The story of our family...for my sons

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Princess Beatrice di Savoy and the Kings of Aragon

Beatrice di Savoy, my 19th great grandmother on the Allen side, was the daughter of Thomas I of Savoy and Marguerite of Geneva. Beatrice married on (5 June 1219) Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence. She was a shrewd and politically astute woman, whose beauty was likened to that of a second Niobe by Matthew Paris. After two stillborn sons, Ramon and Beatrice of Savoy had four daughters, who all married kings.

The medieval kingdom of Aragón (more or less northeastern Spain) started out as a county in the Frankish empire, at a time when most of the Iberian peninsula was under Muslim control. From the beginning down to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, its dynastic history is very complicated. This page shows several lines of descent for us, and also some of the later monarchs.

Tradition says that the first recorded Count of Aragón, Aznar (died 795) was a son of Duke Eudo of Acquitaine - which is likely, but unproven. He had a son Gelindus (died 815), who had a son Ximen (died 803), who had a son known as Count Aznar I (not II). This count is well documented, and died in 839. His son Count Galindo married a woman named Guldregut (note the Germanic names in this family; there are a number of descents from the Visigothic kings who ruled parts of Spain after the collapse of the Roman empire). Galindo's sister Matrona married Garcia, who was also briefly count of Aragón and was also supposedly descended from the first Aznar.

Galindo's son Aznar II (died 893) married Oneca, daughter of Garcia I Iñiguez, Count of Pamplona. Later on, after her family died out, this united Pamplona (a large part of later Navarre) with Aragón. Their son Galindo II Aznar (died 922) married Acibella, daughter of Garcia I of Gascony. They had a daughter Toda who married Count Bernardo I of Ribagorza (I have not found a descent). Acibella died, and Galindo then married a cousin, Sancha, daughter of King Garcia II of Pamplona. They had two daughters, one of whom (Andregoto) married King Garcia III of Navarre, and we have descents from this marriage (see Navarre). Aznar II also had a sister,Urraca, who married King Sancho III of Navarre, and another sister, Sancha, who married (for diplomatic reasons) Muhammad Ali Tawill, King of Huesca.

Thus the first Aragonese male line died out, and the title was united for a time with the title King of Navarre, through Andregoto's descendants. Her oldest son, King Sancho II (c935-994) was also Count of Aragón, and married Urraca of Castile. (see below). Sancho II's sister Urraca also married into the Castile family.

Sancho II of Navarre (c. 935-994) and his wife Urraca were the parents of King Garcia IV (c964-c1004), who married Jimena Fernandez, a daughter of Count Fernando of the Asturias royal family. Their son was the first powerful Spanish monarch of the Middle Ages:

Sancho III "the Great," born either in 990 or 992, was the first leader since the Moorish invasion nearly three centuries earlier to pull the small Spanish kingdoms and counties together as a united force. He has been called the first 'real' king of Spain, but that is an anachronism. He inherited Navarre and Aragón but also brought Barcelona, León and eventually Castile under direct or indirect control. This proto-Spain did not last, because he divided his territories among his sons. He died in October 1035. His wife was Muña Mayor Sánchez, daughter of count Sancho I of Castile and Urraca of Castile (she died sometime after 1066). Their children: Garcia V "de Najera" (c. 1020-1054), King of Navarre (see Navarre for descendants; we are connected through the last 'native' Queen of Navarre, Blanche, who married the count of Champagne; the line continues down to Jacquetta of Luxembourg);Fernando/Ferdinand I, King of Castile and León (c1017-1065, married his first cousin Sancha of León, daughter of Alfonso V of León, Asturias and Galicia; our ancestor through various lines, including Sancha de Ayalá); Gonzalo of Sobrarbe and Bernardo of Navarre, no known descendants; Ramiro I, King of Aragón (died 1064, married Gisberga, daughter of Roger, Count of Bigorre, Foix and Couserans). Some sources claim that Ramiro was illegitimate, and thus not Muña's son.

Ramiro I of Aragón and Queen Gisberga had at least five children, and Ramiro also had some illegitimate offspring. The eldest was Sancho I, King of Aragón and Navarre (1042-1094), who married Isabella of Urgel; they had three sons, all of whom were kings of Aragón and Navarre in turn. Pedro I (1094-1104) and Alfonso I (1104-1134) had children but no grandchildren. The third brother, Ramiro II (c. 1075-1147) married Agnes of Poitiers, daughter of Duke William "the Troubadour" of Acquitaine and thus aunt of Eleanor of Acquitaine. Their only child Petronilla (1135-1174) inherited Aragón. She married Ramón Berenguer IV "the Saint" (1113-1162), Count of Barcelona, thus taking the Aragónese crown into a new dynasty.

Ramón Berenguer IV was closely related to all the families mentioned above but his male line goes back to the early Counts of Carcassonne (see Barcelona). He and Petronilla had a son Pedro, who died young; their second son was Ramón Alfonso II (1157-1196), who married Mafalda (c. 1149-1174, daughter of King Alfonso I of Portugal. They had no children; he then married Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VII of Castile and León. Of their nine children, we are descended from at least two: King Pedro II 'El Catolico' of Aragón (c. 1175-1213, see below) and Alfonso, Comte de Provence (1180-1209), who married Gersende, Countess of Forcalquier and was the father of Raimund Berengar I, Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1198-1245). Raimund Berengar I married Beatrice, daughter of Count Tommaso I of Savoy; they were the parents of Marguérite (1221-1295, wife of Louis IX of France; of Eleanor (1217-1291), wife of Henry III of England; and of Beatrice (1234-1267) who eventually inherited Provence and passed it on to the Angevin kings of Sicily (see Anjou). All three daughters are our ancestors.

Pedro II 'el Catolico' (c. 1175-1213) married in 1204 Marie, heiress of the seigneury of Montpellier. Their son Jaime I 'el Conquistador', King of Aragón, Valencia, Majorca, etc. (b 1207, d 1276) married first Leonor of Castile, and then Yolande (Violante) of Hungary (1215-1251), daughter of Andrew II (see Arpad) and Yolande de Courtenay, whose father was one of the usurping Latin emperors of Constantinople - in this way a claim to Constantinople passed into the Aragón family. They had at least ten children (those who died young are not mentioned here): Pedro III 'el Grande'(1239-1285), King of Aragón, ancestor of the 'main' Aragonese royal line, who married Constance, daughter of Manfred of Sicily (see Hohenstaufen) and was the father of Isabel of Aragón 'the Saint' (1271-1336), wife of Diniz I of Portugal and our ancestor via Castile and Plantagenet.

Jaime I 'el Conquistador' was also the father of Jaime II of Majorca, etc, whose descendants ruled the Balearics for some generations; Violante, who married Alfonso X 'el Sabio' of Castile (our ancestors via Pedro 'the Cruel' of Castile); and Isabelle (1247-1271), who married Philippe III of France and was a grandmother of Isabelle, wife of Edward II of England.

The male line of descent from Pedro III died out with Martín I in 1410; after two years of disputation the House of Trastámara took the throne: Fernando I (1412-1416) was the son of Juan I of Castile and Eleanora of Aragón, sister of Martín I. Fernando was the grandfather of Fernando or Ferdinand II, who married his cousin Isabella of Castile and unified Spain; they were the parents of Henry VIII's wife Catherine of Aragón and grandparents of the Emperor Charles V (I of Spain), ancestor of all the subsequent Habsburgs of Austria, Spain, Tuscany, etc.


  1. The portrait you are using above is of Anne Boleyn and is very well known. It is not Beatrice di Savoy(Savoia).

    This makes me wonder if the portrait of John Stewart you used that I recently asked you about is actually of him. That portrait is not found using any other Bing or Google image search. Where did it come from?

  2. Was Angel Navarro I descended from this line of Navarres. Do you have any idea who Angel Navarro's immediate ancestors were?