43rd great-grandfather Tonantius Ferreolus II, Gallo-Roman Senator (445–517)

Tonantius was born in Gaul and married Industria of Narbonne (460-525) around 475.

They produced three children, Ferreolus (see below), Firminus (490-553) who was appointed Bishop of Uzès in 538 and Lucilia Ferreola (495-526) all born in Narbonne.

He died in 517 at Narbonne.

Narbonne was founded in 118BC, the first Roman colony in Gaul. The town became a major stop on Via Domita, the route connecting Rome with the Iberian peninsula.

The Ferreolus bloodline traces back to Thera (today’s Santorini), a Greek island first colonized by Dorians during the 8th century BC.

Tonantius Ferreolus

42nd great-grandfather Ferreolus of Rodez (485–528)

Ferreolus was born in Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France in 485.

He married sometime after 520 to Dobe, who is thought to be Saint Doda of Reims, Abbess of Saint Pierre de Reims.

In 528 he died in Gaul.

With the decline of the roman Empire the next several generations spent most of their time living in Austrasia which is today part of Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria.

36th great-grandfather Charles ‘the Hammer’ Martel (686-741)

Charles was born on 23rd August 686 in Herstal, Liege, Austrasia (now modern Belgium). He married Rotrude Alardsdatter of Hesbaye, Duchess de Thurgovie (690-724) and they produced five children. He also had a mistress, Ruodhaid, with whom he had four children.

He reigned as Duke and Prince of the Franks, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, Mayor of the Palace of Neustria and King of Franks (acting). His brother, Childebrand, became the Duke of Burgundy.

Under the command of Charles, Frankish and Burgundian forces, beat off an Arab and Berber Islamic army who had conquered Spain and crossed the Pyrenees into France. The armies fought between Tours and Poitiers (modern north-central France) in October 732. It was a historically important Frankish victory known as the Battle of Tours.

Charles died on 22nd October 741 at Quierzy, Aisne, Picardie, France.

Charles ‘the Hammer’ Martel

33rd great-grandfather Louis I ‘the Pious’ D’Aquitane (778–840)

Louis was born on 16th April 778 in a villa called Cassinogilum at Chasseneuil-du-Poitou in western France to Belgian born Charles I, Emperor Charlemagne of Rome and German mother Hildegarde of the Vinzgau (758-783).

In 794 he married Ermengarde of Hesbaye (778-818) who bore him six children. She reigned as Holy Roman Empress and Queen of the Franks until her death on 3rd October at Angers, Neustria (modern day France).

The following year he married Judith of Bavaria (797-843), nearly 20 years his junior,  in Aachen (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). They produced two children, the second child, Charles (the bald), was born in Frankfurt on 13th June 823 and eventually he became emperor. After more than a year of ill health Judith died on 19 April 843 in Tours, France

He also had two illegitimate children by Theodelinde of Sens (France) (c.774-c.794).

Louis spent the remainder of his life from 819 until his death living in Germany. He fell ill and retired to his summer hunting lodge on an island in the Rhine and died there on 20th June 840 whilst his wife and son, Charles, were in France (Poitiers). He is buried in the Abbey of Saint-Arnould in Metz in north east France.

Louis I The Pious