The Nevers Family

DFH Volume 1 Issue

A couple of issues ago, Charlemagne was featured along with a lineage from him to Wilber Thomas Dayton.  It contained several generations of the Nevers family.  Cammie [Dayton] Luckey, daughter of Charles A. Dayton, wrote me to ask about the Nevers family in our family tree, so this issue will give a brief answer to her question. 

The male De Nevers were Counts.  A count was the ruler of a county.  The land was under his stewardship. The County of Nevers is a historic county in what was known at the time as the province of Burgundy in central France. Its principal town was Nevers. It roughly corresponds to the later province of Nivernais and the modern of department of Nièvre. (from Wikipedia)

Here are the vital statistics for our Nevers grampas and grammas:

  • Ermengarde DE NEVERS, (born: 1073–Died 1100), daughter of Renaud II, Count of Nevers and Auxerre, and of Ida de Forez.  She married Miles (Milo) de Courtenay (died 1127), son of Jocelin de Courtenay and Isabel, daughter of Guy I of Montlhéry.1
  • Renaud II of NEVERS, died 1089, Count of Nevers and Auxerre was the son of William I of Nevers, Count of Nevers and Ermengarde of Tonnerre.  He married Agnes of Beaugency.2

The Origine et Historia Brevi Nivernensium Comitum mentions that Renaud II served as co-ruler to his father but predeceased him on 5 August 1089. His death left William I as the only Count of Nevers and William II as his heir apparent. On 20 June 1098, his grandfather died and William II succeeded to the County of Nevers. (William II should not be confused with his paternal uncle William of Nevers, Count of Tonnere).

He took part in the Crusade of 1101. He set out in February 1101 with 15,000 men, but his army failed to take the heavily garrisoned Konya and was virtually wiped out during the disastrous Battle of Heraclea Cybistra. He arrived in Antioch with only a handful of knights.

He persuaded Louis VI to break peace with Henry I and throw his support behind William Clito in 1115. He was imprisoned shortly afterwards by Theobald, count of Blois.

He participated in the Council of Troyes which opened on 14 January 1129 and is known for his support of the Second Crusade.

He is believed to have been buried in Chartreuse, where Bernard of Clairvaux attempted and failed to resurrect him.[from Wikipedia]

  • William I of NEVERS, born prior to 1089, reigned 1098 – 21 August 1148, was a crusader in the Crusade of 1101.3

1 SOURCE: Royalty for Commoners, Roderick W. Stuart, Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1995

2 ibid.

3 ibid.

History of county of Nevers

The county itself dates from approximately the beginning of the 10th century. The county has frequently been associated with the neighboring Duchy of Burgundy; it was included among the lands and titles held by Henry I, Duke of Burgundy. Beginning with Renauld I, Count of Nevers, the county was held jointly with that of the County of Auxerre. Nevers came under the rule of the Count of Flanders in the 14th century, and from there, into the possessions of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, briefly reuniting the two lands. Philip’s younger son Philip was granted the County of Nevers, passing later into the possession of a cadet branch of the Dukes of Cleves. From 1539, the rulers of Nevers styled themselves as Duke of Nivernais. In 1565 Louis Gonzaga became duke of Nivernais by marriage with Henriette of Cleves. His successor Charles II sold the duchy to Cardinal Mazarin. The duchy survived until the French Revolution, the last Duke being Louis Jules Mancini Mazarini, who lost his title in the Revolution, but survived the Reign of Terror to die of natural causes in 1798.(from Wikipedia)

When it comes to European nobility, there is much repetition of names (Louis I, II, III, etc., Philip I, II, III etc. ……).  So what might at first thought to be a king might actually be a duke.  The Daytons have all variations of aristocrats from emperor and King to Baron and knight. We Daytons had ancestral royalty and/or nobles in England, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Russia, and many other countries around Europe.  Keep in mind that the Royalty of conquering countries sometimes appointed their relations to rule the conquered land.  In the next issue I will list a number of famous grampas and grammas of which we can proud to call our blood relatives. 

Categories: Ancient Grandfathers

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