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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 tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Grandfather, the Saviour of Christian France and Europe

The Battle of Tours and the Salvation of a Christian Europe

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we learn about my 41st and 46th Great Grandfather, Charles Martel. 41st on the Williamson Line and 46th on the Mattson / Pierce line.

I saw his name on the family tree and failed to stop long enough to learn his story. Then last week I watched a special on the Dark Ages (History Channel). A section of the documentary was devoted to Charles Martel, a French General who defeated the invading Muslim army in 732 A.D.

This general saved Christianity in Europe and ushered in the Dark Ages. He stopped the spread of Islam in West. The documentary said that he was the grandfather of Charlemagne. That's when the light came on and I knew we were related on both sides of our family.

Today then, may I introduce you to a famous grandfather in history and Christendom.

Charles Martel (ca. 688 – 22 October 741), Charles Martel, literally Charles the Hammer, was a Frankish military and political leader, who served as Mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian kings and ruled de facto during an interregnum (737–43) at the end of his life, using the title Duke and Prince of the Franks. In 739 he was offered the title of Consul by the Pope, but he refused.He is remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, in which he defeated an invading Muslim army and halted northward Islamic expansion in western Europe.

A brilliant general, he lost only one battle in his career (the Battle of Cologne). He is a founding figure of the Middle Ages, often credited with a seminal role in the development of feudalism and knighthood, and laying the groundwork for the Carolingian Empire. He was also the grandfather of Charlemagne.

The Tomb of Charles Martel in France

Martel was born in Heristal (Herstal in present-day Belgium), the illegitimate son of the mayor, duke Pepin II and his concubine Alpaida.

The following tale is told of Charles and the origins of his name: in 676, Pepin and his wife Plectrude were talking together in private when they were intruded upon by a messenger, bringing news that the Mayor's mistress, Alpaida, had given birth to a son at Herstal. The messenger, fearful of arousing the wrath of Plectrude, decided not to announce the news directly. Instead, he said: "Long live the king, it is a carl" ('man'). Pepin, equally cautious of his wife, dismissed the messenger as follows: "A carl, is it? Then let him be called that." This was done, and, so legend claims, the child was named "Carl". In German-speaking countries he is known as Karl Martell. Alpaida also bore Pepin another son, Childebrand.

The Defeat of the Muslims and the Saviour of a Christian Europe

The Battle of Tours earned Charles the cognomen "Martel" ('Hammer'), for the merciless way he hammered his enemies. Many historians, including Sir Edward Creasy, believe that had he failed at Tours, Islam would probably have overrun Gaul, and perhaps the remainder of Western Europe. Gibbon made clear his belief that the Umayyad armies would have conquered from Rome to the Rhine, and even England, having the English Channel for protection, with ease, had Martel not prevailed. Creasy said "the great victory won by Charles Martel ... gave a decisive check to the career of Arab conquest in Western Europe, rescued Christendom from Islam, [and] preserved the relics of ancient and the germs of modern civilization" (bearing in mind that Arab-Islamic invaders had already forcibly converted most of the population of North Africa and the Middle East, which had been the cradle of Christianity, almost completely eliminated the Zoroastrians from Persia and destroyed the Royal Zoroastrian libraries, and that Muslim invaders would later demolish or destroy thousands of Buddhist and Hindu places of worship and learning within the Indian subcontinent). Gibbon's belief that the fate of Christianity hinged on this battle is echoed by other historians including John B. Bury, and was very popular for most of modern historiography. It fell somewhat out of style in the twentieth century, when historians such as Bernard Lewis contended that Arabs had little intention of occupying northern France. More recently, however, many historians have tended once again to view the Battle of Tours as a very significant event in the history of Europe and Christianity. Equally, many, such as William Watson, still believe this battle was one of macrohistorical world-changing importance, if they do not go so far as Gibbon does rhetorically.

In the modern era, Matthew Bennett and his co-authors of "Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World", published in 2005, argue that "few battles are remembered 1,000 years after they are fought ... but the Battle of Poitiers, (Tours) is an exception ... Charles Martel turned back a Muslim raid that had it been allowed to continue, might have conquered Gaul." Michael Grant, author of "History of Rome", grants the Battle of Tours such importance that he lists it in the macrohistorical dates of the Roman era.

Contemporary historians believe that a failure by Martel at Tours could have been a disaster, destroying what would become Western civilization after the Renaissance. Certainly all historians agree that no power would have remained in Europe able to halt Islamic expansion had the Franks failed. William E. Watson, one of the most respected historians of this era, strongly supports Tours as a macrohistorical event

Relationship Chart for the Williamson and

Mattson / Pierce Lines

41st Great Grandfather

Charles Martel married Rotrude of Treves

to

Pepin, King of France married Berthe Countess of Laon
to
Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire married Hildegard
to
Louis I Holy Roman Emperor married Emengarde Princess of Hesbave
to
Louis II Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire married Engelberga, Empress of Germany
to
Emengarde Princess of the HRE. married Dux Boso de Provence
to
Kunigunde, Princess of Provence married Sigebert De Verdun
to
Wigerich Count of Trier and Ardennes married Kunigunde, Countess.
to
Ralph Comte de Bayeux married Hedwig Von Nordgau
to
Frederic I, Count of Luxemburg married Miss Gleiberg
to
Ogive of Luxembourg married Baldwin IV Count of Flanders
to
Baudouin V Count of Flanders married Adaele Princess of France
to
Matilda married to William the Conqueror of England
to
Henry I King of England married Sibylia Corbet
to
Princess of England Elizabeth Beauclerc married Lord Fergus Galloway
to
Uchtred of Galloway married Gunhild De Dunbar
to
Alan Lord of Galloway married Helen de I’Lsle
to
Helen McDonald of Galloway married Roger de Quincy
to
Elizabeth de Quincy married Alexander Comyn, Earl of Bucan
to
Elizabeth Comyn married G Umfreville Earl of Angus
to
Robert De Umfreville married Lucy De Kyme
to
Eleanor De Umfaville married Gilbert Boroughdon
to
Baroness Eleanor Boroughdon married Henry Talboys
to
Sir Wlater Talboys, Sheriff of Lincolnshire married Margaret Deincourt
to
Lord Waiter Tailboys married Alice Stafford
to
Dorothy Tailboys married Sir Hugh Tylney
to

Anges, Duchess of Norfolk married Sir Thomas Howard
to
Dorothy Howard married Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby
to
Jane Stanley married Edward Sutton, Baron of Dudley
to
Edward Sutton married Elizabeth Tomlinson
to
Ann Sutton married John Bagley
to
Edward Bagley married Ann Gregorie
to
Ann Bagley married William Brinton
to
John Willis married Ester Brinton
to
Henry Willis married Mary Rachel Underwood
to
John Willis - Phebe Bennett
to
Bennett Willis - Katherine Nosseman
to
Jonathan Willis - Anabella Phlegar
to
Margaret Ann Willis - George Matthew Williamson
to
William J. Williamson - Effie Helen Victor
to
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.
to
Charles Williamson married Luella Mattson
to

Me

_______________________________________________

Relationship Chart (Mattson Line)

46th Great Grandfather
Charles Martel married Rotrude of Treves

to

Pepin, King of France married Berthe Countess of Laon

to
Canbert Lyon married Bertrada de Austrasia
to
Berthe Countess of Laon married Pepin, King of France
to
Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
to
Pepin King of Italy
to
Benard King of Italy and Lombardy
to
Pbepin li Quentin Count
to
Herbert I Count of Vermandois
to
Herbert II Count of Vermandoie
to
Robert De Vermandois Count of Vermandois
to
Adelaid De Vermandos
to
Comte Hugues I d’Autun Bishop of Auxerre Ct of Chalon
to
Ementrude Chalons Countess
to
King Alfonso VI “The Valiant” de Castile y Leon King
to
Urraca Alfonsez Queen of Castile
to
Alfonso VII King of Castille
to
Alfonso VIII King of Castille
to
Blanca A De Castile
to
Philip “The Bold” III King of France
to
England, Marguerite Princess of France
to
Thomas Earl of Brotherton
to
Sir Edward Woodhouse
to
John Wodehouse
to
John Wodehouse
to
John De Wodehouse
to
Sir Edward Woodhouse
to
Thomas Woodhouse
to
Ann Woodhouse
to
Robert Coke or Cooke
to
Alice Cook
to
William Sr. Pond
to
Robert Pond Sr.
to
William Pond
to
Abigail Pond
to
Abigail Clapp
to
William Clapp
to
Elizabeth Clapp
to
Joseph Blake
to
Zipporah Blake
to
Nathaniel Evans
to
Nathaniel Evans Jr.
to
Hannah Betsy Evans
to
Joseph E. McCrillis
to
Isabel Deanora Helgerson McCrillies
to
Vesta Althea Dennis
to
Violet Mae Pierce
to
Luella, John, Linda, Marvin
to
Me

1 comment:

  1. That was very interresting to read. I too am a decendant of Charles Martel.

    I am finding that the European royals go way back into ancient history with their ancesters being royals of Isreal, Persia, Egypt, Babylon and others. After Christ birth and death the royal lines seems mostly be in the European countries due to having died out in many, not all, of the other countries.

    I am fidning it extremely interresting to read of some of my royal ancesters in the Bible such as Ptolemy, Cassander, Esther and more.

    At this time I do not have Charles Martel linked back that far but due to royals marrying only other royals and high ups, and due to them marrying cousins their family tree dont fork very far. Which means that Charles Martel's ancesters are likely amongst the ones who link back to the royals of the countries and in the Bible that I mentioned.

    I find it all very interresting. And because they are royals there is lots of historical stories about many of them.

    You probably already know this but the daughter in law of Charles Marter is named Bertha-With-The-Big-Foot and sometimes called Berth-Goosefoot. She was a Queen. It is believed, but not proven, that she was the origional Mother Goose because of her foot deformatiy and because she enjoyed telling children ryming stories. She is also called something like Bertrada (spell?)

    I found your site while I was doing google research on Charles Martel. I will save it to my favorites and look around on your site some more. Thank you for the great info.

    From your distant cousin from Indiana,
    BJ

    ReplyDelete