Hugh was born in the winter of 941 and was the son of Hugh the Great and
Hedwige of Saxony. His grandfather was King Robert I. His grandmother was Beatrice of Vermandois. She was a Carolingian; a daughter of
Herbert I of Vermandois. By this connection he was the fifth great-grandson of Charlemagne through Pepin of Italy.
While still a young man Hugh got the nickname "capet" from the cape he wore. These were tokens of the lay abbacies he held.