HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF THE NEGRONI FAMILY
Héctor Andrés Negroni
The original name of the family was Negrone and its place of origin was the town of Locarno, Switzerland, in a historic region of Italy known as Lombardy or Cisalpine Gaul. Around 1090 AD a member of the important Spinola family, in turn a branch of the Visconti family, adopted the surname of Negrone to distinguish himself and his family from the other members of the Spinola family. In 1131 the family received the title of Marquio de Negrone (Marchese de Negrone) from the Holy Roman Emperor and since that date, this title has remained in the Negroni family. The title of Marquio (Marquis in French, Marchese in Italian, Marqués in Spanish, or Marquess in English) was a title of nobility given to a nobleman who was responsible for the security of a frontier region or “Marca”. In European nobility a marquis ranked below a duke and ahead of a count.
Coat of Arms of the Negroni Family
In 1134 the first Marchese Negrone (sometimes written as Nigrono, Nigrone, Nigrona or Negrono) was recognized as a member of the Visconti family. It was a common practice around those times for families to form unions or alliances (known as Alberghos) in order to enhance the power, prestige, and riches of the members of the family group. In 1250 the Negrone family split in two branches, one headed by Giacomo (who died after 1264) and the other headed by Enrico (who died before 1252). Giacomo’s branch is the oldest, still exists in Genoa, Italy, and is headed by the Marchese Vittorio II Negrone (born in Genova, 29 October 1932). Enrico’s branch is represented today in France and in Puerto Rico. The French branch is headed by Francois Marquis de Negroni de San Colombano (born in Paris, France, 10 February 1943) and the Puerto Rican senior branch is represented by Colonel Hector Andres Negroni (born in Yauco, Puerto Rico, 30 January 1938).
Both the French and the Puerto Rico branches originated in Corsica when in 1523 Marchese Francesco Negrone, a descendent of Enrico, went to Corsica to marry Princess Giorgetta Da Mare. Giorgetta was the daughter of Prince Giacomosanto I Da Mare, Lord of San Colombano. The Lordship (Signoria) of San Colombano was a feudal domain under the Doges of Genoa of over 400,000 acres in the northern Cap Corse peninsula of Corsica and included the towns of Cagnano, Luri, Meria, Tomino, Rogliano, Ersa, Centuri, Morosiglia, Pino, and Barrettali. The seat of government was the Castle of San Colombano, in Rogliano, Cap Corse, Corsica. Upon his marriage, Francesco received the Lordship of San Colombano as dowry and in order to differentiate his branch of the family from the Genoese branch, he adopted the last name of Negrone de San Colombano.
Following the establishment of French sovereignty over Corsica in 1769, France recognized the Corsican nobility and admitted 77 families to the French nobility of the ancienne regime. The Negroni family was admitted to the French nobility through a French Royal Decree dated 22 June 1778 under the name Castagnola-Negrone. Despite this decree, the Head of the Family adopted the surname of de Negroni de San Colombano. This name was finally legalized through an affidavit dated 30 October 1860, which modified the 22 June 1778 French Royal Decree. The family coat of arms is described as “d’or a trois pals de sable, couronne de marquis, cimier I’aigle imperial” (a shield of gold with three black vertical stripes surmounted by the imperial eagle on a marquis coronet). The right to surmount the shield with the imperial eagle was given to the Negroni Family in 1310 by Henry VII, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, as a mark of appreciation for the hospitality given to him by the Negroni Family in Genoa during an Imperial visit that year.
This article was originally published in the
Boletin de la Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía Vol VIII, Abril de 1996, Num 1-2
Copyright 2005 © Héctor Andrés Negroni
La Genealogía de Puerto Rico extends its appreciation to Héctor Andrés Negroni for granting permission to present his article on the Negroni Family here.