Cosimo "The Great" Gherardini, 1st Duke of Florence (c.870 - 950) MP

‹ Back to Gherardini surname

Is your surname Gherardini?

Research the Gherardini family

Seignior Gherardini, 1st Seignior of Florence's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Related Projects

Nicknames: "Cosimo"
Birthplace: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Death: Died in Firenze, Toscana, Italia
Occupation: 1st Great Duke of Florence, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Managed by: Esther ROWE Irish
Last Updated:

About Cosimo "The Great" Gherardini, 1st Duke of Florence

The Gherardini family were one of the seigniorial families that fell when the Republic of Florence was founded. http://www.geraldini.com/documenti/before-america/Before-America-Part-1.pdf

-------------------------

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."

http://www.geraldini.com/new/fitzgerald_uk_1.asp

The Gherardinis

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.

--------------------------

Subject : Gherardini family from Florence

I understand that the Florentine historian , Gamurrini in ("Istoria Genealogoca delle Famiglie Mobili Toscane ed Umbre." published Florence, 1671) gives a full account of the Gherardini family, as originating from Arezzo ( Arretium in Etruria) as far back as 800, and afterwards being at Siena, then in the Val d'Elsa, & finally settling in Florence. ( I have NOT seen this publication)

He apparently gives the descent as :

A.D. 910 Rainerio | A.D. 950 Ramberto | A.D. 990 Rainerio | A.D. 1020 Gherardo. | A.D. 1050 Cece | A.D. 1090 Uguccione | A.D. 1120 Ottaviano. | A.D. 1150 Gherardino. | _________________|____________________________________________ | | | | | | Cece Ottaviano Uguccione Tommaso Gherardo Maurizio

In 1150 the Gherardino had 6 sons, of whom 3 Maurice, Thomas and Gerard (or Gerald) left Florence for France, where they entered the service of King Louis le Jeune, and afterwards of his son Philip II. This king , being asked by Henry II of England to find some Italian officers (comandanti) to assist him in the prosecution of his Irish wars, "not wishing to trust either Irish or French" , sent him the 3 Gherardini brothers ( or Geraldini), who to show their parentage had adopted the Norman prefix of Fitz, i.e. FitzGerald. Maurice is mentioned as the knight who assisted Strongbow.

The above history is in conflict with the usual recorded genealogy of the Fitzgeralds, who often trace their lineage to an Otho or Other (? also deriving from Gherardini or Geraldini family of Florence), an honory Baron of England in 1057 (Ref Dugdale) who was the father of

Walter Fitz-Other or Fitz-Otho, Ist Constable of Windsor Castle, keeper of the Forests of Berkshire. In the Doomsday Book (1086) he is lord of manors in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Middlesex and Buckingham. He married Beatrice , and died after 1100.

------------------------

The Gherardini Family and Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

The Gherardini family was an important noble family in Florence with ancient origins. In the Middles Ages, the family were liege lords in Chianti and Val d’Elsa. They moved into Florence in the 10th century and participated at the apex of the city’s political life, as well as in the conflicts between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. This Florentine family has the distinction that the famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci was a Gherardini. Her name was Mona Lisa Gherardini, given in marriage to Del Giocondo; thus, the painting is often called La Gioconda in reference to her married name.

-------------------------

The Italian historian Gammurini, says "the Gherardi were among the most ancient and wealthy families of Tuscany in 900 A.D." Family legend states that Anaes, a survivor of the siege of /troy, wandered for seven years after it’s overthrow, until he came to what was then called Latium, (now Italy). He brought with him his father and small son Ascanius, for whom the province of Tuscany is named. Anaes married the daughter of King Turnus of Latium, who was killed in battle. Anaes succeeded him as king of Latium and divided his lands among his descendants. To Gherardo, he gave the land of He/truria, where Florence now stands.

http://www.robertkeating.com/gerardin.htm

The family flourished until the year 1125. Then, during a political upheaval, the patrician families were driven into exile. In order to remain in Florence, the Gherardini renounced their patrician rank and became mere citizens. Later they were restored to their ancient honors, became very wealthy, 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 des/truction 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. It is pleasant to record 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.

The model for Leonardo d Vinci's painting, the Mona Lisa was Mona Lisa Gherardini of Florence.

-------------------- NOTE: Mona Lisa Gherardini : The Gherardini, and many other prominent Irish families, were one of the seigniorial families that fell when the Republic of Florence was founded. Its members 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." Family legend states that Anaes, a survivor of the siege of /troy, wandered for seven years after it’s overthrow, until he came to what was then called Latium, (now Italy). He brought with him his father and small son Ascanius, for whom the province of Tuscany is named. Anaes married the daughter of King Turnus of Latium, who was killed in battle. Anaes succeeded him as king of Latium and divided his lands among his descendants. To Gherardo, he gave the land of He/truria, where Florence now stands. The family flourished until the year 1125. Then, during a political upheaval, the patrician families were driven into exile. In order to remain in Florence, the Gherardini renounced their patrician rank and became mere citizens. Later they were restored to their ancient honors, became very wealthy, 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. It is pleasant to record 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. **

-------------------- BIOGRAPHY: From Bartlett's Quotations: Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends " We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends. "

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. :" Family legend states that Anaes, a survivior of the siege of TROY, wandered for seven years after it's overthrow, until he came to what was called Latium, ( now Italy ). He brought with him his father and small son Ascanius, for whom the province of Tuscany is named. Anaes married the daughter of King Turnus of Latium, who was killed in battle. Anaes succeeded him as King of Latium and divided his lands amoung his descendents. To Gherardo, h e gave the land of He/truria, where Florence now stands.

The family flourished in Florence until the year 1125. Then, during a political upheaval, the patrician families were driven into exile. In order to remain in Florence, the Gherardini renounced their patrician rank and became mere citizens. Later they were restored to their ancient honors, became very wealthy, 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. It is pleasant to record that the Gherardini of Florence and the Irish "Geraldines" who were of the same family of origin, did not lose touch with each other. There are records of visits back and forth until the late 1500's. -------------------- Cosimo (Cosmus) Gherardini. A great history of this family: http://www.geraldini.com/documenti/before-america/Before-America-Part-1.pdf

view all

Seignior Gherardini, 1st Seignior of Florence's Timeline

870
870
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
900
900
Age 30
Firenze, Toscana, Italia
950
950
Age 80
Firenze, Toscana, Italia