The introduction outlines the subject of the research. One of the most relevant early medieval elite kinship groups of the Italian kingdom were the Hucpoldings, named after that Hucpold who had held the office of count palatine under Louis II. Key features of the research are the long chronological range and the wide geographical area investigated. The chapter then retraces the main historiographical steps taken in investigations of early medieval kinship groups from the second half of the twentieth century until the latest developments. A specific section is dedicated to the presentation and analysis of the documentary and narrative sources used in this research.