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14 proven ancestors of Charlemagne

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  • Martin de Laon (647 - 678)
    He was Count of Laon in the late 7th century. His ancestry is unknown. It has been speculated that he was the husband of Bertrada de Prüm , and father of her children, but this is not confirmed by any ...
  • Saint Itta of Nivelles (c.592 - 652)
    Saint Iduberga ( Itta , Ittaberga , Yduberga , Ida ) (592-652 at Nivelle). After the death of her husband Pépin , on the advice of the missionary Bishop of Maastricht Saint Amand, she founded the Bened...
  • Pepin of Landen (c.580 - c.639)
    Ancestry Unknown - although Wikipedia claims Carloman as his father, according to the Chronicle of Fredegar. The Chronicle of Fredegar is a fascinating document, but internal evidence and comparison to...
  • Saint Dode of Metz (c.583 - c.611)
    Many historians reject her existence. She is said to be daughter of Arnoaldus , and Oda , a Suevian. From Sewell Genealogy Site. Online Clothilde Female, (about 586 - ) Clothilde|b. a 586|p3053...
  • Saint Arnoul, bishop of Metz (c.582 - 640)
    Arnulf (or Arnoul ), Bishop of Metz. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church Feast July 18, Patron Saint of beer brewing, Stammvater und Hausheiliger der Karolinger. His ancestry is uncertain. He was prob...

This project uses an ahnentafel of Charlemagne to identify and cut the fake lines in his ancestry.


The Emperor Charlemagne is the ancestor of most, perhaps all Europeans. His ancestry goes back only a few generations but he has become the gateway for hundreds of fake genealogies back to antiquity, all based on wishful thinking.

Scholars generally concede that only 14 ancestors of Charlemagne can be proven. Everything else is academic conjecture or amateur speculation.

Note: Not all scholars accept all 14 of these ancestors. Some place the number lower, at 8, 10, or 12. See, e.g., Todd Farmerie, "The 8 proven ancestors of Charlemagne" at soc.genealogy.medieval, Mar. 7, 1999.

How to Participate

  • Use the ahnentafel below to identify ancestors of Charlemagne, then add those ancestors to the project.
  • Cut any lines that do not appear in the ahnentafel.
  • If you find a contemporary academic source that changes or adds to this information, start a project discussion.
  • The best place to search for updates and corrections to this information is the archives of soc.genealogy.medieval.

Reading an ahnentafel

An ahnentafel is a numbered list of a person's ancestors. If you are looking at a person on the list, that person's father is their number times 2. That person's mother is that number times 2 plus 1. A child's number is one-half their father's number.

The proven ancestry of Charlemagne

Generation I

Generation II

Generation III

Generation IV

Generation V

Generation VI

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