Here is the short version of Ed Pickett's research on the
suggestion by British genealogist James B.P.Payne that Claudia de la
Riviere is a descendant of Charlemagne.
Are we really related to Charlemagne? The answer is probably, and
several historians and genealogist have said so, but at this point the
final, vital link is only suggested and not proven. It is certain,
however, that we can trace our heritage back to the early royalty of
France, especially Normandy, and perhaps even to the Vikings and beyond.
If the link leads directly to Charlemagne, then we can trace back on one
path of the family tree to about 450 A.D. and along another path to the
early kings of Sweden and Denmark. But certainly it is the possibility of
having descended from Charles the Great that holds the most interest.
As many Poindexter researchers have noted, James B.P. Payne links that
family to the Lempiere family. He did the Armorial of Jersey. But Payne
also did a thorough study of the Lempriere family in a "Monograph'
published in London in 1862. And in it he makes the tantalizing suggestion
that Claudia de la Riviere, who married Phillip Lempriere sometime around
1090 to 1099, was a descendant of Rollo (or Hrolf), the Norman Viking
raider who came to terms with the King of France, was given land and
settled there and became the first Duke of Normandy.
Payne's chart of the ancestry shows Augustus de la Riviere, father of
Claudia, in the line from the family de Vassy, the Counts of Evreux and
thus directly back to Richard, Duke of Normandy, his father, William
Longsword, Duke of Normandy, and his father, Rollo. However, a closer look
at the chart in the Lempriere Monograph reveals that Payne does not
actually show that Augustus de la Riviere is the son of Auray de Vassy, it
only appears that way until you realize he has left an unexplained gap.
Payne apparently made his assumptions based on information in the
Dictionnaire de la Noblesse, a listing by family name of the early royalty
and nobility of France. In this book, we find clear indications that when
it was published, in the 1600's, that the Riviere family is cited as one
of the leading families of the region of Bayeux inNormandy. It includes
the information that many earlier historians, including Orderic, Vital and
la Roque, say that Augustus is a descendant of the early Dukes of
Normandy. But since the Dictionnaire is not a work that lists each
generation, we lack the vital links. We can believe these early
genealogists writing in France about French nobility are correct, but that
is not quite the proof we need. If we take Payne and the Dictionnaire as
correct, then we can link the entire Poindexter clan and the descendants
of Poindexters to many generations before the year 1000.
As an example, we know that the wife of Rollo was Poppa of Bayeux. A
study by K.S.B. Keats-Rohan in the July/October, 1997 issue of The
American Genealogist provides the heritage of Poppa, and it leads back to
Gisela, daughter of Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne. French
historian Christian Settipani, in his Les Ancestres de Charlemagne, then
takes us back to at least 450 A.D. and a man called Gondioc, king of the
Burgondes. The lineage includes, of course, the grandfather of
Charlemagne, Charles Martel (The Hammer). Other recognized genealogy
sources, including Royalty for Commoners and The Heimskringer, trace the
history of Rollo back to various kings and nobility of early Scandinavia,
as far back as Njord, King of Sweden in the year 214 A.D.
If we are related to Charlemagne, here is one of the paths back: Louis
The Pious succeeded his father, Charlemagne. He and his second wife,
Judith, produced Charles I His rule was troubled by internal dissension
and wars with pagan tribes. Charlemagne, also know as Charles The
Great,(742-814) is considered the greatest leader of medieval Europe. He
ruled over what now, with some geographic changes, are the countries of
Germany, France and Italy. He was the son of Pippin the Short. Pippin the
Short (714-768), the father of Charlemagne, was proclaimed King of the
Franks in 752. Having served Childerich, the last of a weak line of
royalty in early France, Pippin deposed him in 751 and a year later the
Pope proclaimed Pippin the lawful king. His wife, often listed as Bertrada
the younger, became known to history as Bertha of the Big Foot. He was the
son of Charles Martel. Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer)(688-741),
although he held only the title of "Mayor of the Castle" during the reign
of a Morovingian king, was considered the real ruler.
He is listed as having three wives: Chrotrude, Sunnichild and Ruodhaid.
He was the illegitimate son of Pippin of Heristal, and was given no role
in the will of Pippin, but he first escaped imprisonment and then
established himself as the Mayor. Many documents of the time acknowledge
him as King, although he never took that title. Martel is most famous for
having halted the spread of the moslems into Europe when he met and
defeated them at Poriters, near Tours, in 723. Pippin of Heristal (c.
650/660 - 714), whose name has variously been listed as Pepin and Peppen,
was the majordomo of the court of DagobertII. After the death of the king
he was named Duke of the Franks and regent for the young royal successor.
Pippin was said to have held the real power, and to have ruled with almost
despotic sway. His wife was Alpaide.
Pippin the Elder (Pippin of Landen) (c.570/639) was the first line of
governmental officials in very early medieval France who, by holding the
title of Mayor of the Castle, exercised ruling power while nominally
serving the royal family of the Morovingians. His wife was Itte Idoberge,
who was known to be alive in the year 592. Some genealogists say the line
continues back through Carloman, who wife may have been Gertrude, to
Garibald, the Duke of Bavaria, and his wife, Waldrade, Queen of Austria.
The father of Gariblad was a nobleman of France, perhaps Agivard. His
father is believed to be Godogisel, King of the Burgondes, married to
Theodlinde. And his father was Gondioc, King of the Burgondes, born about
425 to 450 A.D.
Compiled by Edward G. Pickett. Portland, Maine.
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Jean Poingdestre 1609-1691
George Poingdestre/Poindexter 1627-1690
Governor George Littleton Poindexter 1779-1853
James Preston Poindexter 1819- 1907
Wars Against England
Colonel John A. Poindexter 1825-1869
James E. Poindexter 1839-1911
Congressman Meredith Poindexter Gentry 1809-1866
Governor Joseph Boyd Poindexter 1869-1951
Ambassador/Senator Miles Poindexter 1868-1946
Admiral John Marlan Poindexter, USN, Retired
Astronaut Alan G. Poindexter, USN
Captain John B. Poindexter, USA,