The House of Courtenay was an important dynasty in medieval France originating from the castle of Courtenay in the Gâtinais (Loiret), going back to the 10th century. The dynasty descended from Athon, the first lord of Courtenay, apparently himself a descendant of the Counts of Sens and from Pharamond, reputed founder of the French monarchy in 420. Athon took advantage of the succession crisis in the Duchy of Burgundy between Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy and Robert II of France to capture a piece of land for himself, where he established his own seigneury, taking his surname from the town he founded and fortified. The Courtenay family was divided into two branches in the 12th century. The elder branch continued to rule Courtenay, but became extinct around 1150 with the death of Renaud de Courtenay, who had no male descendants. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Peter, a younger son of the Capetian King Louis VI of France. Peter and Elizabeth's descendants hence connected the House of Courtenay with a cadet branch of the House of Capet, and acquired through marriage the County of Namur and the Latin Empire of Constantinople. The cadet branch of the Courtenay participated in the crusades and came to rule the County of Edessa, a Crusader state; it became extinct around 1200. In the mid-12th century a branch of the pre-Capetian family settled in England, obtained the barony of Okehampton and inherited the title of Earls of Devon (in 1293) from the de Redvers family. The title was subsequently recreated for Hugh de Courtenay, nephew of Hugh the elder Despenser.
Region: north-central France carrier (Miles de Courtenay)
Counts of Angoulême from 839 until 1246 when the house was absorbed by the Lusignans.
Region: Poitiers, carrier (Fulk Count of Angoulême b.1048)
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan. They held the County of la Marcha from 1090 till 1314. In the late 12th century, through marriage and inheritance, a cadet branch of the family came to control the Kingdoms of Jerusalem and of Cyprus, while in the early 13th century, the main branch succeeded in the Counties of La Marche and Angoulême. As Crusader princes in the Latin East, they soon had connections with the Hethumid rulers of the Kingdom of Cilicia, which they inherited through marriage in the mid-14th century. The Armenian and Cypriot branches of the family eventually merged and the dynasty died out after the Ottoman conquest of their Asian kingdoms.
Region: carriers Hugh VI le diable the Devil (c. 1039) and his son Hugues VII & II le Brun de Lusignan (b.1065)
Counts of Alençon from 995 until 1217 and also held the County of Ponthieu for a time. Several members also used the surname Talvas. During the 11th Century some members married into the English de Warenne dynasty. The Anglo-Norman Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury was also a member of the house.
Region: Normandy (carrier English Roger de Montgomerie)
House of Millau Rouergue
Known as the Counts of Rouergue, Rodez and Millau the family ruled from the 11th century until 1313. William IV and Raymond IV of Toulouse both disputed the family seat for some time, an indication of its power. The family continued as important vassals of the Counts of Toulouse who were up until 1098 under Raymond IV de Saint Gilles also members of the House.
Region: Toulouse (carrier Richard, William IV)
House of Valois
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet (or "Direct Capetians") as kings of France from 1328 to 1589. A cadet branch of the family reigned as dukes of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482. They were descendants of Charles of Valois, the fourth son of King Philip III and based their claim to be ahead of Edward III of England and Joan II of Navarre according to the Salic law.
House of Capet
The House of Capet, or la Maison capétienne, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. As rulers of France, the dynasty succeeded the Carolingian dynasty. The name derives from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, who was known as Hugh Capet and was a cognatic descendant of the Carolingians. The direct House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne. The last of the direct Capetians were the daughters of Philip IV's three sons, and Philip IV's daughter, Isabelle. The wife of Edward II of England (1284–1327), Isabelle (c.1295–1358) overthrew her husband in favour of her son (Edward III, 1312–1377) and her lover (Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, 1287–1330), only for Edward III to execute Mortimer and have Isabelle removed from power. On the death of her brother, Charles IV, she claimed to be her father's heiress, and demanded the throne pass to her son (who as a male, an heir to Philip IV, and of adult age, was considered to have a good claim to the throne); however, her claim was refused, eventually providing a cause for the Hundred Years' War. Jeanne (1312–1349), the daughter of Louis X, succeeded on the death of Charles IV to the throne of Navarre, she now being – questions of paternity aside – the unquestioned heiress. She was the last direct Capetian ruler of that Kingdom, being succeeded by her son, Charles II of Navarre (1332–1387); his father, Philip of Évreux (1306–1343) had been a member of the Capetian House of Évreux. Mother and son both claimed on several occasions the throne of France, and later the Duchy of Burgundy. Of the daughters of Philip V and Joan of Burgundy, only the elder two proved significant. Joanna, Countess of Burgundy (1308–1349), married Eudes IV, Duke of Burgundy (1295–1350), uniting the Duchy and County of Burgundy. Her line became extinct with the death of her sole grandchild, Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (1346-1361), whose death also served to break the union between the Burgundys once more. Her sister, Margaret (1310–1382), married Louis I, Count of Flanders (1304–1346), and inherited the County of Burgundy after the death of Philip I; their granddaughter and heiress, Margaret of Dampierre (1350–1405), married the son of John II of France (1319–1364), Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (1342–1404), uniting the two domains once more. Of Charles IV's children, only Blanche (1328–1392) – the youngest, the baby whose birth marked the end of the House of Capet – survived childhood. She married Philip of Valois, Duke of Orléans (1336–1376), the son of Philip VI, but they produced no children. With her death in 1392, the House of Capet finally came to an end.
Region: Paris (numerous carriers)
Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea
The Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. By a cadet branch these counts of Burgundy founded the House of Burgundy-Spain (Casa de Borgoña-España) which ruled the kingdom of Galicia from 1111 and the Kingdoms of Castile and León from 1126 until 1369. The greatest of the free counts was Renaud III, who, from 1127, utilised the title franc-compte as a sign of independence of German or Imperial authority, but was forced to submit to Conrad III. His daughter and heiress, Beatrice, married Frederick Barbarossa and united the Anscarid inheritance with that of the Hohenstaufen.
Region: Dijon (carrier Stephen I b. 1065 Count Palatine of Burgundy, nicknamed "the Rash" (French tête hardie)
The Ardennes-Verdun dynasty is used as a label on the dynasty centered on Verdun who dominated Lotharingia in the 11th century. The founder of the dynasty was Godfrey, known as the Captive. He was a son of Count Gozlin, brother of bishop Adalbero of Metz, and Uda, a daughter of Gerard, Count of Metz, and Uda of Saxony. Godfrey was the brother of Adalbero, Archbishop of Reims. Count Gozlin's parents were Wigeric, count palatine of Lotharingia, and Cunigunde, a granddaughter of Louis II of France. All descending from Wigeric and Cunigunde, the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty was closely tied to the houses of Ardennes-Bar, Salm and Ardennes-Luxembourg. The House also ruled Bouillon.
Region: north eastern France
House of Montbelliard
The House ruled the County of Bar from 1093 until 1508, rising to become dukes, as well as commanding Lorraine and at least one member was King of Naples. Descending through the maternal line they were of the House of the Ardennes. Robert of Bar 1352–1411 married into the Valois family and his daughter Violante de Bar (also known as Yolande), became a powerful and visionary queen of Aragon. The family produced numerous crusaders such as Henri II of Bar (1190-1239) who died in Gaza. Several members married into the House of Luxembourg
Region: northeastern France (carrier Theodoric I (French: Thierry) ca. 1045)
House of Luxembourg
The house was actually a branch of the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty. In 1308, Henry, Count of Luxembourg, became German king, his son, John of Luxembourg, shortly afterwards received the Bohemian crown. No less than 4 members of the family ruled in Bohemia thereafter. The family also produced an Archbishop of Trier. From the 12th and 13th centuries the house alligned with Namur and Limburg, expanding their core territories and influence in 1354 the county of Luxembourg was elevated to a duchy. The family also produced numerous crusaders.
Region: Luxembourg (carrier Conrad I, Count of Luxembourg c. 1040)
House of Montfaucon
A branch of the Montbéliards, the family ruled Montbéliard from 1163-1444, from then on the House was combined with the Württembergs. The House also had ties to the house of Ivrée, they remained important vassals of the County of Burgdundy and the Kingdom of Arles.
Region: eastern France
House of Salm
The House of Salm was a noble family originating in the Belgian Ardennes and ruling Salm. It is above all known for the experiences of the branch which came to be located in the Vosges Mountains and over time came to rule over a principality whose capital was Badonviller then Senones. Its notable members were the counts of Salm en Ardenne, advocati of the abbaye Saint-Pierre at Senones, counts of Salm en Vosge, governors of Nancy, marshals of Lorraine, marshals of Bar, princes of the Holy Roman Empire and sovereign princes of the Principality of Salm-Salm. They ruled Salm from 1019 until 1416.
Region: eastern Belgium (carrier Herman of Salm b. 1035 German anti-king of the Holy Roman Empire who ruled from 1081)
The House was originally a branch of the Capetians and the rulers of Lorraine from the House of Châtenois, with links to Bar also. The house also produced the sub-branch House of Guise and ruled Harcourt in the 1400s.
House of Harcourt
The Harcourt were counts from 911 until 1452 when it was absorbed by the House of Vaudémont-Lorraine. The family ruled in Ponthieu, Bourbon and Alençon. John II of Harcourt (1240–1302), was marshal and admiral of France. There was also an English branch of the family that went under command of William the Conqueror at Hastings, Leicestershire, but in 1191 Robert de Harcourt of Bosworth inherited lands of his father-in-law at Stanton in Oxfordshire. Robert II of Harcourt, called le Vaillant (the Valiant) or le Fort, son of Guillaume accompanied his suzerain Richard I of England on the Third Crusade and was designated by John of England as his surety and hostage in 1200 in the peace concluded with Philip II Augustus. He also became seigneur of Elbeuf by his 1179 marriage to Jeanne of Meulan.
Region: Normandy (carrier Robert I of Harcourt b.1066)
House of Rieux
The de Rieux family held claims to the County of Harcourt during the 1400s, were they settled with the Duke of Lorraine in 1495, trading Aumale for Harcourt, and resumed the title. Prior to this they held Aumale for some time, showing themselves to be ruthlessly ambitious if not altogether powerful. They married into the Countship of Penthièvre in Brittany and the Marquisate of Elbeuf, as well as the Seigneury (later County) of Montpensier.
The House of Dammartin were probably originally the House of Montdidier who were counts of count of Montdidier, Dammartin and Roucy from the 900s. However they also gained the important fief of Aumale in Normandy during the 1200s, as well as the County of Boulogne. They sided with the Plantagenets against the French and under Renaud 1165-1227 saw him in the Battle of Bouvines. He was on the losing side, but was one of the last to surrender, and refused submission to Philip Augustus. His lands were taken away, and given to Philippe Hurepel whom his daughter then married to maintain the family holdings. Jeanne de Dammartin; c.1220 married Saint Ferdinand III who was the King of Castile from 1217 and King of Galicia and Leon from 1230.
House of Eu
The dynasty was based in Normandy, ruling as counts from 996 until 1246 where the family became intermarried with the Lusignans. In 1095 William of Eu along with William of Aldrie, conspired with Roger de Lacy and Robert de Mowbray to murder William II and install the king's cousin Stephen of Aumale. The family was based in England with the lordship of Hastings as well as in France. No less than 4 important French dynasties married into the family and laid claim to the Countship in the following centuries.