Capitularia regum francorum online dating
The title dux was certainly a personal appointment in Germany from the 11th century onwards, and it is hard to see why the situation should have been any different in the case of comital appointments before that date.
highlights the theory that, in the 11th century and before, relationships within the families of Germany nobility were defined on a broadly consanguineous rather than patrilineal basis, an evolution towards the latter occurring only from the 12th century onwards with the adoption of family toponymics following the widespread building of castles which became personally identified with the ruling families.
This provides a marked contrast with early British and Scandinavian sources which emphasise the tracing of ancestry as a means of underlining historical continuity and legitimising the power of incumbent rulers, although it is suspected that many of the early lines of descent traced in the early sources in those countries are unreliable (see the Introductions to the documents ENGLAND, ANGLO-SAXON & DANISH KINGS and NORWAY KINGS for a full discussion of this problem).
One result of the infrequency of specifying family relationships in early German sources before the 11th century is the extreme difficulty of judging the extent of hereditary succession in the German counties during this period and, if heredity was the rule, whether it followed an accepted pattern of primogeniture in the male line or whether it was broader.
Imperial diplomas, necrologies and chronicles include numerous references to individuals titled "comes" but in the 8th and 9th centuries they are rarely linked to any geographical location and the sources rarely specify family relationships.
A related question is who appointed the counts to their counties.
In the late 9th and early 10th centuries, the evidence from imperial diplomas suggests that appointments were made exclusively by the king/emperor.
With the arrival of the Saxon dynasty, the number of appointments increased, as can be seen from the names referenced in the present document.
The pace of increase quickened further with the successors to the Ottonians, King Heinrich II and the kings of the Salian dynasty.