Godefroid is named by Flodoard as a count palatine of king Heinrich I (d. 936), during the time of Wigfried, archbishop of Cologne (924-953), thus between 924 and 936 [Flodoard, Historia Remensis Ecclesiae iv, 42, MGH SS 13: 593-4]. He appears as count of Jülich ("... in pago Juliacense in comitatu Godefridi comitis ...") on 2 August 945, in an act of Otto I where he is called a brother of Wigfried ["Signum domni Wichfridi archiepiscopi qui hanc cartam fieri iussit et manu propria firmauit, sign. fratris eius Godefridi comitis." Urkundenbuch Niederrheins, 4: 761-2 (#604), the latter not seen by me], and was perhaps the count of Sunderscas who appears in a document of Otto I dated 25 November 941 [MGH DD O I 128 (#42)]. The title of dux given to him in the life of his granddaughter abbess Adelheid of Vilich is not confirmed in the contemporary records, and is probably an exaggeration [MGH SS 15: 757; see below]. The most detailed study of Godefroid and his relatives is that by Eduard Hlawitschka [Hlawitschka (1969)].
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: Probably 29 March, after 1 June 949.
He was still alive on 1 June 949, when he appears with archbishop Wigfried in an act of Otto I [MGH DD O I 194 (#111)]. He was probably the count Godefroid whose obituary appears in the Liber Memorialis of Remiremont ["IIII kal. april. obiit Godefridus comes" Lib. Mem. Remiremont, 39r; Hlawitschka (1969), 72]
Place of Death: Unknown.
For Godefroid's possible parentage, see the Commentary section below.
Spouse: Ermentrude, fl. ca. 934.
As Eduard Hlawitschka has suggested, it is very probable that the countess who follows Godefroid in one entry in the Liber Memorialis of Remiremont was his wife, although she is not explicitly named as such ["... Gottefridus comes cum infantibus et omnibus fidelibus suis. Ermentrudis comitissa. ..." Hlawitschka (1969)]. Hlawitschka has also argued that she was the same person as Ermentrude, daughter of king Charles the Simple of France [Hlawitschka (1969), 65-9]. However, this is not supported by any direct evidence, but depends on a chain of arguments, making the suggestion difficult to accept without further evidence.
The basic account of Godefroid's children appears in the life of abbess Adelaïde of Vilich, written about 1056-7 by Bertha, sister of abbot Wolfheim of Braunweiler. After naming Adelaïde's parents Megingoz and Gerberge, some vague information is given about Gerberge's father and siblings ["... Pater eius comes illustris Megengoz cognominatus sapientia, nobilitate, divitiis, excepto regimine et prenomine regni, ut rex suo tempore magnus inter principes habebatur et nominatus. Mater vero Gerbirg nuncupata, eque illi nobilissimo germine propogata, filia exstitit ducis cuiusdam nomine Godefridi, tunc temporis magni et imcomparabilis viri. Huic enim nobili matronae fuerunt quatuor fratres, prestatnissimi inter universos illius tempore primates; quorum unus paterno nomine et honore sublimatus, obiit heu! legitimae uxoris et liberorum iucunditate numquam letatus. Alter vero donatus posteritate nobilissimae prolis, attavus fuit Henrici nuper defuncti imperatoris. Et universos perspicuos primates, quibus adhuc Theutonica Frantia nobilitatur, a duobus reliquis fratribus lineam nobilitatis traxisse vero testimonio comprobatur. Duo vero prenominati tantis mundanae gloriae nitentes splendoribus, studebant etiam ante Dominum fulgere variis virtutum floribus, et ideo ad augmentum tanti honoris donati sunt adoptione unius masculae prolis, cui humanitus impositio aviti nominis et divinitus collata est dignitas eiusdem virtutis et omnis. Quattuor enim filias genuerat ..." Bertha, Vita Adelheidis abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 3, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 757].
d. 964 of the plague, duke of Lower Lorraine, ca. 959-964.
["... Ex qua pestilentia obierunt ... et Godefridus, dux Lothariensis, ..." Continuator Reginonis, s.a. 964, MGH SS 1: 627; "... archiepiscopus Bruno. Non longe post domino et fratri suo, quia ipsum per se non ire licuit, auxiliares copias non levem armaturam de Lothariorum populo misit. His praefuit Godefridus dux, quem ipse nutrivit, vir sapiens et religiosus, amantissimus pacis, observantissimus aequitatis, imperatori per id tempus ad votum serviens, omnibus placens. Hic eodem tempore febre correptus, in magnam spem futurae quietis exspitavit." Ruotger, Vita Brunonis, MGH SS 4: 270-1; Parisot (1907-8), 57: 213]
NN, son who was ancestor of emperor
["attavus fuit Henrici nuper defuncti imperatoris" (see above)]
Gerberge, m. Megingoz.
Probable names of the three sons not named above:
The Liber Memorialis of Remiremont has a list in a hand of the 930's or 940's with the following names in the same hand: "Gotefridus, Ermentrudis, Gotefridus, Gebardus, Gerardus, Adelardus, Girberga, Siricus, Betta, Riquinis, Uulfrada, Ragenardus, Aldo, Haimo, Milo, Aldo, Aimo, Notcherio, Otbert, Eldradus, Odda, Engelelmus, Bernard, item Bernard, Odilo, Fridricus, Lemarus, Liedouuinus, Tieduuuinus" [Lib. Mem. Remiremont 105 (fol. 46r)]. The names Siricus, Betta, etc. occur in two other lists from about 950 ["Siricus, Betta, Riquinus, Teudericus, Bernardus, Eldradus" ibid., 108 (46v18); "Siricus, Betta, Uulfrada, Riquinnus, Teudericus, Lanbertus" ibid., 125 (55v2); see Hlawitschka (1969), 57, n. 36]. Hlawitschka noted that the first seven names (i.e., the ones before Siricus) match very well with Godefroid, his wife Ermentrude, their eldest son Godefroid, their other three unnamed sons, and their daughter Gerberge, as they are mentioned in the Vita Adelheidis.
Brother: Wigfried, archbishop of Cologne,
Wigfried and Godefroid are called brothers in an act of 945 [see above].
The main evidence for the parentage of Godefroid is indirect, coming from the relationship of two individuals in a famous case regarding consanguinity, that of Otto of Hammerstein and his wife Irmingard/Ermengarde ["Gebehard et Udo nepotes, filii duorum fratrum. Gebehard genuit Cunonem. Udo genuit Ottonem. Cuno genuit Cunonem. Heribertus genuit Ottonem. Item ex alia parte: Godefridus et Gerbirhc nepos et neptis. Godefridus genuit Irmingardam. Gerbirhc genuit Imizam. Imiza genuit Ottonem." MGH Const. 1: 639]. Here, the first part mentions paternal relatives of Otto who do not concern us here, and "nepos et neptis" is to be interpreted that the Godefroid and Gerberga of the record had a common grandparent, i.e., that they were first cousins. This is shown in the following table.
How this information is used depends on the identifications of the individuals involved. The key observation was made by Schenk zu Schweinsberg, who noted that the name Imiza was a hypochoristic form (roughly, "nickname") of Irmintrud/Ermentrude, and that the Gerberga and Imiza in the consaguinity notice of Otto and his wife should be identified with the Gerberga and Ermentrude of the Vita Adelheidis. He also identified the Godefroid of the notice with Godefroid, count of Verdun [Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904)]. Both of these identifications are now widely accepted [See Hlawitschka (1969), chapter II, for the most detailed discussion]. Accepting this evidence that count Godefroid of Verdun was a first cousin of Gerberga, daughter of the present Godefroid, we are still left with several possibilities. If we accept also that Godefroid's wife Ermentrude was the mother of Gerberga (an assumption made stronger by onomastics), then we have that one of Gozlin and Uda (parents of Godefroid of Verdun) was a sibling (or half-sibling) of one of the older Godefroid and Ermentrude (parents of Gerberga). Given that there are four possibilities here, it is not surprising that different interpretations of this evidence have appeared. We start with Schenk zu Schweinsberg's choice, and finish with the choice accepted by Hlawitschka, which seems more likely than the others.
Possibility 1: Gozlin and Godefroid were brothers.
To start with, we know that Godefroid's children were mentioned in the plural about 934 ("Gottefridus comes cum infantibus et omnibus fidelibus suis." - see above), so that it is very unlikely that he was born after 910. Thus we can certainly rule out the suggestion of Schenk zu Schweinsberg that Godefroid was a son of Ricuin and Cunéonde [Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904), 356], which is extremely improbable, since Ricuin and Cunégonde were certainly married no earlier than 916 (her first husband Wigeric still being alive in January of that year; see Cunégonde's page for a detailed discussion of her family):
father: Ricuin, d. 923, count of Verdun.
Falsely attributed mother: Cunégonde, granddaughter of Louis II, king of France.
The suggestion that Godefroid was a son of Cunégonde by her first husband Wigeric is also problematic. As pointed out by Hlawitschka, Cunégonde is known to have had at least six children, none of whose names are seen to be present among Godefroid's children, and trying to find room in Cunégonde's family for Godefroid and his sibling(s), of whom there was at least one (bishop Wigfried) and possibly more [see the tables following Hlawitschka (1969), 138, 146], is chronologically tight. However, the most serious problem is one of consanguinity, for if Godefroid was a son of Cunégonde, then he would be a brother of Cunégonde's son Sigefroid of Luxemburg, and there would then be a 2:4 consanguinity between Sigefroid's son Frédéric and the latter's wife, a great-granddaughter of Godefroid. See the following chart, which shows that the same problem is present if Sigefroid was a brother of Godefroid's wife Ermentrude.
Such a hypothetical 2:4 relationship would be closer than the 3:4 consanguinity which caused so much trouble for Otto of Hammerstein. It would have been difficult for emperor Heinrich II to vigorously oppose such marriages if his own wife's brother (Frédéric) was united in such a marriage. Finally, for the sake of completeness, we should consider the possibility that Godefroid was a son of Wigeric by an otherwise unknown earlier marriage, which would at least have the possibility of eliminating the problem if Sigefroid happened to be a son of Cunégonde's second marriage (itself an uncertain proposition - see Cunégonde's page). In the absence of good evidence for a first marriage for Wigeric, this is a slim possibility (see Wigeric's page for discussion of a supposed first wife). Of all of the four possibilities, this one the the most improbable.
Possibility 2: Gozlin and Ermentrude were siblings.
At first glance, there is the apparent advantage of onomastics, since Cunégonde's mother was also named Ermentrude. However, this scenario has the same consanguinity problem as the previous case (with the same slim opportunities for explaining it away), making it only slightly less improbable.
Possibility 3: Uda and Ermentrude were sisters.
There does not seem to be any direct evidence against this possibility. However, circumstantial evidence would favor the fourth possibility over this one.
Possibility 4: Uda and Godefroid were siblings.
Hlawitschka's argument for this scenario starts by arguing that Gozlin's wife Uda was a daughter of count Gerard and his wife Uota, widow of king Zwentibold of Lorraine and sister of king Heinrich I. He then points out that the name Godefroid occurs as a probable earlier relative of Gerard [Hlawitschka (1969), 64, n. 64]. The onomastics of the names Gerard and Godefroid make this the most likely solution among the four possibilities, but the strength of this conclusion seems somewhat overstated.
Probable sister: Uda, living 18 May 963, probably a relative of emperor Heinrich II, wife of count Gozlin, mother of Godefroid of Verdun.
Uda's and Godefroid's possible parentage.
Possible father: Gerhard/Gerard, count.
Possible mother: Uota, living 30 December 952, widow of Zwentibold, king of Lorraine, sister of king Heinrich I, daughter of Otto, duke of Sachsen (Saxony).
In broad outline, Hlawitschka's argument for the parentage of Uda (and thus of Godefroid, assuming that he was her brother) runs as follows [Hlawitschka (1969), 58-61]:
Hlawitschka then notes that a Godefroid appears among the forbears of Gerard, which, along with the present Godefroid's probable son Gerard, gives onomastic support to the reconstruction. The multiplication of hypotheses make it difficult to regard this theory as proven. Nevertheless, it is a plausible enough conjecture.
The existence of unnamed sons in the Vita Adelheidis, one an ancestor of emperor Heinrich III, has made it inevitable that there would be conjectures which tried to indicate this relationship more closely, and identify the unnamed sons. This link is almost always held to be related the the statement of Wipo in his life of emperor Konrad II that Konrad (maior Chuono, the elder Kuno) was a son of Adelheid, sister of the Lotharingian counts Gerard and Adalbert ["Maioris Chuononis mater Adalheida ex nobilissima gente Liutharingorum oriunda fuerat. Quae Adalheida soror erat comitum Gerhardi et Adalberti, ..." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 2, MGH SS 11: 258], the latter of whom was ancestor in the direct male line of the dukes of Lorraine and of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. For example, see Hlawitschka's conjectures of two possible lines of descent [Hlawitschka (1969), tables between 138-9 & between 146-7].
Richard, fl. 971, count of Metz.
[Proposed by Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904); against: Parisot (1905); Appears as a conjectured grandson of Godefroid in "Possibility 2", Hlawitschka (1969), table between 146-7] For count Richard, see Chatelain (1898-1901), 13: 294-5; Hlawitschka (1969).
[Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904)]
[Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904)]
in the direct male line:
The dukes of Lorraine; the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
[See Hlawitschka (1969)]
Chatelain (1898-1901) = V. Chatelain, "Le Comté de Metz et la vouerie épiscopale du VIIIe au XIIIe siècle", Jahr-Buch der Gesellschaft für lothringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 10 (1898): 71-119; 13 (1901): 245-311.
Hlawitschka (1969) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Die Anfänge des Hauses Habsburg-Lothringen (Saarbrücken, 1969).
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]
MGH Const. = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Constitutiones series.
MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata series. [O I = Otto I]
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
Parisot (1905) = Robert Parisot, review of Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904), Annales de l'Est et du Nord 1 (1905): 417-420.
Parisot (1907-8) = Robert Parisot, "Les Origines de la Haute-Lorraine et sa première maison ducale (959-1033)", Mémoires de la Société d'Archéologie Lorraine et du Musée historique Lorrain 57 (1907): 151-428; 58 (1908): 5-265.
Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904) = Gustav Freiherr Schenk zu Schweinsberg, "Genealogische Studien zur Reichsgeschichte", Archiv für hessische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, n.s. 3 (1904): 350-9.
Urkundenbuch Niederrheins = Theodore Joseph Lacomblet, ed., Urkundenbuch für die Geschichte des Niederrheins, 4 vols. (1840-58).
I would like to thank Chris Phillips for sharing copies.
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First uploaded 5 April 2007.
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