Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wait, Isn't One Royal House Enough?

Coat of Arms of the House of Capet – a blue field strewn with Lilies

Hello Family,
No, one royal house isn't enough. Let's keep going with our famous ancestors. Yesterday we introduced ourselves to our 27th Great Grandfather William I of England. Tonight I introduce you to another 27th Great Grandfather from another line. Drum Roll Please.............

King Henry I of France of the Capetian house - our 27th Great Grandfather. I know, I know. You knew it all along didn't you? You just knew there was something special about you but try as you might, you could never get anyone else to agree. Well, here is all the proof you need, and we haven't even started. There are still names down the line that will shock you.................And you thought we were all descendants of some dirt farmers from the high plains of Montana. Well, we are but how nice to have our humble origins seasoned with a bit of the silver, gold, glitter and snobbery of the finest Royal houses in Europe.

OK, Let's get back to King Henry I. This Great Grandfather was born in May 4, 1008 and died August 4, 1060. He became the King of France in 1031 and remained so until his death.

During his reign France dimenished in size to its smallest land area in history, gobbled up by everyone else that had more 'determination'. Some historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.

To defend his throne against his mother, his brothers Robert and Eudes, and subsequently against the Count of Blois, he secured, at the cost of territorial concessions, the aid of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, and of Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou. After Robert admitted defeat, Henry unwisely granted him the Duchy of Burgundy. It was a mistake because it set him up to be a powerful rival to the French kingdom and his throne.

Now this is interesting because our two 27th Great Grandfathers had a bit of a falling out. First understand that our Great Grandfather William I was the nephew in law of Henry I. William, later William I of England, became Henry's number one enemy. Grandpa William successfully resisted two invasions by Grandpa Henry. Well, it seems there are problems even in the finest families.


Seal of Henry I

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