The objective of this exercise is to establish a historically justifiable genealogy for the counts of the County of Loon / Looz (in current Belgian Limburg. The county roughly bordered Horne (North), Liège (East), Namur (South), and Brabant (West).
The county existed as an entity from 1014-1364. The genealogy of the counts van Loon is particularly difficult to establish - specifically between 950-1200. Indeed, we do need to take into consideration the ascendants of the first count – Giselbert – in order to understand the chronology. Historians have been particularly puzzled about events between 1010-1035, when there was a rapid succession of possessions amongst de ‘founders’ of the county. Just consider this: historians have identified four Arnolds in that timeframe, each with a Lutgarde as spouse (Arnould de Valenciennes, Arnold van Gent, Arnold van Loon, and Arnould de Florennes.
Because of the above complexity, I suggest to focus on the first six counts van Loon, which covers 1014-1171.
I have researched the traditional reference works and reviewed the expert opinions as they emerged about 20-30 years ago. The most recent research was conducted by Prof. Donald Jackman, in 2010. Jackman’s analysis would upset the generally accepted genealogies. His approach is one of analysis of chronological contradiction, which sheds new light. When documentary proof fails, he applies prosopophical analysis in order to bring logic in what can’t be proven. On the other hand, since Jackman’s research, new documentary proof has been brought to light by local researchers from Liège, conducted by Jules Vandeweyer. This research actually limits the changes to the traditional genealogy. Vandeweyer’s research is accepted by Professor Jean Barten, an older expert historian on van Loon, and is now also reported by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy.
Based on all this analysis, I recommend the genealogy which you see on the protect page. This corresponds with all the recent research into van Loon. It diverges from Jackman simply where Jackman did not have access to new findings. Jackman, however, develops some different scenarios from the 7th count onwards – which is an additional reasons for limiting our van Loon genealogy to the first six counts, for now.
What does this mean for what’s on Geni today?
1. There is a lot of incoherence and many obvious mistakes in the lines in and around van Loon. By adopting our van Loon genealogy, we bring some solution to the incoherence.
2. Given that the van Loons conducted an active ‘politics-through-marriage’ policy, they were close entwined with the surrounding families. Some connections may prove to be wrong, and need to be curated accordingly.
A final word. A typical challenge is to find certainty about the female descendants at that time. Some descendants are proven beyond doubt, others are suppositions based on the occurence of names in diplomas and donations (in particular in relationship to monasteries).
Many Geni users have links into these genealogies precisely through the maternal links.
My recommendation is leave this up to further research by the users. We should, however, formally adopt master profiles for the counts van Loon AND for the male and female descendants that are proven beyond a doubt. Of course, we can do this progressively.
My recommendation is to take ‘my’ counts van Loon as the basis for the master profiles, and then remap all duplicates to those masters, progressively.
If any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask!