Megingoz is called nobilis vir in act of Otto III at Andernach on 18 January 987, which granted the same rights to the abbey of Vilich (founded by Megingoz and his wife Gerberge) which were already possessed by the abbeys of Quedlinburg, Gandersheim, and Essen ["In nomine sanctae et individuae trinitatis. Otto divinae largitatis munere rex. Omnis fidelium nostrorum cuiuscumque conditionis cetus | quocumque locorum situs pro maioris auctoritatis causa cognoscat, qualiter quidam nobilis vir nomine Mergingoz cum reliosa coniuge sua Gerbirga nostrasm presentiam adierunt et quoddam monasterium quod de proprio patrimonio suo pro aeterne vite premio et memoria sui in isto seculo iam prius pii patris nostri Ottonis imperatoris augustii auctoritatis consensu in loco qui Uilike dicitur construxerunt, in nostras manus tradiderunt, rogantes pro illius loci stabilitate et defensione de omni seculari servitio illud nostra regali potentia liberari ac muniri. ..." MGH DD O III 431-2 (#32); see also MGH DD H II 47 (#40), for a renewal of those rights on 26 February 1003, which also mentions abbess Adelheid ("venerabilis eiusdem abbatissa nomine Adelheyda"); Vita Adelheidis Abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 3, MGH SS 15, 758]. A bull of pope Gregory V shows that count Megingoz was still living on 24 May 996, and appears to be the only contemporary source calling Megingoz a count [see below under date of death; he is called comes illustris Megengoz by Vita Adelheidis abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 4, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 757]. The sources state only that he died at Gueldre (see below), not that he was count there [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 252; see also ibid, 170, 251, for the claim that he was count of Avalgau].
Vanderkindere would make him the same Megingoz who in 939 joined the rebellion of Heinrich, brother of Otto I, and was deprived of his fiefs [Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 251]. These fiefs were restored to Megingoz by Otto in an act dated 18 July 944 ["... per interventum dilectissimi germani fratris nostri Heinrici cuidam vassalo illius Megingoz nominato, ..." MGH DD O I 141 (#59); see also ibid., 310-1 (#226), dated 29 May 961, which mentions lands previously seized from a Megingoz]. While Vanderkindere's identification is possible (just barely), it is not likely, and the evidence for it is unclear.
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: living 24 May 996, d. ca. 998.
Place of Death: Gueldre.
The life of Adelheid states that Megingoz died in Gueldre three years after his wife ["Domnus itaque Megengoz post obitum coniugis supervixit trium annorum spatia, ..., in loco qui dicitur Gellere migravit ex hac luce ..." Vita Adelheidis abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 4, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 759]. A bull of pope Gregory V, dated 24 May 996, in which Megingoz was still alive, but his wife recently deceased, allows their dates of death to be estimated with reasonable accuracy ["monasterium ... a comite Megingozo divæque memoriæ conjuge ejus Gerberga noviter constructum" Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 252].
Spouse: Gerberge, daughter of "duke" Godefroid [Vita Adelheidis Abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 3, MGH SS 15, 757]
The children of Megingoz are given by the life of abbess Adelheid of Vilich ["Pater eius [i.e., abbess Adelheid] comes illustris Megengoz cognominatus sapientia, nobilitate, divitiis, exceptoque regimine et prenomine regni, ut rex suo tempore magnus inter principes habebatur et nominatus. Mater vero Gerbirg nuncupata, eque illi nobilissimo germine propagata, filii exstitit ducis cuiusdam nomine Godefridi, tunc temporis magni et incomparabilis viri. ... [brief account of Gerberge's siblings, for which see Godefroid's page] ... Duo vero prenominati [i.e., Megingoz and Gerberge] 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 ominis. Quatuor enim filias genuerunt; quarum binas spe posteritatis nuptum tradiderunt; quae ambae et maritali potentia et omnium bonorum et divitiarum illustres exstiterunt affluentia. Ex quibus una nomine Irminthrudis avia erat Henrici magnifici ducis et Adhelberonis Metensis episcopi, Friderici ducis fratrumque suorum, magnorum scilicet huius temporis virorum. Altera vero Alverad nominata similiter suae posteritatis preclaris incrementis erat donata. Reliquae vero binae Coloniae mancipatae sunt servituti et legi divinae; una in monasterio sanctae Dei genitricis Mariae, quae tanta promovebatur industria morum, observantia regularis imperii, ut digne constitueretur domna et mater illius monasterii. ... Interim cum Godefridus, frater eius, processisset in robur virile essetque elegantiae ac strennuitatis mirae, imperatorem Boemios cum exercitu adeuntem est comitatus, honorifica suorum milicia omnique bellico apparatu heriliter stipatus; ubi factus belligerator insignis et fortis, meruit excipere victoriam gloriosae mortis; cuius cadaver a suis, licet multo laboris sudore, tamen ad patriam, Deo gratias! reductum est cum honore. ... Tunc in loco qui dicitur Vilika templum honorabile Domino erexerunt a fundamentis, illud decenter ditantes predorium vel mancipiorum sublementis." Vita Adelheidis Abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 3, MGH SS 15, 757-8].
Godefroid, killed in Bohemia while in
the emperor's army.
Although the date of Godefroid's death is not explicitly given, it has been suggested that his death took place during the campaign of emperor Otto II in Bohemia in 977 [see MGH SS 15: 757, n. 15]. However, as Peter Stewart has pointed out, Godefroid's body was brought back and buried at Vilich, which was not founded by his parents until 986, and a nine year gap between the two events is unlikely.
Ermentrude, m. Heribert, d. 992, count in
The life of abbess Adelheid quoted above identifies her sister Ermentrude as the grandmother of bishop Adalbero of Metz, duke Frédéric, and duke Henri/Heinrich, who are known by other sources to be sons of count Frédéric (d. 1019), brother of the empress Cunégonde. For the identity of Ermentrude's husband, and her daughter (name unknown) who married count Frédéric, see Ermentrude's page.
Alberada, m. NN.
Said to have had distinguished offspring, her husband is not named (see above).
Bertrada, abbess of St. Mary's,
Cologne, d. 999×1021.
The name of the fourth sister, not given in the passage above, is given later, where it is indicated that she died during the tenure of archbishop Heribert of Cologne (999-1021) ["Interim predicta sorore eius Berthrada in Christo feliciter obeunte, archipresul sanctus Heribertus, sciens hanc matrem nostri septam omnium virtutum munimine, voluit, ut defunctae sorori succederet in regimine." Vita Adelheidis Abbatissae Vilicensis, c. 6, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 760].
Adelheid, abbess of Vilich and St.
She was the subject of a short biography written about 1056-7 by Bertha, sister of abbot Wolfhelm of Braunweiler [see Vita Wolfhelmi abb. Brunwilarensis, c. 25, MGH SS 12: 190], which is a primary source for much of the information on this family [Vita Adelheidis Abbatissae Vilicensis, MGH SS 15, 754-63]. The Vita names her parents as Megingoz and Gerberge, daughter of "duke" Godefroid [ibid., c. 4, MGH SS 15 (pt. 2): 757]. Her name appears in the form "Azela" in a bull of pope Gregory V [see MGH SS 15: 758, n. 2].
MGH DD = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata series. [O I = Otto I, H II = Heinrich II, etc.]
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
Vanderkindere (1902) = Léon Vanderkindere, La Formation Territoriale des Principautes Belge au Moyen Age (2 vols., 2nd ed., Brussels, 1902, reprinted 1981).
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First uploaded 5 April 2007.
Minor revision 15 April 2007 (thanks to Peter Stewart for comments).
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