The Polignac's were a noble born family, but they were not very well off and were really provincial noblesse. They claimed their family dated back to the fifth century, but between the fifth and the eighteenth there were few members who could be coined remarkable.
Not until the eleventh century does a Polignac claim family relations. This lone Polignac began the tracing of the family tree. Their claim to nobility traced back to Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius also known as Saint Apollinaris, both a man of the state and a poet. Sidonius married the daughter of Roman Emperor Avitus, the union was advantageous for Gaul-Roman relations. He also became a senator of Rome, and bishop of Avernum. All his accomplishments were later topped by his becoming a Saint! Although the Apollinaris name dates to the 5th century, the family tree is a little fuzzy from there.
The 11th century Polignac participated in the First Crusade and retired in Vellay. During the sixteenth century, since the court of Francois I, the later mistress of Henry II, Diane de Poitiers, had shown favor on the family. Her influence on the family had a positive effect and indebted to her, a tradition was born; to name all daughters Diane.
The name was not commonly known again until the Abbe Melchoir who would become the Cardinal de Polignac. His fortunes began early when he was sent to Paris for his education. While there the Cardinal de Bouillon noticed the bright boy and had him accompany him as a secretary to Rome. While there his personality beamed and he made many friends in high places. His work in Rome caught the attention of Louis XIV. One of the high moments of the abbe's life was when he helped persuade the King to sign the Treaty of Utrecht. He became Cardinal de Polignac on the recommendation from the King of England.
|Possibly Diane de Polignac|
Diane's younger brother, Jules, remained at the family home in the country. He was set up for a marriage of convenience with Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron. The marriage did not do either family any favour as they were both old nobility and poor nobility. After she secured a friendship with Marie Antoinette did her lot improve dramatically. Her husband Jules and herself were given the title of duc and duchesse de Polignac. Her sister in Law Diane also reaped benefits from the friendship, as the King made her Comtesse and appointed her head of the household of Madame Elizabeth.