Recently I have been Studying the Patriarchs of my family history, so the eldest known male figure that appear in a singular branch, in the hope of learning a little more about where I came from and after 21+ years of Genealogical research I have many Hundreds of branches to choose. Some of these ancestral figure’s are shared ancestors for most of us.
Seigneur Eustache de Croix (1150 – 1202), was my 22nd Great-grandfather, He was a Knight Templar and Crusader and one of the eldest known figure heads of House de Croix,
Croix was one of the most considerable and most ancient of the Provinces of Flanders and Artois, The family took its name from a fief, consisting of some 800 vassals; it is situated in Walloon Flanders and the chatelenie de Lille. It dates from time immemorial among the old “chevalerie”. For most of it’s history, this region was part of the province of Flanders, most of which was found in present-day Belgium and the Netherlands.
Little is known about the early life of Eustace; although he is most notably known for the small part he played in the 4th Crusade. He is known to have been married to a Matilda (1174 – 1194), and father to one known Child, Jean de Croix, who was born the same year that Matilda died. So possibly as a result of Child birth. Eustace served his prince, the Count of Flanders and of Hainaut, Baudouin (Baldwin, Balduin) IX, on an expedition to Constantinople and the Holy Land.
At the beginning of 1201, he took the cross on the Church de Saint-Donation de Bruges (since 1830 in Belgium), with a large number of lords, during which he exhorted the brave knights who were to accompany him on the expedition to the Holy Land.
Unfortunately, the fatigue of a long voyage cut short his life at the age of fifty-two.
Baldwin I of Constantinople (1172-1205), the first emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, as Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, and as Baldwin VI, Count of Hainaut, was one of the of the prominent leaders of the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the capture of Constantinople, the conquest of the greater part of the Byzantine Empire, and the foundation of the Latin Empire, also known as Romania.