Duke or count.
Ancestor of the Welfs.

Little is known of Welf, who is known mainly from the notices of his daughter Judith's marriage. Thegan calls Welf a duke of most noble Bavarian lineage ["... Hwelfi ducis sui, qui erat de nobilissima progenie Bawariorum, ..." Thegan, Vita Hludowici, c. 26, MGH SS 2: 596]. This is presumably why some secondary sources call him "duke of Bavaria", but no primary source verifies that title.

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: 3 September, before ca. 825.
Place of death: Unknown.
The date of 3 September appears among some marginal notices in the Martyrology of Wandalbert of Prüm, and apparently refers to this Welf ["Deposcio Uelphonis." MGH Poet. Lat. 2: 593 (line 534 n.); Tellenbach (1957), 337 (828)]. His wife Heilwig was abbess of Chelles from ca. 825, at which time Welf was presumbaly deceased [see Hlawitschka (2006), 1.2: 21; see the page of Heilwig for more details].

Father: Uncertain.
See the Commentary section.

Mother: Unknown.

Spouse: Heilwig, d. 5 November, after 833.
["... Iudith, quae erat ex parte matris, cuius nomen Eigilwi, nobilissimi generis Saxonici ..." Thegan, Vita Hludowici Imp., c. 26, MGH SS 2: 596]

Only Judith is directly documented as a daughter of Welf and Heilwig. The other children are documented as her siblings. Conrad and Rudolf appear as brothers of Judith in several sources ["... cuius etiam fratres, Conradum videlicet atque Rodulfum, tonsorantes, per monasteria retruserant." Ann. Bert., s.a. 830 (p. 2); "... suscipientes reginam Iudith, ..., et fratres eius Chuonradum et Ruodolfum tondentes et in monasterio mittentes." Thegan, Vita Hludowici Imp., c. 36, MGH SS 2: 597; "Misit interes in Aquitaniam, coniugemque revocavit fratresque illius Chonradum et Rodulfum ..." Vita Hludowici Imp., c. 46, MGH SS 2: 634].

FEMALE Judith, d. 19 April 843;
Louis I (Ludwig I "der Fromme"), d. 20 June 840, emperor 813-840;
["Quo peracto imperator inspectis plerisque nobilium filiabus Huelpi comitis filiam nomine Iudith duxit uxorem." ARF, s.a. 819, 150; "Sequentii vero anno accepit filiam Hwelfi ducis sui, qui erat de nobilissima progenie Bawariorum, et nomen virginis Iudith, quae erat ex parte matris, cuius nomen Eigilwi, nobilissimi generis Saxonici eamque reginam constituit." Thegan, Vita Hludowici, c. 26, MGH SS 2: 596; "Tandemque eorum voluntati satisfaciens, et undecumque adductas procerum filias inspitiens, Iudith, filiam Welponis, nobilissimi comitis, in matrimonium iunxit." Vita Hludowici, c. 32, MGH SS 2: 624]

MALE Konrad, d. after 862, count in Argengau and Linzgau;
m. Adélaïde, d. 18 August, prob. bef. 862,
daughter of Hugues, count of Tours.
Konrad appears as count of Argengau on twice in 839 [Urk. St. Gallen, 1: 353 (#378), 356 (#381)], and 9 July 856 [ibid., 2: 68 (#450)], and count of Linzgau twice in 844 [ibid., 2: 11 (#390), 13 (#392)], and on 8 October 851 ["sub Honrato duce nobilissimo" ibid., 2: 37 (#417)]. He was still living in 862, when he was an advisor of Ludwig the German and Lothar II ["... Hludowicus et Hlotharius Chuonradi, sui consiliari, Karoli autem avunculi, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 862 (p. 60)]. Konrad's wife was named Adélaïde ["Chuonradus, princeps famosissimus, ... . Coniunx illi erat Adheleid nomine, ..." Heric, Mirac. S. Germani, MGH SS 13: 401]. The Annales Bertiniana, under the year 864, confirm that she was a maternal aunt (matertera) of Lothair I ["... Hlothario ... consilio Hugoni, Chuonradi, Karoli regis avunculi, et materterae suae filio, ..." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 864 (p. 71)]. Adélaïde almost certainly died before her husband, probably in childbirth at the same time as an infant son named Rudolf [Tellenbach (1957), 337-8 (828-9)].

MALE Raoul/Rudolf, d. 6 January 866, count, abbot of Saint-Riquier and Jumièges;
m. Roduna, still living 31 March 867.
Rudolf appears as rector of Jumièges in a charter of his uncle Charles the Bald on 23 February 849 ["... avunculum quoque nostrum Ruodulfum, ejusdem monasterii rectorem, ..." RHF 8: 499 (#81)], as abbot of Saint-Riquier in another act of Charles on 28 February 855 ["... avunculi nostri Hruodulfi abbatis ..." RHF 8: 538 (#131)], and as count in an act of 15 March 864 ["... carissimus avunculus noster Radulphus comes ..." RHF 8: 590 (#186)]. He died in 866 ["Rodulfus, Karoli regis avunculus, passione collexica moritur." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 866 (p. 80); "Avunculus quoque eius Rhodulfus, consiliarius primasque palatii, hominem exit." Ann. Floriacenses, MGH SS 2: 254] His epitaph gives his date of death as 6 January (8 id. Jan.) ["Hic retinet corpus Ruodulfi tellus humatum, / Cuius percelebre nomen in orbe cluit / Tempore sub magno Hludowici vixit honore / Ipsius auletis Caesaris egregiis. / Nec minus in sceptro Karoli regis decoratus / Mansit consilio pace fideque bono, / Illius inter primates nullus prior illo, / Cuius diversa regna genus decorat: / Hoc renitet Karolus, Francorum rexque lucerna / In candelabro fixa manens solido. / Idibus octonis Iani decessit ab ista / Luce: potens domine, cui superam tribue. / Hoc, lector, relegens lingua feriendo palatum / Dic: 'Ruodulfi anima pace quiescat, amen.' " Carmina Centulensia, MGH Poet. Lat. 3: 352-3 (#141); also: "Nobilis hic parva Rhuodulfus pausat in urna, / Cuius famosum nomen in orbe fuit. / Auletas inter Karoli nullique secundus / Extitit in solida pace fideque bona. / Idus octavo mortem gustavit amaram / Iani: cui veniam det dominus placidam." ibid., 3: 353 (#142)]. Another verse mentions the name of his wife ["IN LAMPADE IPSIVS. Haec iugiter lampas niteat tumulum ante Rhodulfi, / Quam Hruodon fieri iussit amore sui." ibid (#143)].

FEMALE Hemma/Emma, d. 31 January 876;
m. 827, Ludwig II "der Deutsche", d. Frankfurt, 28 August 876; king of the Eastern Franks, 840×3-876.
Annales Xantenses state that Ludwig married a sister of Judith ["... et Ludewicus rex accepit in coniugum sororem Iudith imperatricis", Ann. Xant., s.a. 827 (p. 7)]. Her name is given as Hemma/Emma by several sources [e.g., "Hemma regina et Karolomannus filius Karoli obierunt." Ann. Alamannici, s.a. 876, MGH SS 1: 51; "Hemma regina apud Radesbonam Baioariae civitatem obiit sepultaque est in aecclesia sancti Emmerammi martyris." Ann. Fuld., s.a. 876 (p. 85); "Ubi et certo nuncio, Emmam uxorem suam apud Reghinisburg palatium obisse nuper post nativitatem Domini, comperit." Ann. Bertin., s.a. 875 (p. 127)]. Several necrologies give the date of her death as 31 January [for details, see Dummler (1887-8), 2: 425 n. 1].

Possible son:

MALE Hrodroh/Ruadroh, d. 1 February, year unknown.
Hrodroh/Ruadroh appears among some marginal notices in the Martyrology of Wandalbert of Prüm, which includes a number of other notices of the Welf family ["Et Hrodroh hisdem transiit Kalendis." MGH Poet. Lat. 2: 579 (line 55 n.); Tellenbach (1957), 337], and in an entry in the Reichenau Confraternity Book, where he appears immediately after Heilwig, Konrad, and Rudolf, and immediately before Hemma ["Ruadpreht, Heilwig, Chuonrat, Ruadolf, Ruadroh, Hemma, Morentio" MGH Libri Confrat., 1: 262 (col. 383)]. From this, Tellenbach concludes with reasonable probability that Hrodroh/Ruadroh was another son of Welf and Heilwig [Tellenbach (1957), 337-8 (828-9)].


Possible father or grandfather: Ruothard, d. 777×90, count in Argengau.
Ruothard appears as count in Argengau in a donation at Laimnau on 15 March 769 ["Actum Laimaugawilare ... sub Roadharti comite ..." Urk. St. Galle, 52 (#52); Hlawitschka cites J. Fleckenstein, Herkunft der Welfen, 114ff. for the date range 777×90 (not seen by me), Hlawitschka (2006), 1.2: 23; for Argengau as the location of Laimnau, see Stälin (1841), 1: 283]. He and another count named Warin were said to be the administrators of all of Alemannia, and oppressors of St. Otmar ["Comites vero quidam Warinus et Ruodhardus, qui totius tunc Alamanniae curam administrbant, ..." Vita S. Galli, ii, 15, MGH SS 2: 24]. The eleventh century historian Ekkehard IV indicates that Rudolf and his son Welfhard (members of the Welf family) were of the same lineage as Warin and/or Ruothard, as was king Konrad I ["Rex [Konrad] ... uti filius carnificum illorum ... Quod et Ruodolfus postea, Welfhardi comitis pater, cum eiusdem quidem prosapiae fuerit, ..." Ekkehard IV, Casus S. Galli, MGH SS 2: 87; as the editor indicates, carnificum illorum surely refers to counts Warin and Ruothard, the persecutors of St. Otmar, ibid., n. 97; Stälin (1841), 241 & n. 6]. As a result of this statement, Ruothard and Warin were the focal points of much early research into the ancestry of the Welfs [see Schmidt (1900), 1: i ff. for an outline of early research]. Ekkehard does not specify which one of counts Ruothard and Warin was closely related to the Welfs, but Ruothard had the same possessions as some of the later Welfs [Krüger (1892), 505-6 n. 1]. He was count of Argengau, as were for example Welf's son Konrad (see above) and Konrad's son the younger Welf, who appears as count in three charters at Leiblach in Argengau in 857-8 [Urk. St. Galle, 2: 70 (#452), 75 (#457), 79 (#462); Stälin (1841), 283 (location of Leiblach); Meyer v. Knonau (1873), 77]. Although a connection between Ruothard and Welf is plausible enough, it is not possible to state the exact relationship [see, most recently, Hlawitschka (2006), 1.2: 23-4].

Conjectured father: Isanbart, fl. 774-806, count in Alemannia.
Count Isanbard appears in a number of charters from St. Galle from August 774 to 29 May 806 [Urk. St. Galle, 1: 61-2 (#62), 69-70 (#71), 76-7 (#80), 82 (#86), 146 (#154), 168 (#178), 180-1 (#190)]. On 16 December 798 he names his brother Swabo ["Ego in Dei nomen Ysanbardo comes ad ipsum locum sanctum vel monisterium pro remedium anime fratris mei Swaboni trado traditionem, ..." 1: 146 (#154)]. In a donation of 29 May 806, he names his father the late count Warin and his mother Hadellinde ["Ego enim in Dei nomine Isanbardo, filius Warini condam comitis, ... . ... pro remedium anime mee seu partris mei Warini et matris mee Hadellinde ... . ... Signum Isanbardi comitis" Urk. St. Galle, 1: 180-1 (#190)]. Scheidt was an early proponent of this theory [Scheidt (1751), 2: 15, 19]. If one assumes that it was Warin rather than Ruothard who was related to the Welfs, then Isanbard makes a chronologically convenient place to hang the genealogy, but there is no good reason beyond that to place Welf specifically as a son of Isanbard.

Falsely attributed father: Welf-Eticho I (Odalrich, Wolfhart, Worado, Alprat, Adalbert, Utich), d. ca. 805, count in Traungaues.
Falsely attributed name(s): Welf-Eticho II (Huelpo, Worad, Albrich, Alprat, Adalbert, Odalrich).
[Schmidt (1900), 1: 41; 2: 17, 33, 40, 52] Schmidt's theory that Welf was named Welf-Eticho (II) and was son of another Welf-Eticho (I) involves the widespread (and quite unconvincing) identification of various men having different names, and must be rejected.

Falsely attributed sons:

MALE Eticho, ancestor of the German Welfs.
Historia Welforum Weingartensis, a source written in the second half of the twelfth century, states that Welf was the father of a certain Eticho, who is made to be the ancestor of the later German Welf family ["Igitur Guelfo genuit filium Etichonem nomine, filiam Iudith. Quam Iudith Ludewicus imperator cognomento Pius ... duxit uxorem." Historia Welforum Weingartensis, c. 3, MGH SS 21: 458-9]. Genealogia Welforum, from the first half of the twelfth century, places Eticho as the ancestor of the German Welfs, without giving his parentage, and assigns him an apparently mythical daughter Hildegarde, wife of the French king Louis II le Bègue (the Stammerer), who is falsely called the emperor ["Eticho genuit filium Heinricum et filiam Hiltigardam. Hiltigardam Luduwicus Balbus inperator accepit uxorem." Genealogia Welforum, c. 1, MGH SS 13: 733; the daughter Hildegarde is not given in the Historia]. Eticho is not named in any known contemporary record, but if the Genealogia is correct, he was the grandfather of Konrad, bishop of Constance, who died in 975. In any case, even if Eticho was based on a real individual (which is likely enough), he would have lived at too late a period to be a son of Welf.

MALE Ruachar/Ruthelin, fl. 819-38, count in lower Thurgau, Rheingau, etc.
[Schmidt (1900), 2: 33, 40, 52] No confidence can be placed in Schmidt's genealogical tables.

MALE Gerold, fl. 821-38, count in upper Thurgau, Zürichgau, Scherragau, etc.
[Schmidt (1900), 2: 17, 33, 40, 52]

MALE Erchanbald, fl. 824-32, count in lower Thurgau.
[Schmidt (1900), 2: 33, 52]

MALE Welf-Eticho III, fl. 836-56, count in lower Thurgau, etc..
[Schmidt (1900), 2: 33, 40, 52]

MALE Pabo, fl. 820, count in Pannonia.
[Schmidt (1900), 2: 52, qualified by a question mark]


Ann. Bertin. = G. Waitz, ed., Annales Bertiniani (MGH SRG 6, Hannover, 1883).

Ann. Fuld. = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Annales Fuldenses (MGH SRG 7, Hannover, 1891).

Ann. Xant. = B. de Simson, ed., Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini (MGH SRG 12, 1909), 1-33.

ARF = Georg Pertz & Friedrich Kurze, Annales Regni Francorum (Annals of the kingdom of the Franks), MGH SRG 6 (Hannover, 1895).

Dümmler (1887-8) = Ernst Dümmler, Geschichte des Ostfränkischen Reiches, 3 vols. (2nd. ed., Leipzig, 1887-8).

Hlawitschka (2006) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Die Ahnen de hochmittelalterlichen deutschen Könige, Kaiser und ihrer Gemahlinnen. Ein kommentiertes Tafelwerk. Band I: 911-1137, 2 vols. (MGH Hilfsmittel, 25, Hannover, 2006).

Krüger (1892) = Emil Krüger, "Zur Herkunft der Zähringer. II und III", Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 7 (1892): 478-541 + tables, continued from ZGO 6: 553-635. (Because of bad scanning, I have not seen some of the genealogical tables in this paper.)

Meyer v. Knonau (1873) = G. Meyer von Knonau, "Zur älteren alamannischen Geschlechtskunde", Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte 13 (1873): 69-86.

MGH Libri Confrat. = Paul Piper, ed., Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libri Confraternitatum Sancti Galli Augiensis Fabariensis (Berlin, 1884).

MGH Poet. Lat. = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Poetae latini aevi carolini.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Scheidt (1751) = Christian Ludwig Scheidt, Origines Guelficae, 5 vols. (Hannover, 1751).

Schmidt (1900) = Friedrich Schmidt, Die Anfänge des welfischen Geschlechtes (2 parts, Hannover, 1900).

Stälin (1841) = Christoph Friedrich Stälin, Wirtembergische Geschichte (Erster Theil, Stuttgart & Tübingen, 1841).

Tellenbach (1957) = Gerd Tellenbach, "Exkurs über die ältesten Welfen im West- und Ostfrankreich", in Gerd Tellenbach, ed., Studien und Vorarbeiten zur Geschichte des großfränkischen und frühdeutschen Adels (Forschungen zur oberrheinischen Landesgeschichte 4, Freiburg, 1957), 335-340, reprinted in Gerd Tellenbach, Ausgewählte Abhandlungen und Aufsätze, 5 vols. (Stuttgart, 1988), 3: 826-832.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 16 August 2012.

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