FEMALE Cunégonde/Kunigund

Married (1) Wigeric, count in Bidgau; (2) Ricuin, count of Verdun.

Cunégonde appears in an act of 908×915, when king Charles the Simple gave to the church of Saint-Lambert at Liège the abbacy of Hastière an der Maas, then held by royal order by count Windricus for his life and the lives of his wife Cunigundis and of Adalbero, one of his sons, nepos of Charles ("... diebus vite sue et uxoris eius nomine Cunegundis et unius filiorum ipsorum videlicet nostri nepotis Adelberonis, ..."), with the qualification that they continue to hold the said abbacy for their lives [Wampach (1935), 164-6 (#144); see Wigeric's page for a complete transcript]. The suggestion of Depoin that an earlier appearance in 891 of a Wintharius and Kunigunda refers to this couple is not chronologically possible, as Cunégonde could not have been married at such an early date [Depoin (1905-8), 28].

Date of Birth: Say 885×895.
Although there is no record of her birth, it can be placed within relatively narrow chronological limits by the obervations that her mother was probably not born before ca. 870 [see Parisot (1907-8), 58: 11] and her son Adalbero, who became archbishop in 929, was unlikely to have been born later than 910 [see below].
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: Possibly 2 October, year unknown.
The Merseberg necrology has a "Cunice com." under 2 October, as does the necrology of St. Maximin of Trier/Trèves [See Althoff (1984), 419 (G 143)], where Sigefroid of Luxemburg and his wife were buried. That, plus the fact that the Merseberg necrology includes several relatives of the empress Kunigund (including Sigefroid and his wife Hedwig), suggests that "Cunice com." was the present countess Cunégonde/Kunigund.
Place of Death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
For conjectures regarding his identity, see the Commentary section below.

Mother: Ermentrude, daughter of Louis II le Begue, king of France.
For details, see below in the Commentary section.

See the pages of Wigeric and Ricuin for further details. For a hypothetical third marriage which has been suggested by some, see the Commentary section.

(1) Wigeric, living 19 January 916, count in Bidgau.
Cunégonde is documented as wife of Wigeric in a document of Charles the Simple (see above) and in a document of her son Adalbero (see below).

(2) m. 916×923, Ricuin/Richwin (Richizo), d. 923, count of Verdun.
This marriage is verified by the life of abbot John of Gorze, which refers to Richizo (clearly Ricuin of Verdun) as the vitricus (step-father) of bishop Adalbero [Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 105, 134].

The children of Cunégonde require a detailed discussion. These children can be divided into three main categories, children by Wigeric, children probably by Wigeric, and children whose father is ambiguous. Any children of Cunégonde who were not by Wigeric would almost certainly be by Ricuin, as the hypothetical third marriage which has been argued by some is unconvincing. These points, along with a list of some falsely attributed children, are discussed in detail below in the Commentary section.

Children by Wigerich:
Two children, Adalbero and Liutgarde, are directly documented as children of Wigeric and Cunégonde, and Gozlin can be ruled out as a son of Ricuin by chronological considerations, as discussed below.

MALE Adalbero I, b. say 905×910?, d. 26 April 962, bishop of Metz, 929-962.
The most well documented son of Wigeric and Cunegonde, he is referred to as their son in a diploma of Charles the Simple [Wampach #144 (pp. 164-6); see Wigeric's page for a complete transcript], and he mentioned Wigeric as his genitor in one of his own charters, which involved the same abbey of Hastières which was the subject of the diploma of Charles ["... genitor meus nobilis comes Vigiricus ..." Wampach (1935), 200 (#158)]. He is described as being of royal blood on both the mother's and father's side ["Adalbero, preter spem omnium, cum esset regii quidem paterna simul ac materna stirpe longe retro usque ab hominum memoria sanguinis, sed ob rei familiaris inopiam, qua secundis matris nuptiis laborabat, ..." Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 40, 76]. His predecessor at Metz, bishop Benno, was blinded in 928, and Adalbero replaced him as bishop in 929 ["Benno Mettensis episcopus, insidiis appetitus, eviratus, luminibusque privatus est." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 928, 43; "Deroldus medicus episcopatum Ambianensem adipiscitur, Albero Mettensem; Bennoni quadam abbatia sustentationis tenore concessa." ibid., s.a. 929, 44]. Adalbero was young when he became bishop, and he had as an advisor in his early years his uncle (patruus) Frédéric ["... In his patruus iam dicti venerabilis domni Adelberonis fuit Fridericus, qui infantulus quidem monasterio sancti Humberti fuerat mancipatus, ..., episcopo adhuc tunc iunioris ætatis adherens, ..." Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 55, 86-8]. This probably means only that he was below the canonical age of thirty, not that he was still a boy, and the estimated birthdate range given for him above should be reasonably close. His date of death is given as 962 in some sources [e.g., "Eodem anno Adalbero benerabilis vir, Mettensis episcopus, obiit." Regino's continuator, s.a. 962, MGH SS 1: 625; "Obiit Adalbero presul Mettensium." Annales Mettenses Brevissimi, s.a. 962, MGH SS 3: 155; "Anno siquidem nongentesimo sexagesimo secundo a dominici hominis incarnatione, viam universae carnis ingresso reparatore sanctae religionis primo Adelberone, vacabant cathedra sanctae Mettensis aecclesiae proprio viduatae pastore." Sigebert of Gemblous, Vita Deoderici I, c. 3, MGH SS 4: 465] and 964 in others [e.g., "Anno Domini 964, regni Ottonis 26., imperii eiusdem anno 3. domnus Adelbero huius nominis secundus, Metensis epyscopus et abbas huius loci, postquam 20 annis huic abbatie prefui, quadam die ad hoc monasterium deveniens, in lecto egritudinis cecidit, convocatisque fratribus, post sacramentorum sumptionem, 7.Kalendas Maii in Domino obdormivit. Cuius corpus post solempnes exequias in latere exterioris parietis ipsius monasterii ad levam versus claustri ambitum est sepultum. Cui Theodericus huius nominis primus, Ottonis imperatoris consobrinus, in epyscopatu Metensi, et Thietfridus in abbacia huius loci succedit." Gestorum abb. Trud. cont. tertia, pt. 1, bk. 3, c. 13, MGH SS 10: 378]. His chronology is made more difficult by the fact that some episcopal lists omit his predecessor Benno and make him the successor of Benno's predecessor Wigeric (not to be confused with Adalbero's father) ["Quadragesimus quintus divae memoriae domnus Adelbero successit Wigerico. Inter multa Gorziense coenobium pene collapsum fundis et aedificiis restruxit, muro circumdedit; simuli modo et sancti Arnulfi ecclesiae in Metti multa commoda providit. Sedit annis 35, mensibus 9, diebus 25, sub apostolicis Iohanne VII. et Iohanne VIII. et Leone VII, regnantibus Zentebodo et <blank>. Obiit 6. Kalend. Maii. Gorziae sustinet resurrectionsi diem" Gesta Episcoporum Mettensium, c. 45, MGH SS 10: 542 (death of Wigericus given as Kalend. Marcii, ibid., c. 44, p. 541)]. See Wichmann (1891), 117-9, for a detailed discussion of the chronology of Adalbero's death.

FEMALE Liutgarde, living 8 April 960; m. (1) Adalbert; m. (2) Eberhard.
In a charter dated 8 April 960, Liutgardis mentioned her parents Wigericus and Cunegunda and her husbands (seniores) Albertus and Everhardus ["... ego Liutgardis ... . Tradidi igitur sancto confessori Christi Maximino, qui in suburbio urbis Treverice requiescit, quoddam mee proprietatis predium Mambra nuncupatum ad opus monachorum ibidem Deo servientium in comitatu Mithegovve, cui Godefridus comes presse videtur, quod michi ex parentibus meis Wigerico et Cunegunda hereditario iure acceccit, pro remedio et absloutione eorundem parentum meorum, seniorum quoque meorum Alberti et Everhardi vel filiorum meorum et remissione peccatorum meorum, ...", Wampach #168 (pp. 216-9)]. Although the two husbands are not identified except for their names, they are now generally identified with Adalbert, count of Metz (d. 944) and Eberhard, count of Nordgau [See Hlawitschka (1969), 109ff., for a detailed discussion]

MALE Gozlin, d. 18 October 942×3, count, ancestor of the dukes of Lower Lorraine; m. Uda, who was living 18 May 963.

Sons probably by Wigeric:
For the following two sons, the evidence tilts strongly in favor of Wigeric being the father.

MALE Frédéric I, d. 978, duke of Upper Lorraine 959-978, m. 954 (betrothed 951), Beatrix, daughter of Hugues le Grand, duke of the Franks.

MALE Sigefroid/Siegfried, still living 997, ancestor of the counts of Luxemburg; lay abbot of Echternach, 949×950-973 (later advocate); advocate of Saint-Maximin, 981; count in Moselgau, 982; m. Hedwig.

Son whose father in unclear:
There does not seem to be any strong evidence placing Giselbert as a son of either Wigeric or Ricuin, and it remains uncertain which one was his father.

MALE Giselbert, probably count in Ardennes and lay-abbot of Moyenmoutier.
Giselbert's identity is made more confusing by the existence of a second count Giselbert in the area. This is discussed below in detail in the Commentary section.

Probable relative of Cunégonde or of her husband Wigeric:

Himiltrude, living 6 October 944, abbess of St. Glossindis.
A charter of bishop Adalbero of Metz refers to his neptis Himiltrude [Wampach 198-200 (#158)]. However, the chronology seems to make her an unlikely niece of Adalbero, so neptis probably refers to a more general relationship here. Depoin wrongly made her a sister of Adalbero [see the Commentary section].

Probable relatives of Cunégonde or of her husband Wigeric:

Ève, countess, living 16 August 950, d. 19 or 20 February (xi kal. Martii), before June 960.
m. Hugues, count of Chaumontois, deceased by ca. 940?;
and their sons:
Arnoul, d. 13 June, before 16 August 950, count.
Odelric, d. 969, archbishop of Reims, 962-9.
See Wigeric's page for a discussion of these individuals.


The Family of Cunégonde

The literature on the problem of the family relationships of Cunégonde is extensive. The fact that so much of the documentation depends on indirect evidence has led to different interpretations of that evidence, making it impractical to attempt an account which is definitive on every point. Nevertheless, a reasonable consensus has developed on many of the more important issues in the genealogy of Cunégonde's family.

Even the identity of Cunégonde herself requires discussion, for it depends on the usual identification of the Cunégonde who was wife of count Wigeric with the woman of that name who appears in numerous genealogical tables from the eleventh century and later as the mother of Sigefroid of Luxemburg and grandmother of the empress Cunégonde, wife of emperor Heinrich II. Thus, let us begin by concentrating on the Cunégonde who was the wife of count Wigeric, and leave until later the questions of her identity with Sigefroid's mother and her parentage. The main pieces of direct evidence for the family of Cunégonde, wife of Wigeric, which form the foundation on which her family can be reconstructed, are the following:

From these basic pieces of information, various points of the genealogy of Cunégonde's family can be reconstructed with varying degrees of confidence. Since we know that Adalbero's mother remarried, we are presented with the additional problem that individuals called "brothers" might have had only one parent in common, plus the additional complications which would be introduced if some more extended meaning (such as brother-in-law, adopted brother, or cousin) were used. We shall follow nearly all previous scholars in assuming that the above references to a frater or germanus imply at least one parent in common [For an unconvincing attempt at the contrary, see Jackman (2000?)]. Even with this assumption, there are a number of alternatives which need to be considered. One obvious question would be the following.

Did Wigeric have any wives other than Cunégonde?

One suggestion which has appeared in a couple of places is that Wigeric survived Cunégonde and married another wife after her, and that it was this later wife who then married Ricuin. This totally implausible scenario is excluded by the most natural reading of Vita Iohannis Gorziensis, among other evidence, and need not detain us further here [see Wigeric's page for more details]. Much more common in the literature are the suggestions that Wigeric had an earlier wife named Ève, and a daughter by her named Berthe/Bertha, wife of Ebroin of Florennes [e.g., Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 203-4; Lefort (1900), 365, would place Gozlin as a son of Wigeric by this supposed first wife Ève.]. The source of this claim, the late and legendary history of the monastery of Waulsort, states that a certain count Wedericus (whom the proponents of this theory would identify with the Wigeric who was husband of Cunégonde) had, by his wife Eva, a daughter Berta, who passed Florennes to her husband count Ebroinus [Historia Walciordorensis Monasterii, MGH SS 14: 505]. However, there is no good reason to accept this, for even if Historia Walciordorensis Monasterii were a credible source, there would still be the problem of identification [see, e.g., Depoin (1905-8), 29ff., who accepts the information from the Historia, but rejects the identification, instead making Wedericus and Eva the maternal grandparents of Wigeric, husband of Cunégonde (also unconvincing); this is all discussed more fully on Wigeric's page]. Although it would be difficult to rule out an otherwise unknown earlier marriage of Wigeric, given the scanty evidence, there is no good evidence for such a marriage. Note that if we did make Gozlin a son of Wigeric by an earlier marriage, then his fratres Frédéric, Giselbert, and Sigebert would then not be children of a later marriage of Cunégonde, and we would have to account for the words "ex matre" in some other way (for example, by hypothesizing an otherwise unknown son of Ricuin and Cunégonde, by making Sigebert and Sigefroid distinct and making the latter a son of Ricuin, or by explaining away the words "ex matre").

Could any of Gozlin, Frédéric, Giselbert, or Sigebert have been Wigeric's children by a previous marriage?

Although there is no evidence to suggest a positive answer to this question, it is still useful to discuss this point briefly for the sake of completeness. While the chronology of the marriage of Wigeric and Cunégonde is uncertain, their children were mentioned in the plural by 915 at the latest, and their son Adalbero became a bishop in 929. A statement about Adalbero's youth in the life of abbot John most likely means that he was not yet of the canonical age of thirty ["..., episcopo adhuc tunc iunioris ætatis adherens, ..." Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 55, 88], and not that he became bishop in his teens. Thus, Wigeric and Cunégonde could not have been married after 913 (as an extreme limit), and had probably been married by about 905 or so. A birth as early as 905 would be plausible enough for Gozlin, who had at least four children at the time of his death in 942×3, but even in that case there would still be no good reason to complicate matters by making him the son of a hypothetical earlier wife of Wigeric. As for the other sons, there is no good reason to complicate the chronology by making them older than Adalbero, especially in view of the evidence discussed in the next paragraph. Thus, although Cunégonde is directly attested only as the mother of Adalbero and Liutgarde, it is virtually certain that she was also the mother of Gozlin, with even more certainty for Frédéric, Giselbert, and Sigebert.

How should the words "fratres ei plures ex matre" in Vita Iohannis Gorziensis be interpreted?

The relevant passage reads as follows: "... Episcopus vultu toto demutatus: 'Vos,' ait, 'numquam quicquam eorum tenuistis, et omni tempore benefitio sunt deputata.' Causa vero erat quod in his difficilis videbatur quod fratres ei plures ex matre erant et eis usque ad id temporis parum consulere potuerat, pluribus res episcopii retinentibus, quos privare nec ius nec consilium erat - tanto robore ex superioribus episcoporum rebus fractis nitebantur - et ideo hac vel qualibet occasione ipsis germanis quo quid largiretur expectabat." [Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 110, 139]. As the passage refers to events after Gozlin's death, he would evidently not be one of these brothers. There is no good reason to doubt that these fratres ex matre included Frédéric, Giselbert, and Sigebert, who were all living at the time, and would thus be sons of Cunégonde. The words "ex matre" appear to indicate that at least one of the brothers had a different father than Adalbero, but it need not imply that all of these brothers were only maternal half-brothers. Since these fratres ex matre could also have included a son or sons who are unknown from other records, this passage is inconclusive regarding the identity of the father of Frédéric, Giselbert, and Sigebert. Parisse states that this confirms that Cunégonde's children were by more than one marriage, whether with Wigeric and Ricuin or with Wigeric and a third marriage [ibid., 139, n. 125]. Hlawitschka regards this passage as an embellishment [Hlawitschka (2002), 63-4]

Why does Sigefroid of Luxemburg belong in this family?

The main issue here is one of identification. An eleventh century genealogical table, existing also in several later versions, identifies the empress Cunégonde, the wife of emperor Heinrich II, as a daughter of count Sigefroid, son of Cunégonde, daughter of Ermentrude, daughter of Louis II of France [see, e.g., MGH SS 2: 314; 6: 32, 176; more recently, see Schmid (1994), which includes plates of the various versions of this source; however, see Jackman (2000?), for an attempt to reject Siegfried's genealogy as unreliable]. Other than the obvious fact that the name coincides, there are several reasons for identifying Cunégonde, wife of Wigeric and Ricuin, with Cunégonde, mother of Sigefroid and granddaughter of Louis II of France:

In the absence of negative evidence, there would be no problem in deducing from the above evidence that Cunégonde, mother of Sigefroid was identical with Cunégonde, wife of Wigeric. Four main objections have been advanced by those who doubt this identification [see, e.g., Parisot (1905a)]:

We can quickly set aside the first of the above objections, as it was certainly not unknown for relatives, even close ones, to be enemies. The remaining points require more discussion.

There are certain supposed marriages which would apparently rule out the possibility that Sigefroid was a brother of Gozlin or Liutgarde. One of these marriages, involving Judith, wife of Adalbert, is discussed in relation to the third point in the next paragraph. Another marriage which is claimed to be troublesome was the marriage of Frédéric, son of Sigefroid, to an unnamed granddaughter of Gerberge, wife of count Megingoz and supposedly a daughter either of Gozlin or of his son Godefroid of Verdun. If true, then Frédéric's marriage would be to a first cousin (or a first cousin once removed). However, Gerberge was in fact a sister of the duke Godefroid of Lorraine who died in 964, daughter of another Godefroid, and only a first cousin of Godefroid of Verdun (see the page of the earlier Godefroid), probably through the latter's mother [see Hlawitschka (1969), 55-8]. Thus, there is no good reason to believe that Gerberge was a descendant of Gozlin, and this objection is based on a false premise. Similarly, any similar objection with regard to the marriage of Éve, daughter of Sigefroid, to count Gérard is undermined by the fact that there is no good reason to accept Vanderkindere's claim that Gérard was a descendant of Liutgarde, daughter of Wigeric and Cunégonde [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 333-4, 476; see Hlawitschka (1969), 79ff].

The objections involving Judith, wife of duke Adalbert of Lorraine, are based mainly on the claim that she was a sister of Sigefroid. Since Judith, who was still living in 1037, does not make a chronologically believable daughter of either Wigeric or of his wife Cunégonde (and since it would stretch credulity to combine a hypothesis that Sigefroid was the son of an otherwise unknown third marriage of Cunégonde with another hypothesis that Judith was a much younger paternal half sister of Sigefroid), this alleged sibling relationship between Sigefroid and Judith would, if valid, require us to reject a sibling relationship between Sigefroid and Adalbero of Metz. However, the "evidence" that Judith was a sister of Sigefroid consists of a false charter of Adalbero, provost of St. Paulin at Trier (son of Sigefroid), dated 1037, which has Adalbero naming duke Adalbert of Lorraine and his wife Judith as his uncle and aunt ["... Adelberti avunculi nostri marchionis et ducis Lothoringie et Iuditte amicte nostre, uxoris sue ...", Wampach #252 (pp. 367-8)]. The strictest interpretation of the word amita ("paternal aunt" in classical Latin) would suggest that Sigefroid and Judith were siblings [see, e.g., Vanderkindere 2: 333]. However, this argument is undermined both by the fact that the document is not genuine (e.g., Adalbert was not duke of Lorraine in 1037) and by the existence of alternate interpretations for the statement even if it is based on correct information (e.g., Siegfried's wife Hedwig, of unknown parentage, was almost certainly significantly younger than Siegfried, and the statement could relate to some unknown relationship through her). In fact, Vanderkindere, while accepting the strict interpretation of amita, was aware of the problem with a strict interpretation of the word avunculus in the same sentence. If Adalbert was indeed a maternal uncle of Sigefroid's son Adalbero, then Sigefroid and Adalbert would have married each other's sisters. While not a problem in itself, this would evidently have Adalbert's brother Gérard marrying his own niece Éve, daughter of Sigefroid. Vanderkindere's "solution" to this problem was to make Éve a daughter of an otherwise unattested earlier marriage of Sigefroid [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 335], and to add a question mark to the table making Sigefroid's wife Hedwig a sister of Adalbert [ibid., 477; however, a similar table on page 360 has no such question mark]. It is interesting to note that Vanderkindere, while objecting to the "long" chronology involved in making Sigefroid a son of Wigeric and his wife Cunégonde, creates an even more problematic "short" chronology by suggesting that Sigefroid's wife Hedwig was a great-granddaughter of Wigeric and Cunégonde, based on the same false charter [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 360, 476].

Once these other objections are set aside, the apparent chronological problem still remains. Both of Cunégonde's known husbands were dead by 923, Sigefroid lived at least until 997, and one of his children lived until 1046, giving a "long" chronology for these three generations if we accept that Wigeric's wife Cunégonde was Sigefroid's mother. This sitaution has been complicated further by an attempt by some to "solve" the perceived problem by accepting the identification of Cunégonde, wife of Wigeric with Cunégonde, mother of Sigefroid, but introducing another generation (another Sigefroid) between the elder Cunégonde and the empress Cunégonde, making the empress and her siblings children of a "Sigefroid II" who was son of Sigefroid "I" son of Wigeric [Parisot (1905a); Vannerus (1919); Wampach (1935)]. The reasons that this scenario needs to be rejected were given by Mathilde Uhlirz [Uhlirz (1956)], who showed clearly that it was the elder Sigefroid who was the father of the empress Cunégonde and her siblings, just as the eleventh century genealogical table states. This, along with Sigefroid's chronology, is discussed on Sigefroid's page. As for the chronological problem, the best estimates are that Sigefroid's children (evidently all by his wife Hedwig) were born roughly in the period between 955 and 980 [his children were in the plural in 959: Wampach (1935), 215 (#168)], suggesting a birthdate of say 935×940 for Hedwig. Thus, even if Siegfried was born as early as 915, we would only have to assume that Siegfried was married at at an older than average age, say 40, to a much younger woman, that he was still having children in his sixties, that he lived until his early eighties, and that a number of his children also had long lives. While it may be unusual, these are all perfectly reasonable possibilities which happened from time to time, even in medieval times when life expectancy was much lower than it is now. Given that the supporting evidence is otherwise good (if not ideal), there does not seem to be any good reason to reject the commonly accepted identification of Wigeric's wife Cunégonde with Sigefroid's mother. With regard to the father of Sigefroid, a birth in the 920's would be chronologically more comfortable, but Wigeric would still make a chronologically plausible father for Sigefroid if other evidence points in that direction. (Also, since Wigeric's date of death is not well documented, a posthumous child born ca. 920 is well within the range of possibility, easing the chronology somewhat.) It is interesting to note that Frédéric, whose position as a brother of Adalbero is not questioned, did not marry until 954, which is not long before when Sigefroid probably married. Sigefroid's status as a brother of bishop Adalbero has been accepted by most recent scholars, and the main attempts to "fix" Siegfried's long chronology have involved suggested third marriages for Cunégonde (see below). The main exception is Jackman (2000?), who argues that Sigefroid was a son of Wigeric's brother Frédéric and not a son of Cunégonde, declaring the eleventh century genealogy of the empress Cunégonde to be a fabrication, at the same time reinterpreting the terms frater and patruus in the other evidence. The argument is not convincing.

Did Cunégonde have any children by Ricuin?

A typical argument for the negative answer to this question runs something like this [e.g., Parisse (1981), 20]. Gozlin was a son of Wigeric, and Gozlin's son Godefroid was count of Verdun, a title which should have been held by sons of Ricuin instead, if he had any. However, given that this was a very turbulent period, with quasi-hereditary succession that often followed no strict rules, it is difficult to regard this as a conclusive argument. Also, this argument would apply with more force to those sons of Cunégonde who are known to have been alive when Godefroid first appears as count of Verdun in the middle of the 960's (i.e. Frédéric and Sigefroid), and might be expected to have pressed a claim for Verdun if they were indeed Ricuin's sons. Also, the most natural interpretation of the term fratres ex matre would suggest that Cunégonde had at least one child by a husband other than Wigeric, Ricuin being the obvious candidate for such a child's father. Thus, there is no good reason to rule out the existence of children of Ricuin and Cunégonde (who would still have been young enough to be fertile at the time Ricuin died), especially if such issue was deceased by the middle of the 960's.

Did Cunégonde marry for a third time, and if so, who was the husband?

If valid, a third marriage for Cunégonde would complicate matters even further. Such a third marriage has been hypothesized on several occasions:

The fact remains that even though such a hypothetical marriage is not contradicted by the sources, there is no direct evidence that Cunégonde married for a third time, and there is no convincing candidate for the supposed third husband. The best argument in favor of such a marriage would seem to be the following amplification of Parisse's discussion [Parisse (1981), 20]: Assuming that Parisse was correct in suggesting that Ricuin had no children by Cunégonde, and assuming that the term "fratres ex matre" in the Vita of abbot John implies the existence of more than one father for Cunégonde's children, the result would have to be a third marriage. However, this is still not a strong argument in favor of a third marriage for Cunégonde.

Who was Cunégonde's son Giselbert?

Of the sons of Cunégonde, the identification of Adalbero, Gozlin, and Frédéric in the sources poses no difficulties. The problems associated with the identification of Sigefroid and his son of the same name are now generally regarded as having been settled by Mathilde Uhlirz's important study [Uhlirz (1956)]. Sigebert was either the same as Sigefroid or otherwise unknown. The problem with Giselbert is that he is mentioned as a brother only in the will of Gozlin, and there were two counts named Giselbert appearing in the records during this period, as indicated by a charter of duke Frédéric dated 959 mentioning two count Giselberts ["S. Friderici ducis; S. Widonis; S. Teutberti; S. Roberti; S. Rotfridi; S. Gisleberti comitis; Signum Dacari; item S. Gisleberti comitis; ..." Cart. Gorze, 200 (#108); Depoin (1904a), 313; Parisot (1907-8), 57: 260-1, n. 5; 58: 16-7; Hlawitschka (1960), 437, n. 55], and confirmed by the necrology of Gorze, which gives the day and month of death for two count Giselberts who are not accounted for elsewhere [13 July: "Gislebertus comes qui dedit nobis Gismundivillam."; Nec. Gorze, 82; 24 Nov.: "Gislebertus comes, qui dedit nobis 5 mansos de terra." ibid., 90; neither of these would be the empress Cunégonde's brother Giselbert who was killed on 18 May 1004]. Thus, there is the additional difficuly of determining which notices of a count Giselbert in the records refer to "our" Giselbert, and which refer to the "other" Giselbert, who, if possible, should also be more clearly identified. Here is a list (as close to chronological as possible, given the uncertainties), containing the known (to me) mentions of a count Giselbert in the area during this period, with any information which might identify them.

Of the records mentioning a count Giselbert, the most obvious Giselbert who is difficult to identify as Cunégonde's son is the one from the 959×967 donation of Raoul, son of the late count Raoul by his wife Éve, since the Giselbert in that record had a brother Otto who was living in the year of the charter (and was one of the signatories), and Cunégonde had no known son named Otto (and since Ricuin already had a son named Otto, these brothers could hardly be ascribed a his sons). Thus, since we know that there were two count Giselberts at this time, Vanderkindere's attempt to identify Giselbert, brother of Otto, with Giselbert, son of Cunégonde, by interpreting frater as brother-in-law, seems unlikely. The following table thus gives an outline of what is known about the family of the "other" Giselbert, interpreting the word frater in the usual way. It is tempting to identify the deceased Rodulfus of this chart with the count of Verdun in the 949 charter of a Giselbert mentioned above, but that is not certain. Vanderkindere attempts to flesh out a genealogy of these individuals, but his table is not very convincing [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 343; see also Wigeric's page under his supposed daughter Leva].

Who fathered the children of Cunégonde whose paternity is not directly attested?

The difficulty of answering this question can be seen by listing various points (some already covered above) which might be seen as leaning in one direction or another. (The order in which these are listed should not be interpreted as indicating any relative importance of these points.)

Thus, Gozlin was a son of Wigeric. For Frédéric, the geography of his possessions leaves a small amount of residual doubt, but the evidence seems to point strongly to Wigeric as the probable father. For Sigefroid, his chronology suggests that he might have been the youngest son, but other indications point to Wigeric as the probable father. For Giselbert, the evidence is more ambiguous. The evidence for his order of birth is too inconclusive to be of any use. If the fratres ex matre phrase of Vita Iohannis Gorziensis is interpreted in the obvious way, i.e., that Ricuin and Cunégonde had at least one son who was living ca. 946, then Giselbert would appear to be the most promising candidate for such a son. Thus, even though he has usually been placed as a son of Wigeric [e.g., Renn (1941), Werner (1967), Hlawitschka (2002)], there does not seem to be any good reason to rule out the possibility that he was a son of Ricuin.

The parentage of Cunégonde

Unfortunately, the eleventh century genealogical tables which show the descent of the empress Cunégonde from the Carolingian king Louis II of France only give the names intervening generations, but not the spouses. The result is that we know the identity of the mother of Cunégonde, but not her father. Unfortunately, the father of Cunégonde cannot be identified with any reasonable degree of confidence.

Possible connections with Regnier and Giselbert of Lorraine

There are several reasons for believing that members of Cunégonde's family were somehow connected with the family of Regnier I and his son duke Giselbert of Lorraine.

Some have attempted to conclude a very close relationship between duke Giselbert of Lorraine and the empress Cunégonde, by making the former a grandfather of the latter, either maternal or paternal, but there are good reasons for rejecting these attempts:

Relationships between Regnier and Giselbert and either Wigeric or Ricuin have also been suggested:

Conjectured father (possible, but unproven): Regnier I, d. 915×6, count; lay-abbot of Echternach, Stavelot-Malmedy, Saint-Maximin, and Saint-Servais.

In a brief statement which was not supported by any evidence, Siegfried Hirsch called Regnier I the husband of Ermentrude, daughter of Louis II [Hirsch (1862), 531], and the same hypothesis was stated by Stresow [not seen by me, cited in Renn (1941), 10, n. 40]. While acknowledging that the identity of Cunégonde's father was not certain, Heinz Renn adopted Hirsch's conjecture that Regnier had been married to Ermentrude prior to his marriage to Giselbert's mother Alberada [Renn (1941), 10-2]. Not only would this explain the names Giselbert and Regnier among Cunégonde's descendants, but it would make Regnier V and his wife have exactly the 4:5 consanguinity mentioned above [see table, Renn (1941), 40]. Hlawitschka has called this marriage plausible [Hlawitschka (1960), 430], accepting it as recently as 2002 [Hlawitschka (2002), 61-2], but on one earlier occasion expressed more doubt [Hlawitschka (1968), see below]. The main advantage of this scenario is that it would explain the apparent connection mentioned above. The obvious disadvantage is that this theory is not supported by any direct evidence.

Conjectured father (no good evidence): NN, son of Regnier, d. 8 October 876, count; lay-abbot of Echternach.

Because it would evidently require a consanguineous marriage between Regnier and Ermentrude, who would be second cousins if Regnier were a maternal grandson of the emperor Lothair I (as in most genealogical reconstructions), Hlawitschka proposed instead that Ermentrude's husband might have been a son of the Regnier who was an earlier lay-abbot of Echternach, which would avoid the consanguineous marriage, but keep the apparent connection between Cunégonde's descendants and duke Giselbert [Hlawitschka (1968), 176-7, n. 61, with one table showing the problem of consanguinity, and another table showing that this would not be a problem if, for example, Ermentrude's husband was a son of the elder Regnier (shown as a conjectured uncle of Regnier I)]. However, the "consanguinity problem" is based on a conjectural reconstruction of the parentage of Regnier I (and thus might not be a problem at all), and the two Regniers, while probably related, cannot be documented with a specific relationship.

Other miscellaneous proposed connections

Conjectured father (no good evidence - very doubtful): Heinrich, d. 26 August 886, count of Grabfeld [called "duke of Lorraine" by Depoin]
This theory was advanced by Joseph Depoin, partly because Cunégonde's descendants were often enemies of the Konradiner dynasty (as was Heinrich), and partly in order to explain the name Henry (Heinrich, Henri) which appears among Cunégonde's descendants [Depoin (1904a), 355-6; see also Depoin (1908-10), 460-1]. While not impossible, there is no good reason to accept this conjecture.

Falsely attributed third husband: Giselbert, d. 2 October 939, duke of Lorraine.
One late medieval source would make her son Frédéric a son of Giselbert ["Cui [duke/archbishop Bruno] in ducatu Lotharingiae successit Fredericus, filius Gisleberti, olim ducis, duodecim annis." Chronicon sancti Bavonis, s.a. 965, Corpus Chron. Fland. 1: 526], and René Klein would make Frédéric, Sigefroid, and Giselbert all sons of Giselbert [Klein (1998)]. As already discussed above, this is not a tenable identification.

Conjectured third husband (no good evidence, improbable): Adalhard.
Geldner would make Sigefroid a son of Cunégonde by an obscure individual named Adalhard [Geldner (1973); see above].

Possible additional son (existence as a son distinct from Sigefroid uncertain): MALE Sigebert, fl. 943.
Mentioned in the will of his brother Gozlin in 943, he usually held to be the same as Sigefroid. Parisse accepts Sigebert as a distinct son [Parisse (1981), 23].

Falsely attributed son (existence improbable): MALE Heinrich, count, supposedly fl. 970.
Such a son is known only from a false charter, which incorporates phrases from the genuine charter of Cunégonde's daughter Liutgarde [e.g., "... quod michi ex parentibus meis Wigerico et Cvnegunda hereditario iure a dicto cenobio acceccit, pro remedio et absloucione eorumdem parentum meorum, seniorum quoque meorum Adalberti et Everhardi ..." Wampach #181 (pp. 248-253); this phrase differs from Liutgarde's charter (see above) only in the addition of the words "a dicto cenobio", having "Adalberti" instead of "Alberti", and a couple of minor spelling differences]. Note that the forger has kept Liutgarde's seniores (to be interpreted as husbands) as being seniores of Heinrich/Henri, which has been used by some as supposed evidence for Wigeric's parentage [see Wigeric's page under his falsely attributed father Adalhard/Adalbert].

Falsely attributed son: MALE Godefroid, count of Jülich (falsely called duke of Lorraine).
This conjecture is based on the evidence that Godefroid's daughter Gerberge (wife of count Megingoz) was a first cousin of Godefroid, count of Verdun (see his page under his daughter Ermengarde), son of Gozlin, son of Cunégonde. According to Parisot (1905b), Schenk zu Schweinsberg (the relevant part of which I have not seen) would make Godefroid a son of Ricuin and Cunégonde. Obviously, this is only one of the possible ways in which Gerberge and Godefroid of Verdun might be cousins, and there is the additional fact that Gerberge's granddaughter (name unknown, a daughter of Heribert of Kinziggau by Gerberge's daughter Imiza) was married to Frédéric (d. 1019), brother of the empress Cunégonde, which gives both a consanguineous marriage and a tight chronology to this scenario (with Frédéric married to a first-cousin twice removed). Hlawitschka has examined this question in detail, and concluded that Uda, mother of Godefroid of Verdun and wife of Gozlin, was a sister of this count Godefroid [Hlawitschka (1969), 55-8]

Additional falsely attributed sons & daughters:
Additional children have been attributed by various authors, as follows.

MALE NN, killed by Odelric, archbishop of Rheims.
[Picart; refuted by Parisot (1907-8), 57: 326, n. 5; 58: 20, n. 1]

MALE Folmar, count of Saulnois.
[Picart; refuted by Parisot (1907-8), 57: 326, n. 5; 58: 20, n. 1]

FEMALE NN, m. Régnier III, count of Hainaut.
[Lot; refuted by Parisot (1907-8), 58: 20, n. 1]

FEMALE Ermentrude, m. (1) NN; (2) Eilbert de Florennes, founder of Waulsort abbey.
Depoin states that Ermentrude was an amita of count Godefroid of Verdun, without citing a source [Depoin (1904b), 385]. In the absence of further evidence, there is no reason to accept this.

FEMALE Himiltrude, living 6 October 944, abbess of St. Glossindis.
Depoin made her a sister of bishop Adalbero I of Metz and daughter of Wigeric, based on a passage in Miracula Sanctae Glodesindis [Mirac. S. Glodesindis, c. 46, MGH SS 4: 238; Depoin (1905-8), 65]. However, she was obviously related in some other way to Adalbero, who referred to her as his neptis in a charter of 6 October 944 [Wampach 198-200 (#158), see above].


Bloch (1898-1902) = Hermann Bloch, "Die älteren Urkunden des Klosters S. Vanne zu Verdun", Jahr-Buch der Gesellschaft für lothringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 10 (1898): 338-449; 14 (1902): 48-150.

Cart. Gorze = A. d'Herbomez, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Gorze (Mettensia 2, Paris, 1898).

Cart. Stavelot-Malmedy = Jos. Halkin & C.-G. Roland, Recueil de chartes de l'abbaye de Stavelot-Malmedy, 2 vols. (Académie Royale de Belgique, Commission Royale d'Historie 36, Brussels, 1909).

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.

Corpus Chron. Fland. = Joseph-Jean de Smet, Corpus Chronicorum Flandriae, 4 vols. (Brussels, 1837-1865).

Depoin (1904a) = 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 (1904b) = Joseph Depoin, "Questions mérovingiennes et carolingiennes", Revue des Études historiques 70 (1904): 377-385 [especially part II: "De l'emploi du prénom d'Arnoul aux IXe et Xe siècles", pp. 382-5].

Depoin (1905-8) = Joseph Depoin, Études sur le Luxembourg à l'époque carolingienne. I. Le domaine de Mersch et ses possesseurs (2nd ed., Luxembourg, 1908 [1st ed. 1905]).

Depoin (1907) = Joseph Depoin, "Wicmann II, comte du Hamaland, bienfaiteur de Saint-Pierre de Gand au dixième siècle", Annales du vingtième congrés de la fédération archéologique et historique de Belgique, 2 (1907), 315-351. [see Parisot (1909) for review]

Depoin (1908-10) = Joseph Depoin, "Études sur le Luxembourg à l'époque carolingienne. II. Le roman de s. Meingaud", Ons Hemecht 14 (1908): 220-4, 313-318, 377-381, 417-424, 454-461; 15 (1909): 69-76, 110-4, 132-136, 174-8, 219-222, 260-265, 298-306, 321-328, 378-385; 16 (1910): 4-10, 41-6, 84-9, 125-131, 162-8, 202-8, 244-9, 284-295.

Evrard (1981) = Jean-Pol Evrard, "Les comtes de Verdun aux Xe et XIe siècles", Publications de la Section historique de l'Institut Grand-Ducal de Luxembourg 95 (1981): 153-182.

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

Geldner (1973) = Ferdinand Geldner, Tatsachen und Probleme der Vor- und Frühgeschichte des Hochstifts Bamberg (Meisenbach, 1973).

Gerbert, Letters = Julien Havet, ed., Lettres de Gerbert (983-997) (Paris, 1889). [In Latin. For English translation, see Lattin (1961).]

Hirsch (1862) = Siegfried Hirsch, Jahrbücher des Deutschen Reichs unter Heinrich II, 2 vols. (1862, reprinted Berlin 1975).

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

Hlawitschka (1968) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Lotharingen und das Reich an der Schwelle der deutschen Geschichte (Schriften der MGH 21, Stuttgart, 1968).

Hlawitschka (1969) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Die Anfänge des Hauses Habsburg-Lothringen (Saarbrücken, 1969).

Hlawitschka (1987) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Untersuchungen zu den Thronwechseln der ersten Hälfte des. 11. Jahrhunderts und zur Adelsgeschichte Süddeutschlands (Sigmaringen, 1987).

Hlawitschka (2002) = Eduard Hlawitschka, "War Graf Siegfried I. von Luxemburg ein Sohn Herzog Giselberts von Lothringen?", Schriften der Sudetendeutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste: Forschungsbeiträge der Geisteswissenschaftlichen Klasse 23 (2002): 53-67.

Jackman (2000?) = Donald Jackman, Onomastic origins of the early Luxemburgs, online at http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/d/c/dcj121/prosop/onoma/luxem.htm.

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

Lattin (1961) = Harriet Pratt Lattin, trans., The Letters of Gerbert (Records of Civilization - Sources and Studies, 60, New York, 1961). [English translation. For Latin edition, see Gerbert, Letters.]

Lefort (1900) = Alfred Lefort, "La Maison Française de Luxembourg", Ons Hemecht 6 (1900): 356-366, 417-427, 456-468, etc.

MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata (O I = Otto I, O II = Otto II).

Nec. Gorze = Michel Parisse, Le Nécrologe de Gorze (Nancy, 1971). [Also edited by Charles Aimond, "Le Nécrologe de Gorze", Bulletin mensuel de la Société d'archéologie lorraine 63 (1914): 76-85]

Nonn (1983) = Ulrich Nonn, Pagus und Comitatus in Niederlothringen (Bonn, 1983).

Parisot (1905a) = "Sigefroy le premier des comtes de Luxembourg - était-il fils de Wigeric?" Annales de l'Est et du Nord 1 (1905): 76-83.

Parisot (1905b) = 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.

Parisot (1909) = Robert Parisot, review of Depoin (1907), Annales de l'Est et du Nord 5 (1909): 457-460.

Parisse (1981) = Michel Parisse, "Généalogie de la Maison d'Ardenne", Publications de la Section Historique de l'Institut grand-ducal de Luxembourg, 95 (1981): 9-40.

Renn (1941) = Heinz Renn, Das erste Luxemburger Grafenhaus (963-1136) (Rheinisches Archiv 39, Bonn, 1941).

Schenk zu Schweinsberg (1904) = Gustav Freiherr Schenk zu Schweinsberg, "Genealogische Studien zur Reichsgeschichte", Archiv für hessische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, n.s. 3 (1904): ---. [relevant part not seen by me]

Schmid (1994) = Karl Schmid, "Ein verlorenes Stemma Regum Franciae", Frühmittelalterliche Studien 28 (1994), 196-225 (& tables 1-14).

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

Stewart (2007) = Peter Stewart, Sigifred of Luxemburg as "patruus", posting to soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL newsgroup, 18 March 2007.

Uhlirz (1956) = Mathilde Uhlirz, "Die ersten Grafen von Luxemburg", Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 12 (1956), 36-51.

Vanderkindere (1902) = Léon Vanderkindere, La Formation Territoriale des Principautes Belge au Moyen Age, 2 vols. (2nd ed., Brussels, 1902, reprinted 1981).

Vannerus (1919) = J. Vannerus, article "Sigefroid", in Biographie Nationale (Brussels, 1919), 22: 394-434.

Vannerus (1947) = J. Vannerus, "La première dynastie Luxembourgeoise", Revue belge de Philologie et d'Histoire 25 (1947): 801-858.

Vita Ioh. Gorz. = Michel Parisse, ed. & trans., La Vie de Jean, abbé de Gorze (Picard, 1999) [Vita Iohannis Gorziensis, Latin with parallel French translation; also edited (Latin only) by Georg Heinrich Pertz, MGH SS 4: 335-377; citations are by chapter number and page in Parisse's edition].

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.

Wichmann (1891) = Wichmann, "Adelbero I. Bischof von Metz, 929-962." Jahr-Buch der Gesellschaft für lothringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 3 (1891): 104-174.

Wolfram (1888-9) = Dr. Wolfram, "Kritische Bemerkungen zu den Urkunden des Arnulfklosters", Jahrbuch für lothringische Geschichte 1 (1888-9), 40-80 [especially part II, pp. 62-9: Die Urkunden der Gräfin Eva (950) und ihres Sohnes Udalrich (958). A French translation of this part only of Wolfram's paper appeared in Bull. Mens. Soc. Arch. Lorr. 55 (1906): 281-290].

I would like to thank Peter Stewart for his comments on the internet newsgroup/mailing list soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL in response to many of my postings there on this subject, and for sharing copies of sources with me. I also thank James Hansen for sharing copies of sources.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 5 April 2007.

Minor revision uploaded 24 April 2008 (added cross-references for Regnier I and Giselbert of Lorraine).

Minor revision uploaded 25 April 2010 (added references calling Liudolf a patruus of Heinrich IV).

Minor revision uploaded 10 June 2010 (corrected erroneous parentage of Beatrix).

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