Merovech Merovingian

Merovech Merovingian (abt. 0415 - 0458)

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Merovech Merovingian
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [uncertain] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 23 Feb 2012 | Last significant change: 10 Nov 2018
11:57: EditBot WikiTree edited the Biography for Merovech Merovingian. (Redirecting:Euro_Prior_to_742) [Thank EditBot for this]
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Categories: Merovingian Dynasty | Ancient Royals and Aristocrats Project.

European Aristocracy
Merovech Merovingian was a member of aristocracy in ancient Europe.
Join: European Ancient Royals and Aristocrats Project
Discuss: ancient_euroaristo



Almost nothing reliable is known about Merovech, but his name, Merovech or Merowig (Latin: Meroveus or Merovius; French: Mérovée) is the source of the name of the Merovingian dynasty which later became the dominant Frankish royal family in the time of his grandson Clovis I. The name is sometimes explained as meaning "famed fight" (cf. māri "famous" + wīg "fight").

Gregory of Tours, some generations later, names him once as the father of Childeric I. He also adds that "some say" that Merovech was of the line of Chlodio.[1] Most or all other references to Merovech were influenced by Gregory and/or legends.

The anonymous "History of the Franks" describes Merovech as a kinsman of Chlodio, but says specifically that he inherited his same kingdom that he had been building, apparently including Tournai (now in Belgium) and Cambrai (now in France).

Merovech's son Childeric was described by such historians as a King of the Franks but is mostly described as ruling over a Roman-Frankish army in northern Gaul, rather than any specific Frankish territory. (At one point, when in exile, a Gregory says that a Roman leader Aegidius replaced him in this position of King.) However, Saint Remigius, in a letter to Clovis, said that Clovis, like his parents, ruled Roman Belgica Secunda - an area containing Tournai, Artois, Cambrai and the Silva Carbonaria, all areas associated with Chlodio.

Nevertheless Gregory of Tours, and also Hincmar of Reims, report that Clovis killed a rival king and relative, named Ragnachar, who was ruling Cambrai and north of the Somme.


FATHER: Clodius has been selected by Roger Travis as a cut-off point for our attempts at systematizing early medieval genealogy, and has been made the father of Merovech to show a traditional and possible relationship, though the exact relationship is doubted and uncertain.

Notice of resolution of ambiguous parentage: This profile has been edited with regard to parents in accordance with principles established by the European Aristocracy user-group. Medieval genealogy is not an exact science, and digital collaborative genealogy must therefore occasionally make choices where old-fashioned print-scholarship did not have to. The parents (or lack of parents) of the person described in this profile were decided upon in consultation with primary sources especially as collected in the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy’s Medieval Lands project.


  • There is no record of a name for any wife.


The Chronicle of Fredegar contains a legendary version of Frankish origins, connecting them to the Trojan war. He also referenced to Gregory's history, adding legendary details. He reports a story that Merovech was the son of the queen, Clodio's wife; but his father was a "beast of Nepture", resembling "the Quinotaur" (a beast unknown from any other source, but normally presumed to be linked to the Greek Minotaur stories).[2]

Some researchers have noted that Merovech, the Frankish chieftain, may have been the namesake of a certain god or demigod honored by the Franks prior to their conversion to Christianity. It has been suggested Merovech refers to or is reminiscent to the Dutch river Merwede, nowadays part of the Rhine-Meus-Scheldt delta but historically a main subsidiary of the Rhine, in the neighborhood of which the Salian Franks once dwelled according to Roman historians. Another theory considers this legend to be the creation of a mythological past needed to back up the fast-rising Frankish rule in Western Europe.


  1. History of the Franks II.9. Latin here: "De huius stirpe quidam Merovechum regem fuisse adserunt, cuius fuit filius Childericus".
  2. Fredegar in Latin.

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No known carriers of Merovech's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 3
Merovech of the FRANKS Image 1
Merovech of the FRANKS Image 1

Map of Merovingian Territories
Map of Merovingian Territories

The legendary Merovech Merovingian
The legendary Merovech Merovingian


On 9 Jan 2018 at 10:51 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

I do not think Merovech is generally considered legendary at all, only some aspects of his life? Also while the relationship to Chlodio is uncertain he clearly really existed also. (He is reported by contemporary Sidonius Apollinarus.) Why is Merovech being associated especially with the Ijssel though? This seems to be someones theory about Salian origins. Merovech's connection to Salians was itself unclear.

On 25 May 2015 at 12:23 GMT Marty (Lenover) Acks wrote:

Unknown-247988 and Merovingian-54 appear to represent the same person because: Same historical figure

On 3 Dec 2010 at 16:45 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote:

King of the Salic Franks.

Merovech is 40 degrees from George Bush, 46 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 38 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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