Frankish Empire 481 to 814.
Before Charlemagne

The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. Some of the earliest examples of literature, history, and philosophy come from the writings of the ancient Greeks, such as Homer, Herodotus, and Plato. Later, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. The Migration Period of the Germanic people began in the late 4th century AD and made gradual incursions into various parts of the Roman Empire. As these migratory people settled down and formed state societies of their own, this marked the transition period out of the classical era.
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages.
The first great empire of the Middle Ages was the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne, while the Islamic conquest of Iberia established Al-Andalus.  We can trace the ancestry of Charlemagne, therefor that of the Plowden-Wardlaw family back to Pepin I ( c. 580 – 640) and Itta of Metz (592 – 652), these were the 3 x Great-Grandparents of Charlemagne. However the family history before 580 becomes historically uncertain, and little is known for the family timeline.  
Below: Frankish Empire 481 to 814
Sémhur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Frankish Empire 481 to 814

Pepin I c.580 – 640 & Itta of Metz 592 – 652

statues de Pepin de Landen

Pepin I 

Pepin I (also Peppin, Pipin, or Pippin) of Landen (c. 580 – 27 February 640), also called the Elder or the Old, was the Mayor of the palace of Austrasia under the Merovingian King Dagobert I from 623 to 629. He was also the Mayor for Sigebert III from 639 until his death.
Pepin's father was named Carloman by the Chronicle of Fredegar, the chief source for his life. His byname comes from his probable birthplace: Landen, modern Belgium. However, according to Godefroid Kurth, it was only in the twelfth century that the chroniclers of Brabant began to associate him with that locality. Pepin was praised by his contemporaries for his good government and wise counsel.
Pepin of Landen,From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Photo: West façade of the provincial palace in Liège, Belgium, the 19th-century statues of Pepin of Landen and Saint Remacle.
Kleon3,CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sant'Ida (Ita)

Itta of Metz 592 – 652

Itta of Metz, O.S.B. (also Ida, Itte or Iduberga; 592–8 May 652) was the wife of Pepin of Landen. After his death, she founded the Abbey of Nivelles, where she became a Colombanian nun along with her daughter, Gertrude of Nivelles. Both are honored as saints by the Catholic Church. Her feast day is celebrated on 8 May. There is no direct record of her parents, but it has been suggested that she came from a family of senatorial status which had originated in Aquitaine, and was a daughter of Arnoald, Bishop of Metz, son of Ansbertus. Her brother was Saint Modoald, Bishop of Trier, and her sister was the abbess, Saint Severa.
Pepin and Itta had two daughters and two sons.
Begga, she is the grandmother of Pepin of Herstal
Abbess Begga of Andenne, who had married Ansegisel, son of Arnulf of Metz
Grimoald, later Mayor of the Palace, and father of King Childebert the Adopted
Bavo (or Allowin), became a hermit and was later canonized.
Photo: Saint Ida of Metz. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Itta of Metz. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St Begga 613 – 693 & Ansegisel C. 602 - 662

Begga de landen

St Begga 

Saint Begga (also Begue, Begge) (b. 613 – d. 17 December 693 AD) was the daughter of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, and his wife Itta of Metz. Begga was the older sister of St Gertrude of Nivelles. Begga made a pilgrimage to Rome and upon her return, she took the veil, she had seven churches built at Andenne on the Meuse. There she spent the rest of her days as abbess. She was buried in Saint Begga's Collegiate Church in Andenne.
She married Ansegisel, son of Arnulf, Bishop of Metz, and had three children: Pepin of Heristal, Martin of Laon, and Clotilda of Heristal, who married Theuderic III of the Franks. 
On the death of her husband in 691 in a hunting accident, she took the veil, founded founded seven churches, and founded in (691-692) a convent at Andenne, near Namur, Belgium. The first nuns came from Nivelles and introduced Irish monastic customs. Begga's remains are preserved at Andenne; her vita was written in the late 11th century. She is invoked for the cure of hernias and of infants' diseases. Although she has been the patroness of the Beguines since the 14th century, she was not their foundress.
Begga de landen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo. Begga de Landen:unl, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Charlemagne autograph

Ansegisel c. 602/610 - 679/662

Ansegisel (c. 602 or 610 – murdered before 679 or 662) was the younger son of Saint Arnulf, bishop of Metz.
He served King Sigebert III of Austrasia (634–656) as domesticus. He was killed sometime before 679, slain in a feud by his enemy Gundewin. Through his son Pepin, Ansegisel's descendants would eventually become Frankish kings and rule over the Carolingian Empire.
He was married to Begga, the daughter of Pepin the Elder, sometime after 639. They had the following children:
Pepin the Middle (635 or 640 – December 16, 714), who would later become Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
Martin of Laon (647 - 680)
Clotilda of Herstal (650–699), married King Theuderic III of Neustria.
Right: The Charlemagne Monogramm (Autograph). Charlemagne, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Ansegisel,From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Pepin II c. 635 – 714 & Alpaida c 654 - c 714

Pippin II

Pepin II

Pippin II, also spelled Pepin, byname Pippin of Herstal, French Pépin d’Héristal, (died Dec. 16, 714, Jupille, near Liège [now in Belgium]), ruler of the Franks (687–714), the first of the great Carolingian mayors of the palace.
The son of Begga and Ansegisel, who were, respectively, the daughter of Pippin I and the son of Bishop Arnulf of Metz, Pippin established himself as mayor of the palace in Austrasia after the death of Dagobert II in 679 and defended its autonomy against Theuderic III of Neustria and Ebroïn, Theuderic’s mayor of the palace. Defeated by Ebroïn in 680 at Lucofao (near Laon), Pippin gained his revenge on the Neustrians in 687 at Tertry (near Péronne) and became sole effective ruler of the Franks. He nevertheless retained Theuderic III on the throne and after his death replaced him with three successive Merovingian kings. After several years of warfare Pippin defeated the Frisians on his northeastern border (689) and married his son Grimoald to Theodelind, daughter of the Frisian chief Radbod. He also forced the Alemanni to recognize Frankish authority again and encouraged Christian missionaries in Alemannia and Bavaria. Charles Martel was his son.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Pippin II". Encyclopedia Britannica, 12 Dec. 2021 
Photo. Pippin II. Encyclopædia Britannica


Alpaida c. 654 – c. 714

lpaida (also Alpaïde, Alpaide, Alphaida, Alpoïde, Elphide, Elfide, Chalpaida; c. 654 – c. 714) was a Frankish noblewoman who hailed from the Liège area. She became the wife of Pippin of Herstal (635 or 640 – 16 December 714) and mother to two sons by him,
Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) (688 – 22 October 741)
Childebrand I (678–751).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alpaïde von Echternach . Photo Unknown.

Charles Martel c. 688 – 741 & Rotrude of Hesbaye ? - 724

Charles Martel

Charles Martel 

Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741) was a Frankish political and military leader who, as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. He was a son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and Pepin's mistress, a noblewoman named Alpaida.
Charles Martel married twice, his first wife being Rotrude of Treves, daughter either of Lambert II, Count of Hesbaye, or of Leudwinus, Count of Treves.
Charles Martel:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo:Arnaud 25, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Rotrude ou Crotude

Rotrude of Hesbaye  ? - 724

Rotrude (Chrodtrudis) (or Crotude, Chrotrude, or Ruadtrud; died 724) was the first wife of Charles Martel, Mayor of the Palace and de facto ruler of Francia from 718 to 741. She was the mother of Pepin the Short, King of the Franks, and therefore the grandmother of Charlemagne. Rotrude is believed to be the daughter of Lambert, Count of Hesbaye, although this designation is not without controversy, as discussed below. She is also referred to as Rotrude of Treves.
Rotrude and Charles had five children:
Carloman, Mayor of the Palace
Pepin the Short, King of the Franks and father of Charlemagne
Hiltrude, Duchess Consort of Bavaria, married to Odilo, Duke of Bavaria
Auda of France, married to Thierry IV, Count of Autun.
Landrade, also rendered as Landres 
Ermengarde of Hesbaye:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopdia.
Photo: Rotrude ou Crotude .

Pepin the Short c.714 - 768 & Bertrada of Laon c.710/727 – 783


Pepin the Short 

Pepin the Short (French: Pépin le Bref; c. 714 – 24 September 768), also called the Younger (German: Pippin der Jüngere), was King of the Franks from 751 until his death in 768. He was the first Carolingian to become king.
The younger son of the Frankish prince Charles Martel and his wife Rotrude, Pepin's upbringing was distinguished by the ecclesiastical education he had received from the monks of St. Denis. Succeeding his father as the Mayor of the Palace in 741, Pepin reigned over Francia jointly with his elder brother Carloman.
As king, Pepin embarked on an ambitious program to expand his power. He reformed the legislation of the Franks and continued the ecclesiastical reforms of Boniface.
Pepin's father Charles Martel died in 741. He divided the rule of the Frankish kingdom between Pepin and his elder brother, Carloman, his surviving sons by his first wife:
Pepin died during a campaign, in 768 at the age of 54. He was interred in the Basilica of Saint Denis in modern-day Metropolitan Paris. His wife Bertrada was also interred there in 783.
In 741, Pepin married Bertrada, daughter of Caribert of Laon. They are known to have had eight children, at least three of whom survived to adulthood:

Charles (Charlemagne) (2 April 742 – 28 January 814)
Carloman (751 – 4 December 771)
Pepin (756–762)
Gisela (757–810)
Berthe, died young
Adelais (Adelaide), died young, buried in Metz
Chrothais (Rothaide), died young, buried in Metz.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo:Pippin Imperial Chronicle Corpus Christi College
from the Middle Ages, unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bertrada of Laon Jardin du Luxembourg

Bertrada of Laon

Bertrada of Laon (born between 710 and 727 – 12 July 783), also known as Bertrada the Younger or Bertha Broadfoot (cf. Latin: Regina pede aucae i.e. the queen with the goose-foot), was a Frankish queen. She was the wife of Pepin the Short and the mother of Charlemagne, Carloman and Gisela, plus five other children.
Bertrada's nickname "Bertha Broadfoot" dates back to the 13th century, when it was used in Adenes Le Roi's trouvère Li rouman de Berte aus grands piés. The exact reason that Bertrada was given this nickname is unclear. 
Bertrada was born sometime between 710 and 727 in Laon, in today's Aisne, France, to Count Charibert of Laon. Charibert's father might have been related to Hugobertides. Charibert's mother was Bertrada of Prüm, who founded Prüm Abbey along with Charibert.
After Pepin's death in 768, Bertrada lost her title as Queen of the Franks. Charlemagne and Carloman inherited the two halves of Pepin's kingdom. Bertrada stayed at the court and often tried to stop arguments between the two brothers.
Bertrada retired from the court after Carloman's death in 771 to live in Choisy-au-Bac, where Charlemagne had set aside a royal house for her. Choisy-au-Bac was favorable because of its history of being the home and burial place of several Merovingian kings.
Bertrada died on 12 July 783 in Choisy-au-Bac. Charlemagne buried her in the Basilica of St Denis near Pepin.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo:Bertrada of Laon.User:Jastrow, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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