Lascaris de Vintimille Royal Gateway
René Jetté, John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau
[27 May 2001: Please note that for historical reasons this web page is not being updated. Since writing this web page we have published our full findings on the Lascaris de Vintimlle royal gateway in our book, Table d'ascendance de Caterhine Baillon (12 générations). We are much more confident of this connection based on the information we published in our book. We strongly recommend that you review our findings in our book regarding this royal gateway.]
On the Catherine Baillon Royal Connection Research Association web page we have identified three possible royal gateways (identified as Lineages A, B, and C). Now that our article "De Catherine Baillon à Charlemagne" (Jetté et al. 1997) has been published--dismissing Lineage A, the Bournel de Thiembronne gateway, and verifying generation-by-generation Lineage B, the Gavre d'Escornaix gateway--we would like to move on to Lineage C, the Lascaris de Vintimille gateway. The purpose of this web page is to summarize this last gateway. It is our hope that by sharing this information with our readers that they will come to appreciate the challenges facing anyone trying to verify this approach to Catherine's royal, and, in this case, imperial, ancestry.
We have spent well over $4,000 USA since 1992 on the Baillon project. Beyond the money, we have put in an enormous amount of effort into this project. Our involvement in tracing Catherine's bourgeois, noble, and royal ancestry is somewhat ironic. We do not consider ourselves experts in medieval research. Most of our genealogical interests are grounded here in the North America. We all have other genealogy projects that we want to return to or complete that do not involve European medieval research. Our involvement with the Baillon project has been intense, and frankly we are now a little tired of it. We want a break. Therefore, we have decided that with this gateway we would turn it over to the public. Now it is your turn to try and solve a complex medieval genealogical research problem. Meanwhile, we will be working on a few publications based on the research we have already done. When we complete these publication efforts, and have made sufficient progress on our other projects, then we might return to researching the Lascaris de Vintimille gateway. Of course, by that time, we expect that one of you, or perhaps another team, will have solved the problem for all of us.
Before proceeding we would like to give you some advice. We suggest that you do not rush to add the information we present here to your pedigree charts and data bases. Furthermore, we recommend that you not put a lot of effort into extending this pedigree any further than what we present here. We have already done a fair amount of research on the ancestors that will be found along this approach in preparing the Table d'Ascendance de Catherine Baillon (Jetté et al. 1994). We hope to eventually publish this manuscript. Meanwhile, remember that this is an unverified lineage. The end result of research on this approach might be that the Lascaris de Vintimille gateway is disproved. You must be patient. It will probably take several years to complete this research.
As a reminder of the limitations of this gateway lineage we rate reach generation by the confidence we hold in the connection between generations. The ratings are as follows:
As you will see we rate the generations in this lineage between certain and possible. However, this gateway absolutely requires verification.
Anne Marie de Chabot
In doing our research on Catherine's ancestry we have come to rely on the accomplishments of other genealogists, such as, Archange Godbout, Père Anselme, the d'Hoziers, etc. This case is no exception. We owe a great debt to Anne Marie de Chabot. She was the first to layout this Lascaris de Vintimille royal connection in her book Histoire de la maison de Chabot de Souville, olim Chabaud de Tourrettes (1982). She did a superb job extending and documenting the Chabot family. In particular, we are impressed by her masterful analysis of conflicting documents to prove that Antoine Chabot, the husband of Catherine Lombard, is the same Antoine Chabaud, sieur de La Fond from Provence who was once a knight in the order of St. John of Jerusalem (1: 282-296). He abandoned this celibate order around 1554 when he moved to Paris, became a Huguenot, and married.
In this same work she lays out the connection between the Chabot family and the Franco-Italian Vintimille (or Ventimiglia) family which in turn goes back to the imperial Byzantine Lascaris family (1:127?-128?, the pages for these tables are unnumbered). However, she did not adequately document this gateway. Sadly, Mme Chabot is unavailable to help us clarify this situation. She died on 13 October 1987. Despite the assistance of her husband, Général de Chabot, we have been unable to learn the source of her documentation for this royal gateway. Given the thorough job she did on other portions of her book, we are hopeful that she is correct about this royal connection.
Lascaris de Vintimille Lineage
The following table shows the connection between Catherine and the Byzantine Lascaris family through the Lascaris de Vintimille gateway:
From Theodoros Dukas Lascaris it is possible to trace back to several Byzantine imperial families and the royal and princely families of Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Jerusalem, Antioch, Kiev, England, Poland, Sweden, etc. If you find it irresistible to peak ahead and see what awaits you when this line is verified, then we suggest you consult Brook (1981), Schwennicke (1978-), and Sturdza (1983).
The challenge anyone faces is that this lineage is not well documented. Our preliminary investigation has found a document at the Bibliothèque nationale indicating that Antoine Chabot claimed a Charles Lascaris as his great-grandfather. Furthermore, using the documents we have already found and published resources, we are relatively confident of proving generations 1 through 7. However, we have found no clear support for generations 8 through 11 in any of the published materials other than Chabot's (1982) book. Generations 12 through 14 are reasonably well documented in published works (Anselme 1967, La Chenaye-Desbois 1980, Schwennicke 1978-), but still need verification. The main goal for any research project is to overcome the gap in knowledge for generations 8 through 11. As in our previous search, we recommend that all the generations be verified with original documents. Relying solely on published sources for any generation would be foolhardy given the vagaries of medieval genealogical research.
If we were going to proceed with the this research project, then our plans would have included the following steps: (1) review all printed sources that Mme Chabot did site in her book; (2) search for any additional published items regarding the concerned families; (3) double check any sources available in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale or the Archives nationales; (4) then move on to finding published and microfilmed documents from the Nice region; and lastly, (5) hire a researcher in southeastern France (in the Alpes-Maritimes Department) to search for original documents. Hildesheimer's (1974) guide to the Alpes-Maritimes departmental archives is a good resource to start with in tracking down available publications and original documents.
In addition to tracing people, it will also be necessary to track the passing of seigneuries between people. The passing of the Briga seigneurie to Charles Lascaris is a hopeful sign of this lineage's validity. Briga was in the Lascaris de Vintimille family for several generations.
By identifying the seigneuries the Lascaris de Vintimille family owned on in this boarder area, we know that research in northern Italy has to be considered. After all, during the Middle Ages, this region was not even part of France, but was tied to the Duchy of Savoy, the County of Nice, or the Republic of Genoa. Specifically, the archives in Turin and Genoa must be consulted.
You are of course welcome to follow our research plan, or to devise your own. Nevertheless, we would expect a professional solution to the problem based on original documents. Like the research we have already done with the Gavre d'Escornaix gateway, we expect that you will rely on a wide array of manuscript sources including surviving parish registers, notarial and tabellion records, cartularies, heraldic devices and seals, etc.
It is difficult to assess how much time and money this research will take. However, we believe, given the remoteness of the area from Paris and the possibility of having to research in Italy, that this research will be far more complex and expensive than previous research we did on the false Bournel de Thiembronne gateway and the verified Gavre d'Escornaix gateway.
Now you know the nature of Lineage C. If you think that you can verify this lineage, then go for it. We welcome anyone who can verify it to come forth and do so. There, the gauntlet is tossed, we challenge you to investigate this gateway and prove each generation with original documents. We will be thrilled if someone else comes up with this evidence. Nevertheless, we think that whoever works on this approach faces a challenge. We fear that a year or two from now we will have to turn our attention back to this problem. We are confident that our team has the skills to accomplish this task. However, given our other research interest, we just do not want to work on it at this time.
If you decide to accept the challenge, then please let us know. Perhaps we can offer advice to facilitate your progress or help several of you coordinate your efforts. Based on our own experience, we strongly recommend that you form a multi-lingual multi-talented team to divide the labor and concentrate your various expertises. In particular, you should be prepared to work with documents in medieval Latin, French, Provençal, and Italian. Good luck and God speed.
Anselme, Père. 1967. Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la Maison royale de France. . . . Continued by M. Du Fourny. 3rd ed. Corrected and augmented by P. Ange and P. Simplicien, Augustins Déchaussés, 1726-1733. Reprint ed. 9 vols. Paris: Éditions du Palais Royal.
Chabot, Anne Marie de. 1982. Histoire de la maison de Chabot de Souville, olim Chabaud de Tourrettes. 3 vols. Anthon du Perche, France: Privately printed by the authoress.
Brook, Lindsay L. 1981. "The Byzantine Ancestry of H. R. H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales." The Genealogist [journal of the Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy] 2 (Spring): 3-51.
Geanakoplos, Deno John. 1959. Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 1258-1282, A Study of Byzantine-Latin Relations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Hildesheimer, Ernest. 1974. Guide des archives des Alpes-Maritimes. Nice: N. p.
Jetté, René, with the collaboration of John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau. 1994. Table d'Ascendance de Catherine Baillon. Typed manuscript draft dated 3 March 1994. This document is unavailable to the public at this time. It will eventually be published.
Jetté, René, John P. DuLong, Roland-Yves Gagné, and Gail F. Moreau. 1997. "De Catherine Baillon à Charlemagne." Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française 48 (Autumn): 190-216.
La Chenaye-Desbois. 1980. Dictionnaire de la noblesse, contenant les généalogies, l'histoire et la chronologie des familles nobles de France. 3rd ed. 19 vols. Paris: Schlesigner, 1863-1876. Reprint ed. 10 vols. Paris: Berger-Levrault.
Maclagan, Michael. 1975. "A Byzantine Princess in Portugal." In Studies in Memory of David Talbot Rice, ed. by Giles Robertson and George Henderson, 284-293. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.
Schwennicke, Detlev. 1978-. Europäische Stammtafeln. 15 vols. to date. Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt Verlag.
Struyf, Philippe. 1996? "Les comtes de Vintimille, ou 'Des comtes de Vintimille aux Lascaris,' étude généalogique non terminée." Typed manuscript, no publication information, about 46 pages. Received as an attachment of an email from Marie-France Bru, 15 June 1998. This manuscript genealogy is filled with interesting information. Unfortunately, it is inadequately documented because it fails to cite sources for most of the data. In general, it is in agreement with Chabot (1982) and other references we have been able to check. Apparently, M. Struyf died before he could complete this work.
Sturdza, Mihail Dimitri. 1983. Grandes familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople. Paris: N. p.
This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1997 by John P. DuLong and associates, Berkley, MI. Created 6 November 1997. Modified 9 July 2005.