Montesquiou family

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The House of Montesquiou is one of oldest aristocratic families in Europe, tracing its proven origins to the 9th century A.D. It is the main branch of the Fezensac family, itself descending from the House of Gascony through Garsie Sanche (886-920) Duke of Gascony. Its motto is: "Deo duce et ferro comite". This translates from Latin as "God as guide and my sword as companion," and was carried by many of the family's important war chiefs, including the field marshal de Blaise de Montluc during the war of religions. Montesquiou is closely related to the other branches of the bigger family, such as the families of Armagnac, of Marsan, and d'Artagnan.

Through the centuries, the Montesquiou family produced three field marshals, one admiral, one Cardinal, one archbishop, four generals, four bishops, several Cabinet ministers, diplomats, and countless men and women of letters. The very name of Fezensac was renewed by Louis XVI in 1777 to be carried by the heads of the house, which was then, as is now, represented by the Montesquiou family. Since that time the main line of the Montesquiou became known as Montesquiou-Fezensac. The two main branches of Montesquiou-Fezensac and d'Artagnan eventually merged in the early twentieth century. The name and title d'Artagnan had by then largely been dropped. But it was then renewed by the French government in 2011 for certain members of the family. Thus the d'Artagnan branch now bears the full name "de Montesquiou-Fezesensac d'Artagnan.

The titles of the Marsan line are:

  • Baron de Montesquiou and Pair de France (1018, 1819 and 1824)
  • Marquis de Montesquiou-Fezensac and Pair de France (1244, 1817)
  • Duc de Fezensac and Pair de France (1821)

The titles of the d'Artagnan line are :

The title of the Montluc (now exctinct) line were:

  • Comte de Montluc (1563)
  • Prince de Chabanais (1598)

The branches of the family were: Montesquiou-Marsan, Montesquiou d'Artagnan, Montesquiou-Marsac, Montesquiou-Sainte-Colombe, Montesquiou-Montluc, Montesquiou-Lasseran-Massencomme-Montluc. The family, however, was decimated during the French Revolution and successive wars. It barely counts more than a dozen members today, all of whom descend from the Marquis Anne-Pierre de Montesquiou-Fézensac (1739-1798).

Notable members[edit]