|Just How Old is the Eberhard name?|
The Eberhard name goes back at least 1300 years. The earliest line of men with the name Eberhard seems to be located in the Alsace region of modern France. Eberhard, Duke of Alsace was born about the year 697. The area located on the western shore of the Rhein River appears to be the ancestral lands of this clan.
An Eberhard was named the Margrave (think Prince) of Fruili. He lived from 802 to 867. Fruili is in the NE part of modern Italy. This Eberhard is linked to the Eberhards of Alsace, France.
A grandson of Eberhard, Margrave of Fruili was also named Eberhard. He was born about 865. He became later known as Eberhard, Count of Sulichgau (or Sulich Gau). Sulich Gau is the region of Germany now known as Württemberg. The Church of Sulich Gau is located 20 min NE of Rottenburg am Neckar in the vicinity of Tübingen. He may have been the first Eberhard in the immediate area of Württemberg. Much later in 1265, the first Eberhard, Count of Württemberg was named.
Another Eberhard was named Margrave (think Prince) of Frisia in the late 800's and died 898. Prior to this appointment he was the Eberhard, Count of Hamaland. Frisia is the area of the Netherlands and extreme NW coast of Germany. Hamaland is today located in the Dutch province of Gelderland on the Rhein River. This appointment would have come after the Frank invasion of the area (and France). Perhaps this Eberhard was from elsewhere in Germany and was a high ranking military official during the invasion. It appears that prior to the year 900, this area was under the control of influential families from further south on the Rhein River (i.e.Nassau area and perhaps Alsace).
Eberhard III of Franconia became Duke of Franconia in 918 after the death of his brother Conrad who was Duke of Franconia and King of the Germans. Though Eberhard III would become Duke of Franconia, the title of King of the Germans would be passed to Henry the Fowler in 918. Eberhard III and Conrad were sons of Conrad, Duke of Thuringia. This Eberhard was born about 885. Eberhard III would serve as Duke of Franconia from 918 until his death in 939. He was killed by forces under Otto. Additional note: Conrad, Duke of Thuringia (892-906) was previously Count of virtually all the land area from the vicinity of Worms though central Hessen along the Lahn River. He would unite all of Hessen. He left to his heirs that land that would become the Duchy of Franconia. Conrad was a son of Udo of Neustria.
There was also an Eberhard, Duke of Bavaria who lived from 937-938. He was the son of Arnulf the Bad, Duke of Bavaria 907-937.