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Order of the Golden Fleece

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Ordre de la Toison d'Or

The Order of the Golden Fleece was created by Philippe III 'le Bon', Duke of Burgundy, on January 10th, 1430. His objective was to bring together people of exceptional quality and influence that could strengthen the coherence of the territorial possessions of the House of Burgundy. Through expansion and inheritance of these territories, the leadership of the Order passed over to the House of Habsburg (1478), and then to the House of Bourbon (1700).

In 1700, the death of Felipe V de Borbón. Subsequently, there have been controversies around Bonapartist nominations (1809-1813) and a separate Carlist branch in Spain (1836-1900).

Throughout the ages, the Order has had significant influence on the way territorial and political structures in Europe evolved, given that the carriers of the Order where in principle required to consult one another in the event of war and other worldly matters. Today, the Order of the Golden Fleece remains in practice with both an Austrian and a Spanish branch, and may have its influence based on the fact that members are selected not only on the basis of ascendance but on their political role in Europe today.

Project Structure

  1. About the Order
    1. Organization
    2. Heraldry (under construction)
    3. Grand Masters
    4. Officers
  2. Knights of the Golden Fleece
    1. Knights of the Golden Fleece - 1430-1700
    2. Knights of the Spanish Branch (Bourbon, since 1700)
    3. Knights of the Austrian Branch (Habsburg, since 1711)
  3. Families and Dynasties
    1. Genealogy of the Knights sticker_new_left.gif
    2. Ancestral seats and castles
  4. Wars, Conflicts and Historic Events sticker_new_left.gif
    1. The Order and the shaping of Europe's political map (under construction)
    2. Overview of Wars and Conflicts
  5. Addendum: Workshop (the work in progress on 'unconnected' Golden Fleece profiles)

Wikipedia links about the Order

  • Français (Ordre de la Toison d'Or) - English (Order of the Golden Fleece) - Español (Orden del Toisón de Oro) - Deutsch (Orden vom Goldenen Vlies)
  • Historically, French was and is the official language of the order.

About this Project

Basic objective

Through a full 'inventory' of the Order, this project will cut across all sections of European nobility of all ranks. By adopting a systematical approach, we can achieve the following:

  • Tighter Geni connections between families in Europe's nobility
  • Broader European connections for Geni users connected into the 'big tree'


  1. Inventorize all Knights of the Order (in chronological order of election/nomination)
  2. Identify existing profiles on Geni
  3. Search possible connections for non-existing profiles, and create them
  4. Seek the connection of all profiles to the 'big tree'
  5. Verify close family (ascendants, descendants, sibblings, cousins) for each Knight
  6. Merge duplicate profiles
  7. Eliminate errors
  8. Create Master Profiles
  9. Add reference material (archives, Wikipedia)
  10. Add pictures (paintings, photos)
  11. ...

Project workload

This project will be a perpetual work in progress. The total number of past and current members of the Order of the Golden Fleece is about 1,800 members, the majority of them spread across the Spanish and Austrian branches (after 1700). We will expand this project progressively to include a complete, verified list of all members of the Order.

How to collaborate?

When you read these lines, the project may seem in a pretty advanced stage. However, numbers alone don't count. There are tens of thousands of profiles to be examined, researched, added...

A good way to collaborate is to start discussions in the project, suggesting ideas and recommendations.

One idea that may make sense is to take 'ownership' of a particular family. As you will see, there are many families with a long history in the Order, with many family members being Knights at various stages of the Order's history.

Above all... ENJOY!