This site contains information on our family, our ancestors and our historical archives.
It has developed into a significant conservation project. After having lost a huge amount of historical documentation throughout the century due to theft, arson, and weathering, we felt that the transformation of our dusty paper and vellum archives into digital format was a paramount endeavor.
This website is our initial effort at pulling everything together. It is composed of three broad sections: The document archives, which present documents of interest and historical significance, the genealogy which presents the family tree in direct patrilineal line, and landmarks with historical annotations.
Expert conservationist, Kathleen Orlenko, formerly the Conservator for Stanford University Library at Stanford, Palo Alto, California and Conservator at the U.S. National Archives Western Region, San Bruno California, has been steadfastly repairing, conserving, and scanning our historical archives. Furthermore Dr. Diana Ferrara, whose doctoral thesis centered around curating the National Archives of Capua, a specialist in Italian history of the 16th to 18th century, is now establishing the archival base and analysis of the numerous Latin parchments.
We hope that this site will prove useful to our extended family, future descendants as well as historians and researchers who had been unable to access most of this material of historical significance until now.
Below you will find the translated excerpt from the Libro d’Oro della Nobiltà Italiana (The Golden Book of Italian Nobility)
Neapolitan family now resident in France and the United States of America. Identified also with Giffone (Gifone or de Jefuno), whose Lombard and Frankish ascendence re-connects with Guaimario (Waimar) and Giovanni Lamberto Prince of Salerno, and furthermore to Guido (Wido) Duke of Spoleto, all the way back to Garnier I of Bourgogne, first Count of Poitiers.
The family possessed, amongst others, also the lands of Tortora, which was the former Roman city of Blanda Julia (State Archive of Naples, Register of Charles I of Anjou n.1269, fol. 143 e 144). Given that the family members were at the time the Feudal Lords of this land, whose Fortress Castle was frequented by Turtledoves (Tortore in Italian) they took it’s name.
The family possessed also the Feudal Lands of Casilino, of Roggiano, and of Belvedere (State Archive of Naples, volume Privilegiorium of A.D. 1767 fol. 886). The family were Patricians of the cities of Bisceglie and of Molfetta. They were confirmed as Nobility by Philip II of Spain with Diploma of 29 January 1579 (State Archive of Naples volume 69 De Privilegi, A.D. 1577/79, fol. 268). It was furthermore recognized as a family of Ancient Nobility with Privilege by Emperor Charles VI on 30 Aprile 1730. Through marriage (11 Deceber 1781) of Carlo I with Francesca Brayda, only child of the Marquis Michele Brayda, Patrician of Giovinazzo, the family added the name and Arms of Brayda to its own, since with Francesca an important branch of this Noble and Ancient House became extinct. In the year 1900, Gian Lorenzo Tortora Brayda, then Head of the Family with Royal Decree of 11 January 1900 published on 8 March 1900 e contained in Number 77/96 of the Collection of Legislation and Royal Decrees of the Kingdom of Italy, was recognized also by succession from the families Severino and Carafa della Spina, in the Titles of Duke of La Chiusa, Duke of Forli, Marquis of Gagliati, Marquis of San Giuliano, Count of Policastro, Barono of Teverola, Noble Lords of Belvedere, Molfetta, Pascoli, Palmoli, Fratta Piccola, Sapri, Libonati, LeBoccati, and Pardinola. Several ancestors were admitted into the Sovreign Military Order of Malta, as Knights.
Arms: quartered. The 1st and 4th being partitioned: Azure in the first part, three green peaks, holding a turtledove centrally, above which are three gold stars in a horizontal band, blue in the second part with 3 silver chevrons; in the second and third red with a lion passant in majesty, reversed, red borders.
Motto: FORTITER IN RE, SUAVITER IN MODO