About Lord Otterus Othoer Baron Gheradini Lord in Tuscany Gheradini
PROBABLY CORRECT: The genealogy to a Gheradini family origin is very likely true. English kings did indeed recruit many continental knights and warriors for the conquest of Ireland, who were given noble seats as their reward. In our modern era we see written record of one of the brothers Maurizio Gheradini as a knight in the invasion. However this genealogy was incorrectly placed in doubt because they thought an Irish priest would not know, but those in Florence would know. Why would those in Florence know the history of their ancient kinsmen who left for Ireland a 500 years earlier? It is the Irish priest who would know about those ex-pat Florentines in Ireland, as they had the records of births, death, marriages and history-- not the Florentines. The priest was was more likely correct, the Italian nay-sayers incorrect. How would they know? Yet, there are records of FitzGeralds corresponding with Florentines indicating this ancient connection. There are many noble families of Ireland who descend from warriors who participated in the invasion of Ireland. Another one was William le Hore who supported Strongbow and was given the seat of Pole Hore as his reward. "Le Hore" can be taken to mean "the outsider". He was a Saxon knight who helped in the invasion, certainly not Irish. The noble families of Ireland are packed with outsiders who helped in the invasion, that is why the Irish rebelled against them for centuries. They aren't irish in origin. The noble families of Ireland were largely English and other outsiders. Yet, people today assume that irish noble families have all Irish origin. No, they do not. Again, that is why the Irish rebelled against these Irish noble houses-- they were not Irish in origin in many cases. Furthermore, the Gheradini did indeed exist in Florence before it was a republic. The Gheradini lost power when it was made into a republic. The Victorians were vehemently prejudiced against all things Irish but loved all things Florentine. Thus they sneered that a Gheradini lineage could not be in Ireland. They said Gheradino was not a Cosimo, because that was the term used during the republican era. However, before Florence was a republic, of course they had local noblemen: effectively dukes, counts, barons, whatever language you wish to use, such as the Gheradini who were local pre-republican noblemen of Florence. The Geradini represent the pre-republican era before the word "Cosimo" was adopted. However the Gheradini were effectively the equivalent role as the Florentines "Cosimos" before the Medici adopted the term Cosimo for the ruler of Florence. A general term might be "Lord" however, that is an English word, even if correct in the role. The correct term is "Seignior of Florence."
The Gherardini were one of the seigniorial families that fell when the Republic of Florence was founded circa A.D. 1250.211. The Gheradini family is recorded in many Irish pedigrees as their ancestor from three brothers who participated in the invasion of Ireland, including the families of Fitzmaurice (from Maurizio), Fitzgerald (from Gheraldini) and other families such as Gerard, Gerald, Keating, Rogers, White, Carew, Redmund, and Lords of Kerry, etc who descended from the three brothers.
The denial of this pedigree was a Victorian anti-Irish prejudice on the part of the English, who saw the Irish as barbaric Celts at that time, and would reflexively scoff at a noble Florentine origin of Irish families. The English scoffed at all things Irish in that era.
PROBABLY INCORRECT: Unfortunately, Other's descent from the Gherardini was claimed a fantasy, debunked by a Victorian writer. In one version of the story, he was a son of Otho di Gherardini of the Florentine family.
"The story given above is traced to an Irish priest, 'called Maurice, who was of the family of the Gherardini settled in that island,' and who, passing through Florence in 1413, claimed the local Gherardini as his ancient kinsmen."
The Mona Lisa painting by Leonard da Vinci was born of the Gherardini family of Florence. Her husband, a silk merchant, was of the Giocondo family. Hence, the painting is often called "La Gioncanda" indicated Mona Lisa's married name.
The Gheradini family had estates in various parts of the Florentine territory. In Florence, their principal residence was near the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Their tower still exists, being part of the Palazzo Bartolomei.
The first date we have in the family history is 910 A.D. when one Raniero (Rainier?) was living. The Italian historian Gammurini, says "the Gherardi were among the most ancient and wealthy families of Tuscany in 900 A.D."
The family flourished until the year 1125. Then, during a political upheaval, the patrician families were driven into exile. The Gherardini lost their patrician rank and became mere citizens. Later they were restored to honors, became wealthy again, and served the Republic of Florence both in the senate and on the battlefield. Three were Consuls of the Republic; others died as leaders of the Republican armies in the many civil wars. Confiscations and losses during the civil wars impoverished the Gherardini, and they also suffered much by the destruction of their property in the great fire of Florence in 1303. From the 14th century onwards they seem to have played a smaller part in the history of Florence.
At different times, between 1000 and 1400, individuals of the family emigrated, passing into France, England, Wales, Ireland, Cracow and the Canary Islands. Those who stayed in Florence became extinct, as did those in France and Cracow. However, there are correspondence records showing that the Gherardini of Florence and the Irish "Geraldines" did not lose touch with each other. There are records of visits back and forth until the late 1500's.