Capitularia regum francorum online dating
The "-gau" suffix, originally applied to the names of local administrative units in Saxony, appears in imperial diplomas from the mid-9th century in relation to pagi in all the German provinces.It is therefore unlikely that it was a purely Saxon term.The suspicion is that early territorial appointments in Germany were largely personal, and at the discretion of the king/emperor, who exercised his right to make changes frequently depending on the continuing loyalty of the appointee and other potential appointees.This system of discretionary personal appointments can be demonstrated in the early years of the Carolingian Frankish empire (see the document CAROLINGIAN NOBILITY) and there appears to be no reason to suppose that the practice changed immediately after the kingdom of the East Franks and the kingdom of Lotharingia were created when the empire was divided under the treaty of Verdun in 843.
highlights the theory that, in the 11th century and before, relationships within the families of Germany nobility were defined on a broadly consanguineous rather than patrilineal basis, an evolution towards the latter occurring only from the 12th century onwards with the adoption of family toponymics following the widespread building of castles which became personally identified with the ruling families.
It therefore seems unlikely that property owners would have favoured more remote relations over direct descendants in the transmission of their possessions.
The 9th to 11th century imperial families provide ample evidence of patrilineal succession, providing another indication that the same practice may already have been generally accepted among the families of the first-tier of nobility below the king/emperor.
This provides a marked contrast with early British and Scandinavian sources which emphasise the tracing of ancestry as a means of underlining historical continuity and legitimising the power of incumbent rulers, although it is suspected that many of the early lines of descent traced in the early sources in those countries are unreliable (see the Introductions to the documents ENGLAND, ANGLO-SAXON & DANISH KINGS and NORWAY KINGS for a full discussion of this problem).
One result of the infrequency of specifying family relationships in early German sources before the 11th century is the extreme difficulty of judging the extent of hereditary succession in the German counties during this period and, if heredity was the rule, whether it followed an accepted pattern of primogeniture in the male line or whether it was broader.