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The lineage from Charlemagne to the Glarus families


Charlemagne has been dead for more than a thousand years, but his blood still runs in the veins of countless thousands of people. Not only princes and high nobility, but also many bourgeois families can trace their line of ancestors back to the great emperor with greater or lesser certainty. But if for us today it is a kind of genealogical sport, at times particularly popular, to prove oneself a descendant of the Carolingians, for the members of earlier generations it was more. We know what an enormous role descent from noble blood played in the early Middle Ages. The old biographers of important personalities cannot do enough in their emphasis. Belonging to the small circle of families of the noblest blood was the prerequisite for political status, which was only dispensed with in exceptional cases, and it was extraordinarily difficult for someone of lower rank to be accepted as an equal in this ruling upper class of people. For those times, descent from the ruler who had created the occidental empire had more than a vanity value. Even if it was not the legally established prerequisite for appointment to the office of ruler, as has been claimed, it nevertheless conferred a political and social prestige that was highly significant for one's entire position in life.


This esteem for Carolingian origins naturally declined over the centuries. When with the great Hohenstaufens the old imperial glory sank into the grave, the nimbus that the share in the blood of their creator had once granted had also completely faded. I therefore believe that the question of which personalities of these earlier centuries can really be proved to be descendants of Charlemagne has its importance not only for the genealogist but for the historian.


The almost three centuries of foreign rule of Glarus over the former county of Werdenberg in the Rhine Valley not only left a deep mark on the region but also led to numerous Glarus dignitaries gaining access to the European noble houses by marrying into the local noble families.


In my many years of research on Glarus families, I have so far been able to identify 20 Glarus people who intermarried with noble families. The majority of these are members of the long-established Glarus Tschudi family:


1. Rudolf Tschudi (1222-1302), judge and mayor, married Katharina von Bürglen, daughter of Konrad Schüpfer von Bürglen (KM Glarus 19).

2. Rudolf Tschudi (1257-1335), councillor and cellarer of Glarus, married Judith von Windegg, daughter of Diethelm von Windegg (KM Glarus 29).

3. Johannes Tschudi (1290-1360), councillor and judge, married Katharina von Seedorf, the daughter of Johannes von Seedorf (KM Glarus 35).

4. Heinrich Tschudi (1328-1386), councillor and judge, married Katharina von Port, daughter of Anton von Port (KM Glarus 49).

5. Wilhelm Netstaler (1350 -), councillor, judge and progenitor of a respected and wealthy family, married Margaretha von Mülner, daughter of Gottfried II von Mülner (KM Glarus 6) - so-called Netstaler line.

6. Mathias Netstal (1380-1440), Landammann and in his time the richest Confederate, married Elisabeth Anna von Moos, daughter of Heinrich von Moos (KM Glarus 8).

7. Ludwig Tschudi (1462-1534), bailiff and governor, married Margaretha von Gutenberg, daughter of Junker Georg von Gutenberg (KM Glarus 70).

8. Johannes Tschudi (1490-1522), captain, country clerk and baron, married Margaretha von Matsch, the daughter of Count Gaudenz von Matsch (KM Glarus 88).

9. Johannes Stucki (1486-1534), Captain, Pannerherr and Lord of Ober-Windegg, married Barbara von Matsch, the daughter of Count Gaudenz von Matsch (KM Näfels 7).

10. Peter Tschudi (1499-1532), Seckelmeister in Chur, married Katharina von Planta Wildenberg (KM Glarus 89).

11. Joachim Bäldi (1505-1571), country scribe, bailiff and landammann, married Elsbeth Göldli, the daughter of Georg Göldli and Emeriat Mötteli von Rappenstein (KM Glarus I), so-called Bäldi line.

12. Jost Tschudi (1511-1566), baron, lord of Tscherlach, colonel and national architect, married Anastasia von Capaul, the daughter of Count Gottlieb von Capaul (KM Glarus 96).

13. Viktor Hässi (1526-) married the same Juliana von Capaul (KM Glarus XVII).

14. Kaspar Tschudi (1526-1570), councillor, married Helena Mötteli von Rappenstein, daughter of Beat Rudolf Mötteli von Rappenstein (KM Glarus 116).

15. Gilg Tschudi (1530-1591), captain in France, married Juliana of Capaul (KM Glarus 112).

16. Meinrad Tschudi (1545-1593), squire, captain, councillor, bailiff and mayor, married Margaretha Muntprat von Spiegelberg, daughter of Hans Ludwig Muntprat von Spiegelberg, in his first marriage and Maria Rink von Baldenstein-Wildenberg, daughter of Dietegen von Baldenstein-Wildenberg, in his second marriage (KM Glarus 125).

17. Tobias Tschudi (1554-1604) married Barbara von Hohensax, the daughter of Baron Johann Christof von Hohensax (KM Glarus 3).

18. Bartholome Paravicini-de-Capelli (1558-1629), doctor of law, married Cleophea von Hohensax, daughter of Baron Johann Christof von Hohensax (KM Glarus 2).

19. Dietrich Streuli (1576-1617), bailiff and master builder, married Barbara von Hohensax, daughter of Baron Johann Christof von Hohensax (KM Glarus 4), the so-called Streuli line.

20. Hans Elmer (1580-1640), councillor, choir judge and churchwarden, married Anna Maria von Hohensax, daughter of Baron Johann Christof von Hohensax (KM Elm 8), the so-called Elmer line.


Highlighted are those representatives from whom descents could be proven up to the present time. These are above all the so-called Netstaler line and the Elmer line. The former can be traced back mainly to descendants of the Tschudi family and the latter to those of the Elmer family. Since very many Glarus families are directly related to one of these two families, it is possible to prove to a high degree a probable descent to Charlemagne over 13 centuries for practically every Glarus family.


I have based my research work, especially for the first 14th generation, on the carefully researched and still recognised work of Erich Brandenburg, which was reprinted in 1995 in a facsimile reprint from 1935 with corrections and additions[1] . In the 1930s, Professor Erich Brandenburg undertook to compile a comprehensive account of the ascertainable descendants of Charlemagne up to the 14th generation, primarily on the basis of sources. Brandenburg thus intensively researched the period from 770 to around 1250. His work, which he published in 1935, is still a scientifically recognised special achievement in genealogical and historical research.


For the subsequent generations up to the 20th generation, I have relied on the two equally recognised genealogical works by Rübel-Blass[2] and Benziger-Müller[3] . Above all, the genealogical table by Rübel-Blass, which was published on the occasion of the Swiss National Exhibition in 1939, is one of the most comprehensive table works showing the descent of Swiss citizen families to the numerous noble families found in Switzerland.


The comprehensive genealogical work by Johann Jakob Kubly-Müller from Glarus served me as a source for the last generations up to the 36th generation[4] . In more than 30 years of work (1893-1923) Kubly-Müller created this unique reference work. It comprises a total of 36 large and small volumes as well as the index for the older Glarus genealogy and an alphabetical index. Kubly Müller's monumental work, based on the entire holdings of the parish registers of the canton of Glarus and supplemented by historical directories, documents and materials from public and private archives, lists all Glarus families from the 16th century to the present in their sequence.


Are you descended from a Glarus family and do you want to know if you are descended from Charlemagne, then contact me.


[1] Brandenburg Erich, Die Nachkommen Karls des Grossen, facsimile reprint from 1935 with corrections and additions by Manfred Dreiss and Lupold von Lehsten, Neustadt an der Aisch 1995. [2] Rübel Eduard, Ahnentafel Rübel-Blass, Volume 1: Text, Volume 2: Ahnentafeln, Zurich 1939. [3] Benziger-Müller Ralph / Zwicky von Gauen J.P., Ancestors and descendants of Dr. Ralph Benziger and his wife Maria Donata Benziger née Müller, Zurich 1975 [4] Kubly-Müller Johann Jakob, Genealogies of the Canton of Glarus, manuscript in 36 volumes, Glarus 1893-1923, with updates until about 2004, in the National Archives of the Canton of Glarus.

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