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Among the Franks listed, are eight with the title count (Ansbert, Audracus, Bertold, Gereman, Ripoin, Unruoch, Vulfald and Waning), most of whom are also named in other contemporary records. A greater amount of genealogical information is contained in two other sources which deserve special mention: the Manual of Dhuoda, which records advice from Doda (wife of Bernard Marquis of Septimania) to her son Guillaume, later count of Bordeaux, and the so-called donation of Ekkehard, a series of documents which record the testamentary dispositions of count Ekkehard, who died in [876/77], and name 43 different individuals (not all of whom can be identified with certainty)This apparent lack of interest in family relationships in Carolingian era primary sources may be due to the fluidity of movement of Frankish nobles within the Carolingian empire.
The sources reveal continual changes in appointments of nobles to govern particular territories.
The central imperial authorities reacted quickly to these situations, as shown by the late 8th and early 9th century Frankish appointments to rule the duchy of Spoleto and the march of Friulia, and the installation of Wido as count and prefect in the march of Brittany in the late 790s.
However, control of such territories rarely passed between family members.
In addition, numerous references have been found to nobles who cannot at this time be linked with any confidence to any family grouping.
They are set out in Chapter 2, in alphabetical order and split between the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries for ease of reference.
The Merovingian nobility in earlier centuries is shown in the document MEROVINGIAN NOBILITY.
Similarity of names suggests many unprovable connections between the Carolingian nobility and the earlier Merovingian nobility.
They include the descendants of junior members of the Carolingian royal family: the family of Nibelung (descendants of Childebrand, illegitimate son of Pepin [II] "le Gros" maior domus of Neustria), and the descendants of Bernard and Hieronymus, illegitimate sons of Charles "Martel".
It is felt that, in the absence of direct proof from primary sources, speculation about family connections is unproductive, especially if based solely on onomastics, given the numerous possible family relationships through both agnatic and cognatic lines.