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Descent from Charlemagne
I have not yet studied your chart on Charlemagne. The point I was trying to
make is that if one is climbing his family tree and suddenly connects with
say a medieval king, he should not jump to the conclusion that he is
automatically descended from Charlemagne.
The Germanic tribes that replaced the Roman Empire in Western Europe had a
rather democratic idea of electing their chiefs, somewhat like the Indians of
the Great Plains in the US such as the Sioux or Apaches.
This practice existed not only in the Holy Roman Empire but elsewhere as
well. It persisted in Poland until Poland disappeared from the map in the
late 18th cent.
Likewise, the early kings of France were elected and their throne fought
over, and indeed, the French monarchy barely existed up until the time of the
Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
There were about 30 great feudal princes who paid little attention to the
king. The Carolingian kings tried unsuccessfully to hold onto the throne.
But in 887 the French nobility elected a new family, the Robertians. Odo was
elected king but upon his death the French nobility gave the crown back to
the Carolingians. When the last Carolingian king died in 987, the nobles
elected Huge Capet as king, starting a new dynasty.
Dane Bowen in Alexandria, Va., researching Bowen, Bacon, Carlton (Carleton),
Luker, Sanders (Saunders), Chaudoin (Chaudoins), Maverick, Richey (Ritchie,
Richie, Ritchey), Spence, Sumner, Way, and Wells families.
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