Usage of "Genitor" in 8th Century German Charters

CrassusRadiator

New Member
A research project has led me to the Lorsch Codex, a cartulary of the Lorsch Abbey in Germany. I have come across two charters that relate to property donations by the same donors but seem to refer to different people as "Genitor" (full text at the bottom of this post):
- Charter 255 (dated 788): Hado and Theotman donate property in Bensheim for the soul of their father Irminulf ("genitoris nostri Irminulfi")
- Charter 256 (dated 789): Gerniu donates property in Bensheim for the soul of her husband Irminulf ("Irminulfi viri mei")
- Charter 615 (dated 792): Haddo, Titman, Gerold and mother Gerniu donate property in Kloppenheim, including anything they have received in that location from thier father Haddo ("Haddo genitor noster")

Taken together Charter 255/256 seem to suggest that Haddo and Thetoman were the children of Irminulf and Gerniu; while Chart 615 suggest they are the children of Haddo and Gerniu. Obviously both can't be correct, which suggest that in one instance the term 'Genitor' refers to something other than blood father. This could be either:
a) One is a Step-Father (Irminulf is the step-father and has perhaps adopted the children of the late Haddo)
b) One is a direct male ancestor other than Father, most likely a Grandfather

Looking at the meaning of Genitor, it would seem more likely that it refers to a blood ancestor than a step-father. But any thoughts as to how this could be interpreted would be gratefully received. Couple of things to note:
1. Around this time, there are instances (accepted by historians) in which 'germanus' refers to a brother-in-low rather than brother, and so this could be another example where a blood relationship terminology has been applied to a non-blood relationship
2. The codex is a transcribed and abbreviated version of the original cartulary, and therefore it cannot be excluded that there has been a mistake during that process

Charter 255 (dated 788)

Nos in dei nomine Hado et Theotman, pro remedio anime genitoris nostri Irminulfi donamus ad sanctum Nazarium mrem. qui requiescit in corpore in monasterio Laur., hoc est unum proprisum super riuulum Liutra ex omni parte rationi sancti Nazarii attinentem, a die presente tradimus, atque transfundimus, perpetualiter ad possidendum, ut deinceps ad ipsutn sancturn locum, proficiat in augmentum, stipulatione subnixa. Actum in monasterio Laur., III kl. ian. Sig. Hadonis, et Theotmanni, qui hanc donationem fecerunt. S. Welafrid, Evkenfrid, Giselhelm, Geruuigi, Ruodolt, Riphuuini, Birnicho, Sararaan, Meginfridi. Ego Rüdolfus rogatus scripsi.


Charter 256 (dated 789)

Ego in dei nomine Gerniu, pro remedio anime. mee., et pro anima Irminulfi uiri mei, dono ad sanctum Christi mrem. Nazarium qui requiescit in corpore in monasterio Laur., hoc est rem meam in Basinsheim qui[d]quid ibi habere uisa fui, excepta ia haftuuna, aliud totum tarn mansis, carapis, pratis, pascuis, peruiis, siluis, uineis, domibus, edificiis, aquis, aquarumue decursibus, uel quidquid dici aut nominari potest, a die presente et deinceps, trado atque transfundo, de iure meo, in ius et dominium prefati mris. ut omni tempore ipsi loco sancto proficiat in augmentum, stipulatione subnixa. Actum in monasterio Laur., XIII kl. febr. Anno quo supra. 789 Jan. 20. Sig. Gerniu que. hanc donationem fecit. S. Guntramni comitis, et Hadonis, filii eius, Theotmanni, Giselhelmi, Riphuuini, Erkanfridi, Liutonis, Willonis, Herirat, Albgooz, Ego Reginbertus rogatus scripsi.


Charter 615 (dated 792)

Eodem anno nos in dei nomine Haddo, Titman, Gerolt et Gerniu genitrix nostra pro remedio animarum nostrarum, donamus ad sanctum Nazarium mrem. qui requiescit in corpore in pago rinensi, in monasterio Laur., ubi uir uenerabilis Rihbodo preesse uidetur, donatumque in perpetuum esse uolo i mansuni in Clopheim, cum edificio superposito, et pomariis, et terra arabili, pratis, et siluis, et omnibus que in ipsa marca habere uisi fuimus, et mancipia bis norainibus, Fridebertus et coniux eius Liuda, Willihelm, Berolf, Dancolf, uel quidquid Haddo genitor noster nobis ibidem hereditauit tradimus de iure nostro in ius et dominium sancti N. atque transfundimus in dei nomine perpetualiter ad possidendum stipulatione subnixa. Actum in monasterio Laur., idvs oct. S. Hadonis, Titmanni, Geroldi, et Gerniu genitricis eorum qui hanc io donationem fecerunt. S. Winirammi, et Erpboldi. Reginbertus scripsit.
 
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