Gérard, count of Auvergne

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Gérard, comte d'Auvergne

Also Known As: "Gerhard of Auvergne"
Birthdate: (41)
Birthplace: Auvergne, France
Death: June 25, 841 (37-45)
Fontenoy, Aisne, Picardie, France (Died in battle)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Rotrude, daughter of Louis I the Pious and Ermengard and Mathilde of Aquitaine
Father of Ranulf I d'Auvergne, Comte de Poitiers Duc d'Aquitaine; Gerard d'Auvergne and Hildegarde d'Auvergne

Occupation: Count of Auvergne, Greve av Auvergne 839-841, Count of Auvergne 839 - June 25, 841, Conde de Auvergne, Count of Auyerne, Comte amovible, d'Auvergne, Duc, d'Aquitaine, Comte d'Auvergne (6e, 839-841), Comte, du Limousin
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Gérard, count of Auvergne

Gerard, Comte d'Auvergne

GERARD (-killed in battle Fontenoy 25 Jun 841). Comte d'Auvergne, is first found in records in the Vita Hludowici Imperatoris in 839. His parentage is unproven, but one document links him to Adaltrude as his mother. He had one known brother, Guillaume. He is believed to have married twice and had three children. He died June 25, 841 in battle at Fontenoy, during the Carolingian civil wars.

Three Theories for Gerard, Comte d'Auvergne

Gerard, Comte d'Auvergne is truly a mystery man. Even the best medieval scholars can't agree on his parentage, on whom he married, or on who mothered his children. The basis of the theories is two-fold - how one translates church Latin as used in the eighth and ninth centuries, and a need to trace lineage back to Charlemagne for royal pedigrees. There has been much scholarly debate on whether Gerard was the son-in-law or the brother-in-law of Pepin I, King of Aquitaine. The term used, "comes et gener quondam Pippini, " is translated both ways.

I. The Link to Louis I, the Pious. The oldest theory is that Gerard married two daughters of Louis I, the Pious. This is theory found on Wikipedia and many personal genealogy sites. This theory was put forth in the 1930's and was accepted as fact until the beginning of this century.

According to this theory, Gerard first married Rotrude, daughter of Louis I and Ermengarde. They had three children before her death. Gerard then married Rotrude's sister Hildegarde d'Aquitaine. There were no children of this second marriage.

If this theory is the correct one, the children of Gerard were the great-grandchildren of Charlemagne.

See these links:

II. The Link to Pepin I, King of Aquitaine There has been much scholarly debate on whether Gerard was the son-in-law or the brother-in-law of Pepin I, King of Aquitaine. The term used, "comes et gener quondam Pippini, " is translated both ways. If Gerard was the son-in-law, he was much older than his bride.

According to this theory, his first wife's name is not known, and not all scholars who accept the Pepin theory accept that there was a first wife. However, this earlier marriage is indicated by the chronology of the family of Gérard´s known wife, which shows that his son Ramnulf [also written Rainulf and Ranulf] could not have been born from that marriage. His second wife was a daughter of PEPIN I King of Aquitaine [Carolingian] & his wife Ringardis. Some sources name her Mathilde while others name her Hildegarde. There was at least one child of this marriage, a son named Gerard. A third child exists, born between Rainulf and Gerard II. Scholars disagree whether this daughter was from the first marriage or the second, but most place her as the daughter of Mathilde/Hildegarde. Her name is not known, but she is believed to have married Foulques de Limoges.

The basis of this theory lies heavily on a strict translation of the phrase comes et gener quondam Pippini,. As used in other documents of the era, it means "son-in-law." In later documents it can mean either son-in-law or brother-in-law. The main proponents of this theory are Charles Cawley who operates the website for FMG (Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, often called MedLands), and Christian Settipani, best known for his work on the genealogy and prosopography of elites in Europe and the Near East

Cawley lists no husband and no children for Rotrude or Hildgarde, daughters of Louis I. He does add this about Hildegarde, which does not appear in the Wikipedia article cited in theory #1 - Hildegarde was the Abbess of Notre-Dame and Saint-Jean at Laon. She supported her brother Lothaire against her half-brother Charles and, in Oct 841, imprisoned Adalgar at Laon. After Laon was besieged, she surrendered Adalgar but was herself released by her half-brother. The Annales Formoselenses record the death in 857 of "Hildegard, Lothawici regis filia", corroborated in the Annales Alemannici. This Latin phrase translates as Hildegard, daughter of king Louis.

If this theory is the correct one, the children of Gerard were the great-great-grandchildren of Charlemagne.

See these links:

III. The Link to Rorico, comte de Rennes et du Maine This is a relatively new theory. Rorico (or Rorgon) was the Count of Rennes from 819 and of Maine from 832 until his death. He was a son of count Gauzlin I of Maine and Adeltrude, both of whom are named as his parents in a charter of 839 by Rorgo I to the Abbey of Saint-Maur de Glanfeuil. He married Bilechilde and had four children. Gerard, comte d'Auvergne, is supposed to have married Adaltrude, a daughter of this Rorico, and she was the mother of his children. He then married again to a daughter of Pepin I, King of Aquitaine.

The French Wikipedia article claims Rorico had illegitimate children with Rotrude daughter of Charlemagne and Hildegarde. Apparently, there was an illegitimate daughter who may have been named Adaltrude, as well as the daughter Rorico had with wife Bilechilde, named Adaltrude. The article links Gerard, comte d'Auvergne, as the husband of the illegitimate Adaltrude.

There are certainly problems with this theory. The Wikipedia article contains a statement that forged documents had been submitted to a genealogy body, which casts doubt on the entire theory. If you rely on the English Wikipedia article, there is no mention of a relationship to Charlemagne but there is also the possibility of all the information being incorrect, due to forged documents. If you rely on the French article, the descent from Charlemagne is from an illegitimate birth.

In addition, Ramnulf, son of Gerard, married a daughter of Rorico and Bilechilde, the second Adaltrude. Ramnulf in the French article married exactly the same woman his father married in the English version.

See these links:

Children of Gérard comte d'Auvergne - exact parentage depends on the theory you follow:

  • RAINULF - (815-killed in battle near Brissarthe Oct 866). He was installed as RAINULF I Comte de Poitou in [839]. He married a daughter of Rorico I, Comte du Maine & his wife Bilechilde, and had three children.
  • DAUGHTER - believed to have married Foulques de Limoges,
  • GERARD (before 841 - before 879), married Adaltrude and had three children.
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