Ebles Manzer of Aquitaine- my 27th great grandfather
Ebalus or Ebles Manzer or Manser (c. 870 – 935) was Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine on two occasions: from 890 to 892 and from 902 (Poitou) and 927 (Aquitaine) to his death. Ebles was an illegitimate son of Ranulf II of Aquitaine. The meaning of his surname is disputed. Manzer is a Germanic habitational name, but also a Germanic personal name formed from magin, meaning “strength” or “might” (cf magnus). The same surname was used by another Prince from Occitania, Arnaud Manzer, Count of Angoulême (born 952-died 988/92), who also was a bastard. No other European Prince used the name Manzer. This fact makes the speculation about the Germanic origin of the Ebles’ surname problematic. Ebles succeeded his father Ranulf in 890, but was driven out in 892 by Aymar, who was supported by Eudes of France. Ebles gained the backing of William the Pious, Count of Auvergne, who placed Aquitaine under his own authority in 893. In 902, Ebles launched the reconquest of his county with an army lent by his distant relative William the Pious. He took Poitiers while Aymar was away and established control of the county. He was invested as count by Charles III, with whom Ebles had been raised. The committal title was the only one to which he ever had legitimate investiture. Ebles allotted the abbey of Saint-Maixent to Savary, Viscount of Thouars, who had been his constant supporter. He restructured Poitou by creating new viscounties in Aulnay and Melle and dissolved the title and position of Viscount of Poitou upon the death of its holder, Maingaud, in 925. In 904, he conquered the Limousin. In 911, Ebles was in Chartres with an army to oppose Rollo, the Viking leader. In 927, William the Younger, successor of William the Pious, and then his successor, his brother Acfred, died in the space of one year. Acfred had made Ebles his heir; Ebles thus found himself Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Berry, Auvergne, and Velay. In 929, King Rudolph started trying to reduce the power of Ebles. He withdrew from him access to Berry, and then in 932 he transferred the titles of Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Auvergne to the Count of Toulouse, Raymond Pons. Moreover, the territory of La Marche, which was under the control of the lord of Charroux, vassal of Ebles, was transformed into an independent county.