Re: French-Crusaders in Cyprus
Dears Anha, Chris & Lanceor:
I would repeat what I have said: Genealogy in the Middle East –Especially of the Christians in Syria, Lebanon & the Holy Land- is very complicated and it depends on the oral traditions much more than written ones. I am not sure whether the Cypriot genealogy is so or not.
Since most of the Prince family live in Lebanon ( they are closely related to those in Cyprus) I would speak about Lebanon because Tripoli is the place in which the family is originated ( For dear Anha Keyrouse is also Lebanese, they are originally from Bcharre under the Cedars of Lebanon):
In the Middle Ages when Tripoli was governed by the Crusaders a mixed people lived there, a strange result of the intermarriages between the Christians from Europe and the Local Christians ( Maronites, Melkites…) . it was very familiar that a Tripolitan is of French origin (but of course of a local Christian culture) and married to a Local Christian, his son-in-law is Greek and his daughter –in-law is Armenian or Syriac, it was a very ideal Christian society! Till now you can find many of Crusader origin in Lebanon, Holy Land, Jordan & Syria (for example the famous Lebanese Douaihi clan is originally “de Douai” , Bernar are “Bernard”, “Karam” are the descendants of Robert le Lepreux de Saone, the lord of Sahyoun.the Palestinian Rok is originally “Roque” and the Chanbour are “Chambord”, Armenian Loussinian are “Lusignan” and so on… even in the deserts around Krak de Montreal in Southern Jordan many Christian families are of Crusader origin like the Khoura and the Farah ( most of them are “Du Puy” ) .
The Lord of Tripoli had the title of “Count” but popularly he had the title of the “Prince” (Brens or Prins after the local pronunciation) and that was mentioned by Ushluhi, a local Christian poet who had a lament on the County of Tripoli and said that he was very sad for the “Brens” and the “Brens family”.
Raymond de Saint-Gilles de Toulouse had a well known issue, but many of his cousins came with him seeking wealth, estates and adventures in the Middle East. And those were called “the Brens family” because the Middle Eastern tradition tends to call the family after the title or the proper noun of its great person ( in Lebanon we have the Moutran family, “Moutran” means and Archbishop! Surely an archbishop is supposed not to have children but long time ago ( four hundred centuries , I think so) one of this famous family was a well known archbishop. So people were used to call all of his family –even his cousins and his uncles- by the “Moutran (Archbishop) family” and the title became a surname. The clan of Muhammed, the founder of Islam” was called “Al Muhammed” after him although he was not the elder but the most famous. It is normal in our country to see this phenomenon. so one can assume that the title “Prince” came to this family from its elder member. A large branch of this family has the surname of “Traboulsy ( De Tripoli)” in Lebanon, Aleppo & Homs in Syria. Both Prince and Traboulsy branches have formed an essential part of the Patrician and notable families in Beirut, Tripoli, Aleppo, Homs, Jounieh & Cyprus.
In the country of Batroun live many people who are the descendants of Poitiers family and this is mentioned in some historical books that Kalaoun, the Sultan of Egypt granted the grandchildren of Bohemond V a fief in the mountains of Batroun ( they were called “Poitiers de Boutron”) and many families trace their roots to them.
We cannot say that Prince is descended directly from this great heros (Saint-Gilles, Bohemond…) , in this point I agree 100% with you.But we are sure that the progenitor of the family was closely related to them.