Post by John Higgins Post by Peter Stewart
By the way, Leo has also taken over an assumption about the parents of
Gaucher of Châtillon that is very likely to be a reversal of their
families - his father is named in Genealogics as "Henri I de Châtillon"
and his mother as "Ermengarde de Montjay", but as cogently argued by
Jean-Noël Mathieu in 1992 his father was probably Henri de Montjay and
his mother Ermengarde the heiress of Châtillon. Mathieu also
persuasively refuted the speculation by William Mendel Newman that
Gaucher of Châtillon's wife may have belonged to the seigneurial family
of Pierrefonds rather than being a daughter of Hugo Cholet of Roucy.
Is this the work by Jean-Noël Mathieu that is mentioned above?
Jean-Noël Mathieu, A propos des châtelains de Châtillon-sur-Marne, Mémoires de la Société d'agriculture, commerce, sciences et arts du département de la Marne, vol. 107, pp. 7-27 (1992)
I hadn't looked at Mathieu's article for some time, but now that my
memory has been refreshed it's not 100% convincing about the descent of
Châtillon, though I agree it seems more likely that Ermengarde was the
heiress of the family rather than that her husband Henri was the heir.
We know for certain that Gui I of Châtillon (died after 1087) and his
wife Ermengarde had sons named Gaucher and Jacques. Mathieu concluded
that Ermengarde was either a sister of Gaucher and Jacques or a daughter
of the latter, but I think she was more probably daughter of the former
and still young when Gaucher was killed on crusade in August 1101.
She and her husband Henri occur first in a charter along with Jacques
that is difficult to date precisely. It is a donation to Saint-Remi de
Reims confirmed on 7 May 1123 but possibly made some while earlier ("nos
videlicet Jacobus de Castellione filius Guidonis, et Henricus de
Montegayo, et Hermengardis uxor mea ... Acta sunt apud Damairacum et
confirmata sunt apud castrum Virtutum an. M. C. XXIII ... in mense maii,
nonis ipsius mensis"). The charter was considered suspect by Pierre
Varin in the early-19th century, but in 2007 Kimberly LoPrete thought it
was reworked or carelessly copied and not an outright fabrication.
Anyway, there is no reason to doubt that Jacques occurred along with
Henri of Montjay and the latter's wife Ermengarde, and that Henri was
probably the direct informant of the scribe since he referred to "my
wife". Henri first occurs with the denomination Châtillon ("Henricus de
Castellione") in 1117. It seems less likely to me that he appeared as a
donor along with his wife's brother or father after this than that he
did so with her paternal uncle who had acted as castellan between the
time of her father's death in 1101 and her marriage by 1117.
LoPrete argued that the donation confirmed in 1123 may have been made up
to a decade beforehand, which I find unconvincing. Mathieu placed it in
1123, making it odd that he thought Jacques was still the castellan of
Châtillon in his own right while his brother- or son-in-law had already
taken this as his surname. It is also add, given Mathieu's strong
conviction about hereditary onomastics, that he wasn't bothered by the
absence of the name Jacques among descendants of Henri and Ermengarde
until the sixth generation whereas Gaucher occurs in each of the next
three generations after them.