of Upper Lorraine 959-978, m. 954 (betrothed 951), Beatrix, daughter of Hugues Capet, king of France.
MALE Sigefroid/Siegfried, still living 997, ancestor of the counts of Luxemburg; m. Hedwig.
MALE Giselbert, probably count in Ardennes and lay-abbot of Moyenmoutier.
This conjecture suggested that after the death of her second husband Ricuin in 923 (but before Giselbert's known marriage in 929), Cunégonde married Giselbert and had three sons by him [Klein (1998)]. However, the conjecture is not feasible. See Cunégonde's page for a discussion.


Brandenburg (1964) = Erich Brandenburg, Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen (Frankfurt, 1964).

Depoin (1904) = Joseph Depoin, "Sifroi Kunuz, comte de Mosellane, tige de la Maison de Luxembourg", Ons Hemecht 10 (1904): 307-315, 349-358, 422-431, 507-516.

Depoin (1907) = Joseph Depoin, "La mort du duc Gislebert de Lotharingie", Le Moyen Age 20 (1907): 82-6.

Dümmler (1876) = Rudolf Köpke & Ernst Dümmler, Kaiser Otto der Große (Leipzig, 1876).

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).

Glocker (1989) = Winfrid Glocker, Die Verwandten der Ottonen und ihre Bedeutung in der Politik. Studien zur Familienpolitik und zur Genealogie des sächsischen Kaiserhauses (Cologne-Vienna, 1989).

Hlawitschka (1960) = Eduard Hlawitschka, "Herzog Giselbert von Lothringen und das Kloster Remiremont", Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 108 (1960): 422-465.

Klein (1998) = René Klein, "Wer waren die Eltern des Grafen Sigfrid?" Association Luxembourgeoise de Généalogie et d'Héraldique, 1998: 9-27.

Knetsch (1917) = C. Knetsch, Das Haus Brabant (Darmstadt, 1917).

Lib. Mem. Remiremont = Eduard Hlawitschka, Karl Schmid, & Gerd Tellenbach, eds., Liber Memorialis von Remiremont (MGH Libri Memoriales 1, 1970) [Part 1: text; part 2: photographic copy of original manuscript]

Lot (1891) = Ferdinand Lot, Les derniers Carolingiens (Paris, 1891).

MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum (separate editions).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Parisot (1898) = Robert Parisot, Le Royaume de Lorraine sous les Carolingiens (1898, reprinted Geneva, 1975).

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

Regino, Chronicon = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi (MGH SRG, Hannover, 1890).

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

Settipani (1993) = Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens 481-987 (Première partie - Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens) (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1993).

Wampach (1935) = Camillus Wampach, Urkunden- und Quellenbuch zur Geschichte der altluxemburgischen Territorien bis zur burgundischen Zeit, I (Luxemburg, 1935).

Werner (1967) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen bis um das Jahr 1000 (1.-8. Generation)", Karl der Große 4 (1967): 403-483.

Wittich (1863) = Karl Wittich, "Richer über die Herzoge Giselbert von Lothringen und Heinrich von Sachsen", Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte 3 (1863): 105-141.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008.

Minor revision uploaded 30 July 2008: Revised the account of probable daughter Gerberge, removing the irrelevant reference to Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V, 40 (#19), which I had previously misread as being relevant.

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