2015-08-03 21:47:19 UTC
When we look at the father of Otgive (Otgiva) + 1030, wife of count Baldwin IV of Flanders, we arrive at a doubtful paternity. Which of the two brothers was her father? If you want more background on the pros and cons you should first visit the concerning page on the website of Stewart Balwin:
The problem deciding the paternity lies also on the field of chronology. We don't know when Balwin IV and Otgive married. Stewart suggests a date of birth for their son Baldwin V around 1012 or earlier.
Heinz Renn, "Das erste Luxemburger Grafenhaus (963-1136)", in: Rheinisches Archiv 39 (1941), page 116, writes the following: "Wir können die Ehe der Otviga mit dem Grafen von Flandern vielmehr um 1005 ansetzen. Ihr Gemahl, Balduin II, steht damals im Mannesalter, da er seit 986 dem Tode seines Vaters, wenn anfangs auch noch in unmündigen Alter, als regierender Graf von Flandern erscheint. Als Balduin von Flandern 1006 die Übergriffe ins Reich unternimmt, ist er sicherlich schon der Verschwägerte König Heinrichs II.".
I admit, it is just an opinion of Renn but it set me thinking.
Baldwin IV was born 980x5,
He was the only son of Arnulf II (born ca.960, married ca.980, died ca.988), the only son of Baldwin II (born ca.936, married ca.960, died 962) so he must have grown up with the fact that the line of counts of Flanders twice almost extinguished by an early death of his father and grandfather. At the turn of the milennium he was 15/20 years of age nearing the age when his father married. In 1006 he started a war by invading the neighbouring counties of Valencijn and Ename. A counterattack by the emperor Henry II and the French king Robert II was brushed off. In 1007 emperor Henry II came back and conquered the castle of Ghent resulting in a peace treaty and Baldwin IV retreated from the conquered Valencijn and Ename.
Being unmarried Baldwin took a gambling chance with his warfare. He must have been confident before he started. His future wife Otgive was a niece of the emperor. If he was married before he went to war he might have gambled that the emperor might not act. On the other hand a marriage with a kinswoman of the emperor might have been a result of the peace he made. One or the other, I guess that Baldwin IV might indeed have been married around 1005 or else in 1007. His son Baldwin V was born in or before 1012. He might have had on elder son named after his father Arnulf II, whose successor he was. He might even have had daugthers so a marriage 1005x10 is certainly likely and 1005x07 plausable.
Gisela, sister of Otgive, married the nobleman Ralph, lord of Alost (1031/34-1052), advocate of St. Peter's Abbey in Ghent. In their family we find a son with name Gi(sel)lbert (1056-1075), lord of Folkingham and an grandson Gilbert (1088-before 1106/21), knight who went on the crusade 1096. As father of Otgive and Gisela there are two possibilities, both sons of Sigefroid "of Luxemburg": Giselbert, + 1004, count of Wallerfangen; Friedrich, + 1019, count of the Moselgau, lord of Gleiberg.
The other suggested brothers and sisters of Otgive and Gisela are: Imiza (Irmintrud)(mentioned 1055), Heinrich (1024-1047), Friedrich (1033-1065), Adalbero (1047-1072), Giselbert (1030-1056/59), Dietrich (1036-1056/59), Hermann (1045-1056), Uda.
Imiza married Welf II, count of Altdorf, + 1030, in an unknown year. Her daughter Kunigunde must have married in the end of the '30 with the Italian count of Este. They had a son Welf III who was at least 15 years of age in 1055 as he was known to have been married (widowed or divorced). This points to a mother that must have been born ultimately in the early '20. Because of this uncertainty, the age of Welf II (ca.965-1030) and his son in law Alberto Azzo of Este (996-1097) and the assumption that her elder sisters were Otgive and Gisela, the marriage of Imiza has usually been placed around 1015 or sooner and the marriage of Otgive around 1010.
Brother Heinrich is probably mentioned for the first time in 1024 as a count. That points to an minimal age of 15 years. That kind of age is usually used as marker to be able to execute a function like count etc. It probably ties in with being of age according Ripuarian Law. This gives Heinrich a birth year of 1009 or earlier. Adalbero was consecrated as bishop of Metz in 1047. Usually, there are known exceptions, that means that he must minimally must have been 30 years of age. That fixes him on 1017 or earlier. Brother Giselbert is first seen in 1030 so that gives him an estimate of 1015 or earlier. Although Friedrich is first mentioned in 1033 he and not his brother Giselbert got appointed as duke of Lower Lorraine. In 1036 he is mentioned with his younger brothers Giselbert and Dietrich. That puts him in the timeline between Heinrich and Giselbert. So probably does their sister Uda, abbess in Lúneville. The late appearance of the brothers Dietrich and Hermann points to their being the youngest sons of count Friedrich. As their father died on 6 October 1019 the youngest child must have been born in 1019 or the first half of 1020 latest. As daughter Imiza has a daughter in the early '20 she can easily have married around 1020. As girls reach their puberty around 15 years, (average estimate, there are known exceptions) she could have been born around 1005.
Most researchers have been eager to push the birth years of the children of count Friedrich in de period of the first decennium of the 11th century. Even Renn (p.115) writes: "Graf Friedrich muss seine Gattin um 985-990 heimgeführt haben", but he was under the assumption that Otgive was the eldest daughter and born after 985. Count Friedrich is first mentioned in 996 as count and in 1004 as advocate of Stavelot-Malmedy. Friedrich was a younger son of count Siegfried/Sigefroid, + ca.998. He had 5 brothers of whom two became clergy and later bishop so there was no urgent need for Friedrich to get married. But in 1004 that changed as his elder brother Giselbert was killed in Italy. The eldest brother Heinrich, first mentioned in 964, was at the time still unmarried and had no inclination to get married, and another brother Siegfried was probably already dead in 998.
According to my view his brother Giselbert died in 1004 leaving only two daughters and that left Friedrich the task to continue the bloodline by marrying and start a family with preferably lots of sons. The years of the sons first appearances suggest a much younger birth year then usually is accepted, but if one researches the offspring of the brothers one comes to the conclusion that it explains their late marriage estimates, and late first appearance of (Friedrich's) grandchildren. When brother Giselbert died his daughters probably were raised for some time in the family of uncle Friedrich from where they married and that may possibly explain the uncertainty in the tradition on the paternity of Otgive.
So no new evidence in the matter but a new look at the known facts. Too much in the past has been explained away in the direction of one big family with 10 children that one failed to look at the primary facts. In Gisela's family we find a son with the name Gi(si)lbert and a grandson with that name. No Friedrich, Heinrich, Albero, Dietrich and Hermann can be found but names as Baldwin (after uncle Baldwin of Flanders), Ralph (after the paternal grandfather and father), Gilbert (after the maternal grandfather) and Ragenfrid (named after ?). Sister Otgive could already have been married as soon as 1005 or else in 1007. The children of Friedrich + 1019, appear from (ca.1020) 1024 onwards until 1045. Before the first son of Friedrich started thinking of marriage, Baldwin V of Flanders, son of Otgive, was already married in 1028. It kind of suggests that Baldwin V and the sons of Friedrich were of the same age generation as both their parents married around the same time.
No new evidence thus but a better probability now that count Giselbert was the father of the sisters Otgive and Gisela of Wallerfangen ("Luxemburg").