sabato 7 novembre 2009

De Noli. The Italian Bond

First the news about the announced book in December 2012:

The Italian printed edition, and the Italian and English on-line editions of the book "From Noli to Cape Verde. Antonio de Noli And The Beginning Of The New World Discoveries" is out.

Astengo C, Balla M., Brigati I., Ferrada de Noli M., Gomes L., Hall T., Pires V., Rosetti C. Da Noli a Capo Verde. Antonio de Noli e l'inizio delle scoperte del Nuovo Mondo. Editor Prof. Alberto Peluffo. Marco Sabatelli Editore. Italien, 2013. ISBN 9788888449821 
The Italian version here:

The English version here:

De Noli. The Italian Bond

With historical remarks on Genoa navigator Antonio de Noli, discoverer of Cape Verde and the very first governor of the European colonial regimes in South-Saharian Africa 
by Prof. Dr. Marcello Ferrada-Noli
Revised version, San Giovanni Bianco (BG), Italy, Feb 2010.
More historical documents at the Antonio de Noli Academic Society
Email the author to:  
The author and the Ambassador of Cape Verde to Italy Dr Jose Eduardo Barbosa. Meetings at the at the City Council of Noli 12 February 2010

On the author My name is Marcello Vittorio Ferrada de Noli. I was born 1943 in Copiapó, Chile, of a family with Italian bond.  The family name Ferrada de Noli (for brevity registered in Sweden in 2009 as Ferrada-Noli) derives from Ferrada (borough in the Northwest of Genoa, one km from the  reportedly site of Christopher Columbus birth), and De Noli, family established in Genoa around the 1300's (migrating from the old City of Noli, Savona, see below) and  giving thereafter the name Noli to that hamlet in old Northen Genoa (still existing, nowadays as one of Serra Riccò frazione in Valleregia). This tiny hamlet of Noli - found some 20 km North of Genoa City - is the birth place of navigator Antonio de Noli born in 1420  and of several generations of de Noli descendants nearly 600 years thereafter, including my grand father Vittorio who was as well born and baptizised in the same Valleregia church the 24 April 1881.

Coat of Arms of the Noli family preserved - in manuscript form - at the Blasone Cesenate, Malatestiana Library, Cesena, Italy [1] Copyright © 2004 Istituzione Biblioteca Malatestiana. All rights reserved

The Noli hamlet in Valleregia is not to be confounded with the City of Noli (in the province of Savona). However,  according to the Della Cella Manuscript book "Famiglie di Genova" [Pages 143-144. See Ref. 0-1 down below the texts], the origins of the de Noli family established in Genoa  "can be assumed from the small City and Castle of Noli" ("lórigine si puo supponere dalla piccola Citá e Castello di Noli", page 143). The first  member of the de Noli reported by the Della Cella manuscripts as member of the Genoese families is  Giacomo de Noli, a member in 1382 of the "12-olders" Council of Genoa  (XII-anziani del Comune) during the government of Nicolas de Guarco [Ref. 0-2].

In these notes - dedicated to my grandfather Vittorio Noli, born in Genoa-Valleregia, Anno 1881 [2] - I intend to inquire into the origins of the family Noli in Genoa-Valleregia prior to 1586, and the migration routes of the Noli elsewhere in Northwest Italy. I also intend to find an explanation as to why most of Noli families with endorsed nobility are documented to have had a rather equal nobility rank (nobile) although in different places of Northwest Italy, and whether this would support the thesis of a familiar link or common root in the ancient Republic of Noli. As I already mentioned I will also comment on the historical origins of the navigator and discoverer of Cape Verde islands, the nobleman Antonio de Noli (also the first European colonial Governor in Africa, on Portugal's account) which left Genoa 1449 for political exile in Portugal together with his brother Bartolomeo. Antonio de Noli is reported by Barros (1562) born in Genoa "of noble blood" [3] ca. 1419 [3a] and he presumably died around 1496 [3aa].

Whether Antonio de Noli died in Portugal or in Italy, or exactly elsewhere, has never been established nor his rests found. It has also been reported the existence of a son of the navigator Antonio de Noli [3b] althought his whereabouts in Cape Verde or Portugal have left no trace. The fact is that some years later one Antonio de Noli is found in Cesena, as father of Simone de Antonio Noli Biondi which became the first Noli member of the Consiglio di Cesena in 1503. The second one, in 1557, was his descendant, also named Antonio de Noli. And I actually found in Cesena a street named "Via Antonio Noli" [3bb]. The Noli family in Cesena is recorded at Malatestiana Library manuscripts both as of "foreign origin" [3c] and as "extinct" family around the 1500's [3cc].

Some decades after the Noli family had vanished from Cesena appeared the first Noli in Genoa-Valleregia anno 1586. And the fact is also that the first Noli found in the Valleregia parish register of family events has the name Antonio de Noli, and he is mentioned in conjunction with his son Bartolomeo (see picture of manuscript above). Also the name Simon de Noli emerges at that time in the Valleregia documents.

Genealogical tree
Click to enlarge

From Antonio de Noli (1586) to my sons Marcello Vittorio (daughter Abril Isabella, born 2008), José-Miguel, Rodrigo (son Marcel, born 2008), M. Andreas, Andreas Ferrada-Noli, and Christopher Riccardo (1979-1997) Ferrada-Noli, Nicholas Francesco, and daughter Caroline Ringskog Ferrada-Noli. Source for the coats of arms of the Noli in Lombardia: Archivio Storico Araldico Italiano and Enciclopedia Araldica Italiana, Vol. 18. For the original Noli arms of Liguria and R. Emilia, Biblioteca Malatestiana of Cesena, Biblioteca Palatina in Parma, and family collection. Source of manuscripts with the names and baptism date of the de Noli ascendents: Archive of the Valleregia Parish, Serra Ricò, Genoa.

Below, Noli coat of arms in Lombardia [Archivio Storico Araldico Italiano, Milan, and Enciclopedia Araldica Italiana, Vol. 18.]. Observe the antique saw ("serra") - at the shield element under the bar - denoting ancient procedence from Serra Ricò, the original location of the De Noli family. Serra Ricò (Parish Valleregia) is situated some 25 km north of Genova, Liguria

Modern research on the Italian navigator Antonio de Noli, who with his brother Bartolomeo de Noli discovered Cape Verde islands in 1450 -1461, has established that he was born in Genoa around 1420. The birth places given are Genoa Voltri (Genoa West) alternatively Genoa Serra Riccó (Genoa North). The carta regia of King Joao II of Portugal (8 April 1497) clearly stated he was a Genoes; and Joao de Barros, the most prominent among royal European historians of the epoch, affirms in his book Decades of Asia (1552) that Noli was "a national from Genoa and of noble blood" manuscriptsaround 1419 from a noble family with origins in Noli-Savona. The manuscript of 1586 above, found by Ferrada-Noli (2005) at the Parish in Valleregia of Genoa Serra-Riccò, tells of Antonio de Noli (de Naulo in old Latin) and his son Bartolomeo de Noli, being godfather in a baptism in the Valleregia church the 17th of February 1586. The child was named Mineta and was the daughter of Baptista and Bastiana de Casissa. Vittorio Noli Casissa (born 1881) was Noli from the father side and Casissa from the mother side, and had his baptism in the same Valleregia church in 1881. Between the generation of explorer Antonio de Noli and that of Vittorio Noli had passed 450 years.

In these notes - dedicated to my grandfather Vittorio Noli, born in Genoa-Valleregia, Anno 1881 [2] - I intend to inquire into the origins of the family Noli in Genoa-Valleregia prior to 1586, and the migration routes of the Noli elsewhere in Northwest Italy. I also intend to find an explanation as to why most of Noli families with endorsed nobility are documented to have had a rather equal nobility rank (nobile) although in different places of Northwest Italy, and whether this would support the thesis of a familiar link or common root in the ancient Republic of Noli. As I already mentioned I will also comment on the historical origins of the navigator and discoverer of Cape Verde islands, the nobleman Antonio de Noli (also the first European colonial Governor in Africa, on Portugal's account) which left Genoa 1449 for political exile in Portugal together with his brother Bartolomeo. Antonio de Noli is reported by Barros (1562) born in Genoa "of noble blood" [3] ca. 1419 [3a] and he presumably died around 1496 [3aa].

Whether Antonio de Noli died in Portugal or in Italy, or exactly elsewhere, has never been established nor his rests found. It has also been reported the existence of a son of the navigator Antonio de Noli [3b] althought his whereabouts in Cape Verde or Portugal have left no trace. The fact is that some years later one Antonio de Noli is found in Cesena, as father of Simone de Antonio Noli Biondi which became the first Noli member of the Consiglio di Cesena in 1503. The second one, in 1557, was his descendant, also named Antonio de Noli. And I actually found in Cesena a street named "Via Antonio Noli" [3bb]. The Noli family in Cesena is recorded at Malatestiana Library manuscripts both as of "foreign origin" [3c] and as "extinct" family around the 1500's [3cc].

Some decades after the Noli family had vanished from Cesena appeared the first Noli in Genoa-Valleregia anno 1586. And the fact is also that the first Noli found in the Valleregia parish register of family events has the name Antonio de Noli, and he is mentioned in conjunction with his son Bartolomeo (see picture of manuscript above). Also the name Simon de Noli emerges at that time in the Valleregia documents.

 The author at the City of Noli June 2005

PART I Antonio De Noli

Antonio de Noli, together with other navigators from Italy and Portugal, pioneered the advances of the Europeans at Africa’s west coast. Portugal - under the rule of Alfonso V, House of Aviz - made Antonio de Noli the first governor of Cape Verde year 1461, and hence head of "the first European overseas colony in Sub-Saharan Africa" (here).
Antonio de Noli, the first European Colonial Governor
in Africa, had his headquarters in Santiago Island
Antonio de Noli, together with other navigators from Italy and Portugal, pioneered the advances of the Europeans at Africa’s west coast. Portugal - under the rule of Alfonso V, House of Aviz - made Antonio de Noli the first governor of Cape Verde year 1461, and hence head of "the first European overseas colony in Sub-Saharan Africa" (here). Antonio de Noli has also being referred in some texts as Antonio da Noli, Anton da Noli, or Antonio de Nolle. It has been also stated that Antonio de Noli "real name" was instead Antoniotto Usodimare (see text in picture here below) but called da Noli on the base of the place where he came from - the port of Noli, near Genoa. (See this issue in "The Noli/Usodimare quest", below in this text).
In analysing medieval or renaissance Italian manuscripts readers should bear in mind that "di" and "da" before a name denotes the place or city where that person comes from (as in Leonardo da Vinci), whereas "de" before the name only denotes nobility. This had posed some problem in identifying the proper family name of navigator de Noli. On the one hand it has been for a long time establisehd - well according a contemporary source of the epoch (Barros, 1562) - that the navigator was born in Genoa of a noble family. On the other hand, the Dizionario Biographico degli Italiani, which also gives Genoa as the place of birth of Antonio Noli, states at the same time that his family has an origin in Noli (the port of Noli in Savona).
First known Noli forced to exile from homeland, due
to participation in politically incorrect engagements,
as tells in the text above. Found at Uppsala University Library (here)
The Noli family, referred by the Biographie Général (vol 38, p. 209. Se picture above) as having patrician ancestry, namely old roman (here), it is found in Liguria among the first parish-registers, kept since the middle ages. The famiglia Noli is named among the lord-families which housed the Castle of Cameriano in the beginning of the Fourteen hundreds [8]. Castello di Cameriano is situated in the vicinity of Vercelli, about 100 kilometres north of the City of Noli. Doctor Noli can be found as well in the mentioned Italian document of Anno 1344 (Codice Diplomatico Istriano, entry Nr. 478) [6]. The family name is also known much thanks to the nobleman Antonio de Noli (1415 - 1497), the Genoa-born captain who due to his political stand was forced from Italy to exile in Portugal, where Infante Dom Henrique El Navegante received him avec honneur, gave to the de Noli appointments in the Escuela de Sagres (a research and educational complex established by the Infante Enrique with both academic purpose and the aim to prepare further intercontinental explorations) and entrusted him the exploring of the Atlantic coast of Africa. 

Castello di Cameriano, house of the Noli family of Novara by the beginning of the Fourteen hundred

The Noli/Usodimare quest . These are possible alternatives which I am currently investigating:

a) Alternative Usodimare-family. (A. da Noli and A. Usodimare was one person). Navigator Antonio Noli was (in this alternative) born in the family Usodimare, an ancient noble family in Genoa (of visconti rank, but now extinct. Perhaps therefore less known than the Noli family). The reason as to why he was known as Antonio da Noli, being that the expedition of three vessels he commanded in his exile-travel to Portugal departed from the port Noli in Savona (80 kilometres from Genoa). I have recently found in Genoa - at the Archivi Historici di Genova - a three pages record on the family Usodimare that would place this family still existing around fifteen hundreds. (See pictures of the manuscript and the Usodimare coat of arms). This family was seemingly not connected to the Maritime Republic of Noli. There also exists in Genoa records of actual navigations of Usodimare (see Gråberg, below) dated of the same navigation years of “Antonio da Noli”.
b) Alternative Noli-family. (A. de Noli and A. Usodimare were two different persons). Navigator Antonio Noli was born in the family de Noli from Genova-Voltri and therefore known as Antonio de Noli. His noble status was recognized with credentials at arrival in Portugal and therefore his name properly referred in Portugal as Antonio de Noli. The reason as to why he become known in Italy as Antonio da Noli, being the one described in the hypothesis above. The existence of the de Noli family is documented in Italy as far as 1334 and the name de Noli still used by my ancestors in Genoa-Valleregia in the seventeen hundreds (Antonio de Noli is referred to have born 1419). A remarkable aspect which comes in support to this hypothesis is that the dialect spoken in Genoa-Voltri is very similar to the Portuguese language, as I was told in Genoa by an official at the Historical Archive of Genoa City [7b]. This would partly explain why Antonio de Noli did chose Portugal as exile land amid his hastily departure from Genoa in 1449. Further, there is in Genova-Voltri a street named Via Fratelli Noli (going from via P.P. Rubens to torrente Cerusa) in honour of Antonio de Noli and his brother Bartolomeo. This according to a source [here] handed over in Genoa by Giuseppina Rovereto at Archivio Storico del Comune di Genova.
c) The alternative “born in the family Noli and being the same person as A. Usodimare” is less tenable or realistic. While the existence of “Noli” harbour as departure point of the commented navigations enterprises would explain the reference “coming from Noli” implicit in the denomination ”da Noli” used by some historians, “Usodimare” itself does not explain precedence or origin. Secondly, there is no record from the chronics and historians of that time – such as Barros – indicating that the two navigators were in fact one, but born Noli.
f) As or the hypothesis "born in the City of Noli" no documentation has been produced in available publications, and no answer has been given in this regard by the authorities of the City of Noli. I took up this issue of the actual birth place of Antonio de Noli in my meetings at the Arcidiocesi di Genova (4 March 2008). A possible answer is due to come after research [7b].
Being the Usodimare a family genealogic independent form the de Noli, the issue of the real family origine of Antonio de Noli would have important impac in the DNA research on the navigator projected by USA-based researches [10].
Even the issue of Antonio de Noli's birth place has been for years under controversy. I use here the name Antonio de Noli, which is the international form used (see text in British Encyclopaedia further below) and also according to the forms of registered Italian family names from the epoch. Further, de Noli is the proper denomination used by The the Grande Enciclopedia Portuguesa e Brasileira, the main Portuguese biographic source (picture at left).
The Portuguese sources are of outmost importance for an accurate identification of facts on Antonio de Noli. Portugal was the first host country receiving de Noli immediately after his departure from Genoa. At arrival in Portugal, the Genoa navigator would have to give - by own words - his proper name to the royal hosts (Prince Henry), and the name so was rightly recorded in Portugal. Generations after, Portuguese descendents of Antonio de Noli - such as Dom Johan and another Antonio - had signed the family name as "de Nolle" in a letter dated 1512 [11]. This according to Prof. Dr. Trevor Hall, a historian with a PhD dissertation from Johns Hopkkins University on Cape Verde early history and the role of Governor Antonio de Noli. Professor Hall has indicatet the use of de Noli as the proper original family name [12]. All this historical data was not available at the time - almost a century ago - when the Italian Navy decided to give the name Antonio da Noli to one of its destroyers.

The destroyer of the Italian Navy ANTONIO DA NOLI, here in Venice. Built in 1929, the Da Noli participated in
many battles during the II World War. After 228 war missions and over 70 000 nautic miles it was sank
by a German mine on Sept 9th 1943. This, soon after a naval combat in which the Da Noli had engaged
both Germans ships and coast artillery. Only 39 men of the 253 crew of heroic seamen survived.
Commnder Valdambrini was killed together with all the men fighting at their post in the
command bridge, all stayng until the end. Long life to the heroes of the Italian Navy!
Arms and colours of the
Marina Militare Italiana 

Genoa, the place of birth of Antonio de Noli 

It has been put forward that Antonio de Noli (António "de Noli" is also the family name according to Enciclopædia Britannica, see reference at the end of this text), was born in Genoa of a family originally from Noli (Wipikedia, Italian, here). More concrete, it is referred by the Italian Wipikedia that Antonio de Noli would have born in Genoa-Voltri. The name "de Noli" is as well documented by scholar Charles Verlinden [António de Noli e a colonização das ilhas de Cabo Verde (1963)]. The site refers also the name as Antonio de Noli (here). And, also about the place of origin, in the book Asia published in Venice 1461 and authored by Barros (see below), it refers that Antonio da Noli, "national of Genoa and of noble blood", did leave Genoa after disagreements (here) and went to exile in Portugal.
Comte Jakob Gråberg (Giacomo Grågerg) born in Hemse, Sweden, was both a notorious geography-historian and navy officer (served also as lieutenant in the British Royal Navy) which become member of the conspicuous Svenska Aakademien (The Swedish Academy, here). Gråberg had direct contact with Genoa’s historical archives and documents on its navigators, in particularly the relevant to the exploring Africa west coast. Gråberg - which had earned an academic degree at the University of Genoa and given a noble title by the Pope - was in fact the Swedish Vice Consul in Genoa and later diplomatic in North Africa at various places. The Royal Library of Sweden allowed me in January 2008 - after quite insistence - to have a "private" reading at of Gråberg's book from 1802, kept at a special archive at the Library. This is a transcript from Gråberg's Annali di Geografia, e di Statistica, Vol. II, page 258 and with my translation (I insert here in the quoted text the coresponding footnote references):
"Antonio da Noli, celebre navigatore e nobile ligure, secondo alcuni [Prevot, Hist. general des vogages] ambasciadore della sua repubblica perso Alfonso V, ma secondo Barros [Dec. I. lib. 2. cap. I.] venuto in Portogallo con due navi e un naviglio insieme con Bartolomeo suo fratello, e Rafaelle suo nipote, per alcuni dispiaceri avuti nella patria"
"Antonio da Noli, celebre navigator and a nobleman from Liguria, was according to some [Prevot, Hist. general des vogages] ambassador of his Republic upon Alfonso V. But according to Barros [Dec. I. lib. 2. cap. I.] he departed to Portugal with two ships and one small vessel, with his brother Bartolomeo and his nephew Rafaelle, due to some displeasures he had in his native country". Jakob Gråberg af Hemsö

Having Jakob Gråberg also studied at the University of Uppsala in Sweden (founded 1477), I headed to the Library of the Uppsala University (Carolina Bibiotek, from 1620), guided by my son José Miguel Ferrada-Noli Stoehrel and who is completing a M.A. at that university, in search for the sources that would have been available for Gråberg at his time there. I was certainly surprised, when in a late visit to Carolina Library during a windy winter Friday, the librarians showed to me the handwritten file [picture at left] of the very same reference Gråberg had seen, namely the book L'Asia, authored by Giacomo Barrios.

But no one could know whether the actual book, published in Venice 1562, could still be found at the Library's ancient shelves. However, already Monday thereafter, and amid my completely astonishment, the librarians placed in my hand the very same original book from the old edition of 1562. They even said they had another edition from the seventeen hundreds! To take pictures at the Library, particularly in the Special reading room, is totally forbidden. I was granted this rarely exception in due of the personal engagement they know I have in this research issue. So, here is the title facsimil:

L'Asia, del Signore Giovani di Barros
Photo taken by Marcello Ferrada-Noli
at the Carolina Libray, Uppsala University, 2008

And here follows - in original -Barros text from 1562, the first reference to Antonio Noli ever published in book form (the original text of the one referred by Giacomo Gråberg and Emmanuelle Diotto, see above). Barros text is relevant to three issues, a] Antonio Noli's origin ("di natione genovese", natione as in nato, born in Genoa), b] social/political rank in Genoa ("di sangue nobile", nobel family), c] " que per alcuni. . .", obliged to expatriation from Genoa. Barros text is of outmost relevance for the accurate study of the Portuguese/Italian explorations of the time. As official geographer and historian, he had unparallel access to documents and sources kept at the royal archives of the time.

And the following is the translation done by Emanuele Diotto (here):
“In questo medesimo tempo (1461) troviamo ancora che si scoprirono le isole che ora chiamiamo del Capo Verde, da Antonio di Nolle, di natione genovese, et di sangue nobile, che per alcuni dispiaceri che hebbe nella patria sua se ne venne con due navi et un navilio. . .”

Further. According to personal communication I received from Dr. Trevor Hall (the Johns Hopkins University scholar which has specialized in the early history of Cape Verde Islands), in Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, there is a document from 1497 which refer to Antonio de Noli as “micer Antoneo genoes" (in the Chancelaria de D. Manuel, liv.30, 1). In my interpretation, this would give outstanding support to the thesis on Genoa, and not Noli, being the place of origin of Antonio de Noli (Communication from Trevor Hall, February 1st, 2008).

Finally, I will here refer to DIZIONARIO BIOGRAFICO DEGLI ITALIANI (Istitvto Enciclopedia Italia, Roma, 1965) on the issue of the place of birth of Antonio de Noli (see the original text in the picture below) "Born in Genoa of a family with origins from Noli"

One remarkable information I found many years ago in an older version of the French Larousse Bibliographic Encyclopaedia (kept as reference book at the Library of Stockholm University in 1979) atributes Antonio de Noli even Swedish origin ("suédois"), before travelling and staying in Genoa!

On Antonio de Noli's demise

The Italian sources I have consulted have placed Antonio de Noli's death shortly before April the 8th, 1496 (Dizionario Biografico Degli Italiani, Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome, 1961). Also Wikipedia lists Antonio de Noli as Colonial Head of the Riberia Grande (southern Santiago) up to 1496 (here). That Antonio de Noli died in Cape Verde has however not been confirmed, and his rests never been found. Governor de Noli found himself under the crossfire of Spaniars and Portugese over the posesion of Cape Verde Islands during the Lusitano-Spanish, stayed as governor under Spanish rule war and modern historians have put forward that de Noli - after Cape Verde returned to Portugal - was forced to steped down in favor of his Portuguese dauther Doña Branca de Aguillar.

In contrast to the seemingly lack of consensus on Antonio de Noli place and date of birth, there is apparently a scholarly dispute over the place or date of his departure from this life. This was drawn to my attention by Professor Trevor Hall, a Jamaican scholar. Dr. Hall - which holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University with a dissertation (1992) on early Cape Verde - and which contacted me in 2007. According to his research Antonio de Noli's demise would have occur in 1496, neither could Capitano de Noli have still been Colonial Head of the Island (Ribeira Grande) - when he died. As ground for his conclusion Dr Hall manifests (27/1 2008) that a certain document would have been forged. In a further communication (1/2 2008) Dr. Hall’s details: “In my dissertation I concluded he [Antonio de Noli] died in 1497, when his daughter Dona Branca de Aguiar married Dom Jorge Correa de Sousa, and inherited the Ribeira Grande, CV governorship. However, afterwards when I reviewed the original Portuguese royal edict of 8 April 1497, I discovered it had been forged.”

In concrete, Dr. Hall saw that the word “parte” (in the sentence “parte of micer Antoneo genoes”) has been replaced by “morte” (to read “morte of micer Antoneo genoes”). Dr. Hall, which estimates the date for that change in the document between 1497 and 1552, saw also a copy of that document in another section of the National Archive in Torre do Tombo, and in which the word “parte” was underlined.

Professor Hall may be right in his assumtion, althought I personally would like to give the mater some further research before a conclussive statement. I have so far two humble comments on Dr. Hall's conclusion above, a) would not "parte" stands for "departure", "partire a la morte"? b) Why would the Portuguese sovereigns - in order to decree the governorship of CV's Ribeira Grande on behalf of Antonio's daughter - need to change the date of Antonio's demise, or of any other for that part? Their rule was absolut and uncontested indeed. c) lastly, when and where Antonio de Noli died instead?

On the other hand, the Portuguese historian Dr. Marcel Balla have manifested in a personal communication (received 27/1, 2008) that he, on the base of his research material on Cabo Verde, considers the notion that Antonio de Noli would have died in 1466 (as given by the French Biographie Général) very unlikely. This, stated Dr. Balla, partly because Antonio Da Noli as Captain of Cabo Verde – at the time under Spanish rule – signed while in Spain (Medina Del Campo) a letter dated June the 4th, 1477. Dr. Marcello Balla told me that a copy of such letter in in his posesion.
 De Noli would have left only one child, Branca de Aguiera, who being a woman was not to receive the capitania in heritage. But Noli's solid link and appreciation by the Portuguese monarchy was such, as to made the sovereign powers of Portugal change the rules through an edict of exception, the Diploma de doação de 19 de Setembro de 1462 and Carta régia de 8 de Abril de 1497 (here).

But, the monarch said, she had to marry a Portuguese nobleman in order to access as governor of the Island. So, the daughter of Antonio de Noli remained colonial head of Cape Verde after she married fidalgo da casa real Don Jorge Correia (here). Interestingly, Antonio de Noli would also have had a son, according to this information (see picture above ) I found in Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira (ed. 1945), Vol XVIII, p. 836.

Infante Don Henrique, Duc de Viseu et de Covilham
(Prince Henry The Navigator)
provided shelter or political refuge, and provided
exploration assignments to various Italian
sailors, most notably Antonio Noli from Genoa
and Alvizio Cademosto from Venezia

Click on images to see the manuscripts


Antonio de Noli.
First documented lineage-father

Geronimo de Noli
son of Ambrosio

Benedictus de Noli
son of Geronimo

M. Antonio de Noli
son of Benedictus

Geronimo de Noli
son of M. Antonio
Stefani de Noli
son of Geronimo

Joseph de Noli
son of Stefani

Antonio Noli
son of Joseph

Joseph Noli
son of Antonio

Jne.Battista de Noli
son of Joseph

My grandfather Vittorio
Joseph Vittorio Noli
son of Jne.Battista

My grandfather Vittorio and my mother

My father and mother in Bahia Inglesa 1939

Father and mother. Wedding 1940

Mother, 2005

Consuelo Noli
daughter of Joseph Vittorio

Marcello Vittorio
son of Ricardo and Consuelo Noli de Ferrada

In the 15th generation. My children:
(click on pictures to enlarge)

Marcello Vittorio Ferrada-Noli S.

Joseph Michael (José-Miguel) Ferrada-Noli S.

Rodrigo Mauro Ferrada-Noli S.

Andreas Valpe

Christopher Ricardo Ferrada-Noli S.

Caroline Ringskog Ferrada-Noli

Nicholas Francesco Ringskog Ferrada-Noli

Andreas Vittorio Ferrada-Noli

The Emilia-Romagna connection
Details of particular deviations in the Latin spelling of the family name Noli were found in this research identical in both Cesenian and Valleregia manuscripts [3d], but not found elsewhere. This can not be disregarded as "coincidentally", as the deviation - in documents separated by nearly one hundred years - is repeated in several manuscripts. Further, the annotations on the Noli family events - at least in Valleregia parish - are not "transcriptions" of old manuscripts and therefore subtle to be copied with errors and misspells. They are in Valleregia first-hand entries done by the priest in charge (priests belonged to the most educated sectors of society at that time) at the time contemporaneous to the event.

The Noli coat of arms preserved in Cesena uses the figures of eels [3dd], which is highly characteristic of the region in Piedmont where the Noli of Novara, as lords (signori), housed the the Castelllo di Cameriani [3e] in the early 1400's hundreds. The de Noli are however found earlier in Parma around 1334, as documented in Codice Diplomatico Istriano [3f]. Considering among other the aspects above, a migration hypothesis explaining possible genealogical links and migration routes implicating the Noli in Genoa (Genoa, Voltri and Valleregia), in Novara, in Parma, and in Cesena, is discussed in Part I. Associations with noble Noli families of Lombardy and elsewhere in Piedmont are also likely to exist in the context of a common Ligurian/Piedmont root of the Noli in Italy. See note [3b] on the Latin uses of the family name Noli in the manuscripts reviewed.

The family name Ferrada appears also in the Valleregia manuscripts in 1763. In the
entry corresponding to Ferrada (by the red arrow in the picture) it is seen the family name
Ferrada Bernardi (Francesco Ferrada Bernardi). There is also a Bernardi coat of arms (fig. below)
preserverd at the Malatestiana Library in Cesena. Other family names of Cesena found both in Blasonario
Cesenate (Biblioteca Malatestiana) and in the early Valleregia manuscripts are Castagna, Costa, de Franchi, and de Noli.

Priest Don caretaker of the Valleregia manuscripts ( church in Serra Ricò, Genova) exhibits
pages with some early entries of the De Noli family in the parish records (Volume I, year 1589). See a close-up here below corresponding to Angelica De Noli

Angelica de Noli is documented Anno 1589 together with Baptista de Frascaroli in a manuscript of the Genoa-Valleregia Parish [4]. In this manuscript - which has been recently analysed by experts at the Instituzione Biblioteca Malatestiana - is stated that Angelica de Noli and Baptista de Frascaroli acted together as godfather respective godmother in a number of baptisms of children living in the same Parish of Valleregia. The experts at Biblioteca Malatestiana concluded that "It's quite probable" that Angelica de Noli and Baptista de Frascaroli were spouses [4a]. The wife of Thomasi de Noli (son of Baptista de Noli) had also the name Angelica. In fact, he name Angelica Noli is traditionally recurrent in this lineage, and for instance currently held by my dear cousin Angelica Noli de Llerena (daughter of my mother's brother) living in the USA. Other names very much recurrents in our family in Valleregia are Antonio Noli and Simone Noli, names found also (and earlier, in the 1300´s and 1400´s) recurrently associated with the Noli and the Noli-Blondi in Cesena. The using of Vittorio (Vitoria/Victorius) in the Noli family of Genoa-Valleregia dates in from 1590.

Coats of Arms of family Frascaroli, Valleregia, and Noli family

Valleregia is a territory (population= 486) in the Genoa Province, 18 kilometres north from Genoa City and located right in the the road between Genoa and Stazzano - a territory then in the domain of the lords Frascaroli. As said before, Valleregia is also the very same place where my grandfather Vittorio Noli was born in 1881 and grew up untill well in his adulthood [2], being the main reason of my early interest in the area. The point here is however, that in the course of this research Valleregia - which church first building dates from anno 406 - emerged as a rather socially secluded place harbouring ancestors of the Noli family back to the midd fifteen hundred's. Historiography wise thou, the very first Noli documented in Italian manuscrpts, to the best of my knowledge, are not from Genoa territories but from Parma, as it is the case of Arpuliano de Noli (di Parma), Anno 1344, in Codice Diplomatico Istriano [5]. Parma is situated aprox. 15 miles from Genoa and and likewise from Cesena. Parma terrritory was during the medieval years a meeting point of Via Francigena. On the family Frascaroli and their coat of arms, see Notes and References [6] at the end of this text.

Genoa arms
Facts and hypotheses There are only around four hundred Italians descendants with the name Noli - including spouses - amid a population getting close to 60 millions, and an estimate of less than 200 hundred Noli by the census of 1861. This low name-density have partly facilitated the identification of common family links and partly facilitated a "toponymic" hypothesis on the origin of the Noli families, namely in the ancient port of Noli which became Repubblica Marinara 1193-1797. The whereabouts of the migration processes from Noli which ended in the distribution observed in the XV and XVI century, and which at large or with few exceptions has remained until present days, is however not known.

Current hypotheses
In sum, three hypotheses have preliminary emerged in the explanation of the Noli families' consecutive presence in Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, and Liguria. These hypotheses would also help to explain the presence of the Noli in Lombardy. The three hypotheses are currently aim for my research and have a paramount focus in the possible link between Cesena (Emilia Romagna) and Genoa-Valleregia (Liguria). The familiar group migrating is not regarded in absolute terms, such as if all members in established Noli families in a given area move coordinated to another one. The most possible escenario is a section of a family moving away for civil reasons (such as marriage), political reasons (such as in exile). economical reasons, or reasons of war and conquer. That a family become "extinct" in a region is still a relative term. I would like to stress that these are possible explanations of the phenomena under study, and that by no means are referred here as factual historical processes, however the historical events here related - and which may support the hypotheses - are factual and documented. Known elements telling both for and against the different alternatives will be discussed. The hypotehses are due to be published in this page in a more structured form during April 2008. I also declare here being open for the formulation of new hypotheses, or problematization of the current ones, in accordance the the progress of the analyses or new coming information and verifiable facts.

Principal aspects in this analyses are a) the political, socio-economic and cultural events and processes of the different époques in the implicated regions (a1. partly as historical context and, a2. partly regarding the documented participation of the Noli in such events). b) The actual distribution at that period of communications making possible such migrations (roads commonly used, navigation routes, etc.) between the hypothesized localities or route points, and the study of the general mobility of families at that time. c) The apparently homogeny nobility rank of the family Noli in most of the areas implicated (which may as well indicate a common root). d) Heraldic and genealogical analyses. e) DNA research, when applicable (I have been invited to participate in such a project - based in USA - concerning the descendants of navigator Antonio de Noli). f) The role of documenting agencies such as archives from private sources, Church, State and municipalities.

a. The Liguria hypothesis. This explanation-line relates the Noli families in Liguria Piedmont, Lombard, and Emilia Romagna as having a common root in Liguria, most possible - in the "toponymic" perspective - in Noli (Savona) and initiating a migration in the first place to Genoa. From Genoa the Noli would have migrated partly to Novara an Piedmont, and partly to Parma. From Novara to Milan and Bergamo. To Cesena from either Parma or Novara.

b. The Cape Verde hypothesis. Less likely, but yet possibly, this explanation would at the same time help to explain the whereabouts of "disappeared" descendants of nobleman and navigator Antonio de Noli (or/and the navigator's demise circumstances). This explanation-line places the de Noli in Cesena (a family documented in Cesena as having an "orioundo" origin) in an overseas migration route from Portugal or Cape Verde. The hypothesis supposes partly a navigation route closed in Genoa for Antonio de Noli (A. Noli left Genoa 1449 to exile in Portugal due to political reasons), and partly the existence of relatively wealthy Noli-migrants capable of in such short time frame (ca. 1466 - ca. 1503) being able to integrate the establishment elite of Cesena.

c. The Cesena hypothesis. This line would explain the chronologic establishment of the Noli family in Genoa-Valleregia relatively shortly after have been "extinct" in Cesena.

Examining the coat of arms of the family Noli at the Biblioteca Malatestiana di Cesena. The Noli coat of arms
is at page 58 (Nr. 243) in the Blasone Cesenate, which is the original manuscript I actually hold in this picture

Both surnames integrating our family name Ferrada-Noli are rooted in territories historically related to Italian navigators of the Province of Genoa, Liguria. The Ferrada borough is the seat of the municipality of Moconesi (population= 2 561), and found seventy kilometres northeast of Genoa (here). Here was the birth-place of Giovanni Colombo, father of Domenico Colombo, who was the father of Cristoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus) [7]. There is also in Liguria the ancient city of Noli (population= 2 946), which is located in the coast of Genoa Gulf [(here, and here)]. The origins of the Noli territory itself are pre-roman and traced to 317 a.C. Here it is said Antonio de Noli would have born (discussed below). Noli was established as Roman municipality (municipio Romano) in 150 b.C. The main castel of Noli - Il Castello Monte Ursino - is from the XI century. Noli became an independent Repubblica Marinara during the years 1193 - 1797.

Ferrata depicted on center of an armour

Mazza ferrata: the weapon

Coming from a family with many soldiers [my self combattente in some dear periods of my life ([here)], I am happy with the cognome Ferrada, from ferrata, meaning in ancient times a cavallery weapopn consisting of an iron armoured-plate mace. As a family name, Ferrada appears first recorded in Valleregia, Genoa, 1672 (Francesco Ferrada Bernardi) [here]. Also, being sailing and the sea the passion of my free time since early in my youth, I am happy with the cognome Noli (possibly from Greek Ναύλοχος to Latin "Naulochos" - indicating navale or nautical - and there to ”Naulis“. As a family name, Noli appears first recorded in Codice Diplomatico Istriano (Arpulino de Noli), 1344 [here] [6].

The Italian flag in Swedish seas too. Pictures from Sailing season 2006, Stocholm arkipelago (Baltic Sea)


Finally, I have tried here to document my statements about my family and me - as well the historical processes analysed - with scanned documents, photos, and links, whenever this have been possible.

I wish to acknowledge the Section of Antique documents and Research of the Malatestiana Library (Istituzione Biblioteca Malatestiana di Cesena, Sezione conservazione e ricerche, head Dottoressa Paula Errani) for making possible the access to invaluable material during my visit to this prestigious institution. The Library was founded in 1452. I specially thank Dottoressa Carla Rosetti for help in the searching of relevant manuscripts, and in the interpretation of the manuscripts I sent from Sweden.

I am also deep grateful to priest Don Stefano Plizzari, who opened for me some years ago and in an exceptional occasion, the well kept family records of Valleregia Parish (since 1530), and allowed me to take photographs of the manuscripts. Don Paolo Fontana, currently in charge of Valleregia parish, made possible the valuable contact with Dottoressa Ilaria Brigati at the Parrocchia della Nativita de Maria S.S. Dottoresa Ilaria Brigati, which is currently working in a book on the history of Valleregia, has kindly research on my ancestors. Brigati has reported several findings relevant to our family lineage ("Dott. Ferrada-Noli antenatti").

Dottoressa Francesca Tixi from the Genoa Diocese provided me with valuable references to other archives in Genoa. I also thank the personal at the Archivio della Comune di Genova, Carolina Revidiva Library at Uppsala University, and the Royal Library in Stockholm, for assistance in the search and copies of valuable material.

I thank also my dear distant-cousin Mario Ghiglino at Castagnia, Serra Rico in Genoa, for valuable support. In the topic of Governor Antonio de Noli, I acknowledge research colleagues Dr. Trevor Hall and Dr. Marcel Balla for interesting views and valuable data on the early history of Cape Verde. Their own published works on historical aspects of Cape Verde and the role of Antonio de Noli will be listed in the Section References and Notes.


Famiglia De Noli in Valleregia, Genoa

Please note this New site:
De Noli Family descendants in Liguria

This document from 1589 exists in Genoa, Italy

The de Noli family in Valleregia, a parish in the Genoa region (and nowadays forming part of the Serra Riccò boroughs), is recorded by Church documents being established there already during the 1500's. The first entry pertinent Famiglia de Noli I was able to verify, it was the name of Antonio de Noli and Bartolomeus de Noli, as his son (filius). The entry is dated February the 17th, 1586. (See picture of the document here. The first names are abreviatted Ant'n and Bart's). The picture above shows Angelica de Noli and Baptista Frascaroli as patrini in a baptism at Valleragia Parish on August the 23th, 1589.

Since the parish register of family events the Catholic Church keeps in Valleregia dates only from around 1530, it is uncertain to estimate how earlier - than middle 1500's - the De Noli famiglia could have been already established in the Valleregia borough. Research currently under process on the migration of the Noli around middle 15th hundreds suggests a Noli cohort leaving Cesenia some years before the Noli appears in Valleregia. The Noli family in Cesena is reported extinct in Cesena by middle fifteen hundred's in documents I found at the Malatestian Library.

Simone de Noli-Biondi, member of the Consiglio di Cesena 1503

This church had already thousand years by the time ancestor Angelica de Noli documented there the born of their child. In fact, the actual ground of the church - Chiesa San Martino, where I found all the documents of the Noli family referred here - was built year 407 (here). Further, the church's bell-tower on its side is considered being originally a fortress of the Roman age ("il campanile sembra essere stato in tempi romani una fortezza") (here). The Valleregia Parish is currently held by Sac. Paolo Fontana (Parroco della Parrochoa di Nativitá di Maria SS. in Valleregia di Serra Ricò) nominated in 2007 by il Cardinale Arcivescovo di Genova (here).

Chiesa di San Martino, Valleregia, Genova

Dr. Ilaria Brigati conducted valuable research
at the Valleregia Parish on my ancestors de Noli

Here in the more ancient church there is however a piece of evidence that tells against the notion that positions the de Noli family in Valleregia long before than around the 1500's.

Consequently, this also would indicate that de Noli family moved to Valleregia around that time, migrating from other place in Northern Italy. (It has been hypothesized that this migration could have taken place in connection to the same - or similar - happenings that forced Antonio de Noli's own exile in Portugal. However, a factual connection beyond the years-period reference has not been possible to document).

This is the detail. In the floor of the Chiesa de San Martino - the actual church in Valleregia built in 407 - there is an embedded inscription on the grave stone corresponding to the oldest families there buried. Only the names of Famiglie Ghiglini, Geirola, and Dapelo appear in the inscription, but not de Noli.

This in spite that Noli, together with Ghiglino, are found to be the predominant families in the Valleregia Parish of family registers from the second half of the fifteen hundreds and onwards. As mentioned earlier, I could document the distinct presence of Noli entries in the Family book of Valleregia in volume 1 which started 1530.

There is yet another significant aspect that shows the strong establishment of the Ghiglino family in Valleregia. The family records at Valleregia Parish show eighteen baptisms corresponding to new born Ghiglino whereas only three baptisms corresponding to the Noli. Other families represented in the period are the Bancheri (9 birth) and Cassisa (6 birth). On the other hand there was no difference in the frequency in which members of these families were invited to serve as patrini (godfathers or godmothers). The Ghiglino and the Bancheri 15 times each, and the Noli 14 times.

Considering the first ten years period (1586-1589) a striking aspect which emerged about the Noli is that they gave birth to a vast majority of girls. Actually only four Noli males are registered to have been born in the period.

The two facts above would also give support to the thesis that members of the de Noli family in Genoa (in its turn with origins in Noli) would have moved to Valleregia about the same time of political turmoil – around mid fourteen hundreds - in which Antonio de Noli had to move from Genoa to exile in Portugal (as known, other members of the family de Noli in Genoa went also with Antonio de Noli to exile in Portugal. i.e. his brother Bartolomeo - which was lawyer and also engaged in the Genoa politics - and nephew Raffaelo). Political disrupt in Genoa amid disputes between famiglie Adorno and Fregoso has been put forward as possible motivation for the departure of Antonio de Noli from Genoa in 1447 (see below). As pointed before, there is however no evidence indicating that the Valleregia de Noli participated in such conflict. Further, neither it has been possible to document that de Noli in Valleregia moved there in a time-frame close to, or in the late aftermath of the happenings of 1447.

More likely is that fractions of the de Noli family moved to the rural Valleregia during the short-lived amnesty in the aftermath of the failed 1547 uprising from a sector of the nobility, led by casa Fieschi, against the rule of Andrea Doria in Genoa. Famiglia de Noli in Genoa - due to the ultramar services Antonio de Noli had rendered to the Portuguese and his titles received by Prince Henry on Cape Verde just some decades ago - was most certain regarded being close to the "French" Party which opposed Doria and the Spanish imperialist rule supporting him. As known, Spain was at the time a fierce and archrival of Portugal. The countries were in war, among other over the possession of Cabo Verde Islands at the time Antonio Noli was there its governor appointed by the Portuguese. Amid this historical context moved by that time to Cesenia another member of the family Noli, Antonio Noli (also registered in Cesenian manuscripts of the time as de Noli, di Noli or Noli di Traggarotta, and at times as well in conjunction with the Biondi family). He would not be the only one. It is found also in Cesena another noble name from the Genoa, namely a Fieschi family itself! I was able to identify amid the manuscript Blasone Cesenate (The Blazons collection of Cesena) at the Malatestian Institute of Cesena (Biblioteca Malatestiana) the coats of arms of both the Noli and the Fieschi! Further material provided by the Sezione di Conservazione e Ricerche at the Malatestian Library dates distinctly the Fieschi in Cesena even prior to the arrival of Noli. Eventualy. this Antonio Noli left his position in Cesena, a city near Bologna, in 1558 [communication from the Malatestian Library in Cesena].

Coincidentaly, my ancestor Angelica de Noli appears exactly in those years together with Baptista de Frascaroli - of a family originally from Bologna, in Parish activities of Valleregia (San Martino church). They are found for the first time documented in Genoa-Valleregia in 1589.

The coats of arms of Fieschi Family (given "from Genoa") respectively the Noli Family coat of arms,
at the Malatestian Blasone Cesenate. Click on to enlarge

Preliminar summing up on Antonio de Noli
Regarding Antonio de Noli there are several aspects which - in merit to the manifest controversy among history sources - would deserve closer factual research and clarification. For instance,

a) What were the disputes about around 1447 - between families of the old nobility in Genoa - and to which extent it implicatet the brothers de Noli? That such conflict would have motivated Noli's departure from Genoa is also given in the essay of Emanuele Diotto (here). The same thesis has been put forward by P.B. Gandoglia in his book In Repubblica (1926), in which the author tells in a footnote at Cap. I, page 17: "il nostro Antonio (cosi si crede) ò a Genova, ove piu tarde si trovò compromesso nelle fazionefra gli Adorno e i Fregoso" [see down below in References and Notes, my comment in Note on Gandoglia's text on A. Noli].

b) Was Antonio de Noli and Antoniotto Usodimare the same person? And if so, was he born Noli or Usodimare?

c) Where Antonio de Noli (or da Noli) was actually born? Noli or Genoa?

d) What was his role during the Lusitano-Spanish war? How would he remain as Governor of Cape Verde even under Spanish rule?


Genoa, March 2008: 1. La Curia Arcivescovile di Genova, 2. Open door just for questions, 3. The kind Dottoressa Francesca Tixi, 4. Monsignor Luigi Noli - at age 91 - is still working at the Archdiocesie of Genoa, among other in charge of San Lorenzo Cathedral. He is also born - as my grandfather Vittorio Noli - in the tiny borough of Serra Ricò around Valleregia. Monsignor Luigi Noli (b. 1917) is one of the few remaining Noli from this Genoa territory.


Noli, Genoa, Valleregia

Valleregia territory (were the Noli family have existed since the middle fifteen hundreds), however situated only 18 kilometres from the center of Genoa City (see down-scaled map here) has less than 500 inhabitants, alltogether. In spite of its extension Valleregia never have had a large population, keeping the number of the main families to a very few. In fact, the tombs and their inscriptions in the churchyard of Valleregia reproduce with remarkably accuracy the genealogical lines of the families Noli, Ghiglino, Casisa, Dapelo, and some few others main families in Valleregia, since hundred years back. As pointed above, Ghiglino family is older than Noli in Valleregia's Parish book. I have also found de Gilino as name used in the 15th century (here, and here).


The descendants of the de Noli and the Ghiglino families, united and relatives since the middle Ages, comprise the two main families in the Valleregia region. Noli in Valleregia is even pointed in the detailed map of Genoa (click on map at the left). A distinct evidence of the predominance of these two families in the region is the fact that two of the streets in Valleregia are named "Via Noli", respectively "Via Eugenio Ghiglino" (Via Noli, a parallel to Via Valleregia, on the map at the right).


It has also been reported that the Genoa de Noli family was previously rooted in the independent Maritime Republic of Noli (here). Noli had that status 1193 - 1797. Noli was in fact - to the best of my knowledge - the only reliable ally Genoa had at that time, an époque characterizing the European Mediterranean coast with nearly constant war and turmoil. With this historical background it would be naturally to assume that members of famiglia de Noli had the possibilities of both entrance and residence in Genoa. In view of the historical facts and the references gathered, it follows that one main patrician lineage de Noli, or Noli, would have existed originally in the ancient Republic of Noli, and displaced around the XV-XVI centuries, or even before, in neighbour territories such as the historical ally Genoa.

"Noli", as family name (cognome), is etymologically categorized as a derivate of the toponym Noli [see L'origine dei cognomi Italiani], the ancient - even pre Roman – territory which become the Repubblica Marinara of Noli. This indicates that all Noli families have a common root originated in the same territory, as no other "Noli" did exist in the region.

As it is discussed further below, a closer insight of the migration processes of the Noli from the core-family nucleus in Noli-Liguria, shows a "diaspora" towards mainly Piemonte and Lombardia, besides Genova (Sardegna in the other - nautical - direction). This naturally would depict Noli territory as epicentre. Evidently, the Noli existence in Italy has been in the main an all-through North-western Italian phenomenon. To this it has to be added that Sardegna at those times was a part of Italy's Northwest with its capital in Turin. Another aspect in the migration of the Noli within the territories comprised between Cesenia and up to Lombardy is that the migration also entails a reversible character. This would partly explain, for instance, that Antonio de Noli (of a family with origins in Noli) even if he would have been born in Genoa, he very well could have return to Noli and established him self there (or vice versa, if he was born in Noli). And who was doing such distinctions between Nolese and Genovese at that time of long years of alliance?

Famiglia Noli homogeneous nobility rank

Equally relevant for the issue on the historical origin of the Noli families are these two observations. One is that the Noli families in this review have always been situated in one defined perimeter at Northern Italy, the triangle made of Cesena, Bergamo, and Turin (more specifically, in the Norwest triangle made of Genoa in Liguria, Bergamo in Lombardy, and Turin in Piedmont). The second observation being that the entries associated with nobility status which are documented on Noli family members during medieval times, from the beginning of 13th hundreds and upwards to the middle of 19th century, are allways associated with the homogeneous rank "nobile" (the rank nobile in Italian heraldics is "below" vizconte and "above" cavaliere).

There are however some exceptions of a higher rank among the Noli (besides Antonio de Noli, and Odinius de Guac de Noli, both noble Italians receiving different titles abroad. See below). One of these "higher" nobility rank is a Noli in Albano, Can. Conte Alessandro Noli. Conte A. Noli is reported to have on January 3rd, 1858, inaugurated the new Santuario a la Madona delle Rose in Albano Sant' Alessandro (pic) [a]. Another case is Marchesa Rosalia Noli Dattarino [a-1].

Most of the Italian nobleman belonging to the Noli family had however the rank "nobile". These are some known cases:

o The de Noli in Genoa (nobles in Genoa, as reported by Grande Encyclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira, Vol. XVIII, in page 836, where it is given that A. de Noli "pertenezia a nobreza de Génova" - belonged to the nobility of Genoa) [b]. Family also referred as da Noli (nobles in Genoa, as reported by Barros in L'Asia being "of noble blood" - sangue nobile, anno 1462 [c] and Gråberg 1803 [d].
o The Noli in Novara (lord family - famiglie di signore- from Novara, housing Castle of Cameriano, beginning XV century) [e].
o The Noli (terra da) in Lombardy (nobles in Milan, reported in Stemmario Tribulziano, anno 1390) [f].
o The Noli transitorely residing in Cesena (coat of arms archived in Cesena, as reported by Blasone Cesenate of 1789). Presumably from Genoa. The design of the coat the arms resembles that one of Genoa - red band on white shield [g].
o The de Noli from Parma (nobles at Parma, in Dizionario Diplomático, anno 1344) [h].
o The Noli Dattarino, also in Lombardy (nobles in Cremona, as given in Blasonario Cremasco) [i]. (In documents published by the official site of Piccola Opera de la Divina Providenza is noted that Marchesa Rosalia Noli Dattarino died 13 March 1940) [a-1].
o Antonio Noli (da Treggia Rotta) became a member of the Cesenian Consiglio in 1556 [j]
o Antonio di Noli (could be the same a above) is documented to have left his position at the Consiglio in 1558 [k].
o Simone Noli was member of the Conciglio in Cesena 1503 [l].

In sum, all the Noli family I was able to trace in Italian sources and which examples are given here, appears having the same title-status in Italy, with the exception of Conte Alessandro Noli and Marchese Noli Dattarino. Outside Italy, Genoa’s Antonio de Noli got further nobility titles in Portugal as first Governor of Cape Verde 1462. Earlier, Anno 1280, King Edward the First of England awarded the "Diploma of the Merchant" ("Merchant Navy") [m] to the Italian Odinius de Guac de Noli, and enrolled him into the King's Household [n], one of the King´s four government institutions together with Chancery, the Exchequer, and the Council [o]. As in modern days, Archivio Storico Araldico Italiano describes Noli - as “Antica e nobile Casata che fu decorata con il titolo di nobili” (“ancient noble family condecorated with the title nobili”) [p].

Images at the Malatestian Library in Cesena. Click on to enlarge

During the second day of my visit to the Section Conservazione e Ricerche at Biblioteca Malatestiana di Cesena I was treated with a private guided tour at the Malatestiana Library itself. It was really impressive, I felt honoured, and the pictures say it all. I thank here Guida della Malatestiana Ivan Teodorani (above left) and Dr. Carla Rosetti from the Section Conservazione e Richerce (above right) for a thrilling introduction to the meaningful history of Istituzione Biblioteca Malatestiana, the oldest library in the Western World (founded 1454). The manuscript in the picture up/right contains an annotation of one of the members of the Noli family who became part of the Consiglio di Cesena. The annotation in this manuscript corresponds to Simone de Antonio Noli Biondi, Anno 1490. Photos: Ivanno Giovannini, Carla Rosetti, MVFN.

On the Noli Family origine
Considering a) the few number of indivilduals, inclusive spouses and adopted, holding the family name Noli (estimated ca. 200 in 1779, and at present days ca. 400 individuals amid a population close to 60 millions!), b) that all these nobility is mainly originated in discrete territories of Northwest Italy (around the conjunction of Liguria, Lombardia and Piemonte), and c) that the heraldic rank held is homogeneus (nobile) in most of the cases, a well-grounded assumtion would lead the origine of all these Noli to a common familiar root.

This common origin is also in line with the information on the patrician origin of the Noli family as given by the earliest biographic records, such as Biographie Générale by Firmin Didot Fréres [r] which states that Noli appartenait à une famille patricien ("belonged to a patrician family"). At first glance, and in line with this Patrician thesis, it that does not appear likely that nobili titles were acquired separately and at different occasions by one and each of the heads of Noli-family branches, particularly during the medieval era. This is what Giovanni Barros referred in 1462 as "sanguine nobile" in de Noli's lineage. I would however reserve my self towards a different possibility particularly during later periods of Italian aristocracy.

To illustrate my thesis with the Swedish nobility spectra, one of the reasons as to why a same name would be part of different ranks of the Swedish nobility (in the first place divided between titled, respective untitled nobility) (here), would be that such identical name would correspond to different family branches or origin.

My preliminary conclusion here could be summarized in that a) all the Noli nobile come from a central family root, b) being the name Noli of toponymic character, in its turn essentially related to the territory of Noli in Liguria, c) ergo "All the Noli noble are originally from Noli", Tutii gli Noli nobili sono originate da Noli.

Background, Portal in the ancient City of Noli, 2005

Famiglia Noli mainly in Northern Italy. The triangle Cesena - Bergamo - Turin

Further, the preliminary conclusion above finds also support in the fact of the particular geographical distribution of the medieval Noli individuals described in the previous section. The distribution of the Noli seems to persists pretty much untouched after hundreds years! In the graphic below it can be observed the population/density of the individuals Noli in the zones around the City of Noli, year 2007. In the graphic down below I have marked the triangle Genoa - Bergamo - Turin. It could be hypothesise a "Diaspora" of the Noli starting in Liguria from Noli towards Genoa, and to Piedmont and Lombardy.

Graphic from

With regard to the Noli family in Valleregia, the fact that no evidence of the presence there of de Noli is found prior to the middle fifteen hundreds, tells strong on for the described migration scenario. Also the fact of being "de Noli" the original family name of both Noli in Genoa-Valleregia (i.e. Antonio de Noli), and in Genoa-Voltri (i.e. Antonio de Noli), as well as in Parma (Arpuliano de Noli) and in Cesena (Antonio de Noli), would tell for an early association between these family branches in the aftermath of the migration from the common root in the Republic of Noli.

Another evidence that this research has put forward, is that the Italian name Noli has an unequivocally existence, prior the times of Antonio de Noli or of Baptista de Noli or Angelica de Noli or all the Noli here mentioned from Genoa, Genoa-Voltri, and Genoa-Valleregia (see, for instance, the entry Anno 1344 in picture below). Further, the different branches of the resulting Noli lineage in North Italy have existed as noble families independent of a direct genealogical connection with navigator Antonio de Noli (referred also as da Noli). Navigaor Antonio de Noli is in this meaning only one more of the noble family Noli, and certainly the most illustrious historically speaking. However, also historically speaking, as illustrious would be, to mention some: Alice Noli, the heroic antifascist young woman - member of the Resistance in Liguria - who was executed by firing squad in Campomorone, Genoa, 1944.

There is however a problem which has to be solved before the preliminary conclusion, on that all the Noli comes from Noli-Liguria may be considered established fact. This is posed by the existence in Switzerland, near to the board with Italy, of a place - Nals - which etimologic would also be a dervitae from "naulus". This would make this other "Naulus" a toponymn candidate of the family name Noli. If this is the case, the "Diaspora" would have had its centre in Nals territory and the migration-rout instead down South to Piedmont, Liguria and Lombardy. This could also explain why no trace of the Noli families in the City of Noli has been documented with factual proof. Or perhaps the proof is there, and has been all the time.

Origin of the coat of arms of the Family Noli

The basic design (white field and red bands)
in the Noli family, respectively Genoa Province coat of arms

The coat of arms of the Noli family found among a collection of 1 237 of Italian arms in the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena [1] it is seems to be, design-wise, related to territories up-Norwest of Italy, mainly Piedmont and Liguria or Lombardy. At fisrt sight resembles particularly the design of the Genoa arms (and not to the Noli Republic). But elements in the Noli coat of arms are found as well in Lombardy and Piedmont. One fact it has already been established: the coat of arms found in Cesena is not from Cesena it self, but belongs to a "orioundo" family, which means outside the region, republic or comunne [20]. The red band on white field is one feature which apparently link the Noli arms to Genoa (in the coat of arms of the City of Noli the background is red and the bands white).

There is a fairly similar coat of arms belonging to the Sanseverino family in Naples. The colour of the field is however silver. But on the other hand, this coat of arms of the Sanseverino turned out being also associated to the design used by noble families in Saluzzo, Piedmont (such as the coat of arms of the family della Rossa, of old nobility). Saluzzo is right in the vicinity of Liguria (Region having its coat of arms of the same colours) and only one hundred kilometres aprox. from the capital of Liguria, Genoa. The "heraldic" connection of the Sanseverino in Naples with Saluzzo in Piedmonte is explained by the marriage of Antonio Maria Sanseverino with and Marghareta di Saluzzo, daughter of Marquis Ludovico II which gave the Sanseverino the territory of Saluzzo [q].

The basic design (although with silver fields)
in the Sanseverino family, respectively della Rossa
arms [21] reminds that one of the Noli family and Genoa

There are yet other families in the North of Italy which have in their coat of arms - in a varierty of designs of the same pattern (colours and bands) as the Noli family arms found in Cesena, of a typical Genoa/Liguria design. These coats of arms have occasionally and for certain reasons - such as due to marriage - incorporated other elements to include the new lineages. One illustration of this path it is found in the arms of the descendants of Eleonora Severino (sister of Antonio Maria) and , Giuseppe Roero di Revigliasco, also from Piedmont. In this coat of arms are apparently both families merged their colours (picture at the left, below) [22]. As well other families in Piedmont and Lombardy have used the red bars on their shields, and as it can be observed here below, the number of bars increases notably.

From the left, 1.Roero di Revigliasco, Fieschi da Genova (notice white background) in Cesena, Orsini (notice the eel in the yelow band), Farina da Alessandria, Gavioneta da Mantova, Casinoda Cheraso, Leria (Versellesi), and Rosetto di Asti [23]

If you feel to make a break after so many similar and boring coats of arms, you may wish to look at some good Emilia Romagna courses in this link [ here]. Pictures taken in Cesena, March 2008.

There is a general - and logical - principle in Heraldry referring to simplicity as revealing older origin, and more elaborated design and ornament revealing a more recent creation. The logics of it would be the necessary inclusion of other elements in order to differentiate the new family from its roots and other branches. In this sense, and well in accordance to history data, the Severino, Noli, and della Rosa arms are both of simple design, which confirms the ancient family-roots of patrician character reported by biographers.

Anguilla or vipera (eels or vipers) in the Noli coat of arms

The picture above with the anguilla fishing, and below, from the link here

One characteristic in the Noli arms, as the manuscript found in Biblioteca Cesenate shown, is the snake-shaped figures. In interpreting and old drawing, one manuscript referred to the figures as being a "vipera" (viper). However, a close examination on the original drawing - also analyzed in the heraldic context of the time - reveals that the figures correspond to anguilla (eel).

Eels are characteristic of a Piedmont/Lombardy region in which Noli families have been recorded to exist as signori, as in the case of the Cameriano Castle situated in the Casalino territory between Novara and Vercelli. During my visit there in March 2008 I was told that eels are characteristic of the zone, particularly at a nearby town of name Vigevano. In fact, eel-based courses are found in the menu of several restaurants of the area.

Eels are also found in the Trebba in the nearby of Serra Ricò/Valleregia (Genoa) where family de Noli is found since 1586. This according to Mario Ghiglino, who lives in Castagna (one can see Valleregia church from Mario's place) and had during many years a restaurant there in Serra Ricò

There are at least three other families in Piedmonte/Lombardy having eels in their coats of arms. One is the Casa Orsini in Piedmont with these three variations

Please note the similitude of the eel (anguilla) in the coats of arms above
and the figure in the Noli coat of arms below

No single reviewed coat of arms from the triangle Genoa-Bergamo-Turin
has a viper as symbol. A pitty, since in heraldry the snake is the symbol for wisdom.
As it is found in the characteristicsymbol of Medicine and Medical Sciences,
the Aesculapius staff

According to Greek and Roman mithology Aesculapius was the god of medicine.
Snakes were sacred emblems of this god. In the picture above a text by Hyppocrates [24]

For the book "In Repubblica. Vita intima degli uomini di Noli studiata nell'archivio del Comune" (Finalborgo 1926)
- a comprehensive history of de City Noli, by Bernardo Gandoglia -
The City of Noli made available for the author all existing archive sources. However, among
the 696 pages of his book, Professor Gandoglia devotes Antonio da Noli only two lines in just
only one page, and one foot note. The most remarkable observation is that Gandoglia
emphasizes - about Antonio being from Noli - that ”so it is believed" ["il nostro Antonio (cosi si crede)
ò a Genova, ove piu tarde si trovò compromesso nelle fazionefra gli Adorno e i Fregoso"]. If Gandoglia
would have had any evidence of such claim in the archives he thoroughly studied, Gandoglia would
surely had expressed him self otherwise. The above is a fact that biographers of Antonio
de Noli have apparently disregard.


Meetings in Noli

During my last visit to the City of Noli in 2005, I had the opportunity of having meetings with the city’s Vice Major Prof. Alberto Peluffo and also later, together with him, with the senior priest of the local Church authority. My point of departure of such talks was the well documented information on that de Noli was a "famiglia di origine nolese" (i.e. here), meaning de Noli family was originally from ancient Noli and hence the characterization of the family as patrician. The talks, however quite interesting, did not give at that time further answer to the my quests as to more concrete when the house of de Noli - all or members of it - did leave the City of Noli to pursue establishment in Genoa or its vicinity (Voltri and Valleregia). Prof. Peluffo was indeed very kind and even presented me with the book In Repubblica, authored by Bernardo Gandoglia. The book tells the history of the ancient Republic of Noli in 690 interesting pages. As a dedication, the Vice Major of Noli wrote the following: "To Marcello Ferrrada Noli, hoping he will find that his deepest roots are here"

With the Vice Major at the City Council of Noli

At the offices of the
Church in Noli

In Repubblica


One certain statement I heard in Noli with regard to my quests came from the head of the official tourist authority in Noli, Bruna Toso. She said that “de Noli” family was indeed among the noble families which long before lived in the city. Seemingly, for the City of Noli is Antonio “da” Noli a son from the city of Noli itself, being their authorities - naturally - outmost proud of that. The following is stated in the official website Comune di Noli, under the heading Informazioni Storiche (here), "Qui nacque Anton da Noli che scoprì, nel 1460, le isole di Capo Verde" (here was born Anton da Noli which discovered in 1460 the islands of Cape Verde). However the official posture of the City of Noli about the issue of Antonio de Noli's veritable origin, on which I personally agree (see below), Noli as the actual place of birth of the illustrious discoverer and explorer is a matter which biographers referred here contain. All but one of the Italian sources I have studied give Genoa, and not Noli, as Antonio de Noli's place of birth.

I was not able to see in Noli any document stating the birth of Antonio de Noli or any original documents tracing him there. All which of course does not exclude that such documents may very well exist in some archive, perhaps even in Genoa. For instance, it is reported that Gandoglia had appealed to the particle da in Antonio "da" Noli´s fede di nascita in putting forward Noli, and not Genoa, as Antonio's birth place (here). I would, nevertheless, be well inclined to support a version of the ancient Republic of Noli being the historical origin of the entire de Noli family, including its most illustrious member Antonio de Noli. That Antonio de Noli would instead being born in Genoa Voltri, as biographers postulate, does not change the important fact of the historical origin of his family, traced to the Repubblica Marinara of Noli.

Valleregia, frazione di Serra Ricco

As to contemporary days, there is not - to the best to my knowledge - any single Noli living in the City of Noli. On the other hand - although in few numbers - the Noli still do exist in today's Valleregia. And, as descendants of the famiglia de Noli, they have existed there all the way back to at least 1589 (as seen in the Parish document on Angelica de Noli). As grandson of the Valleregia-born Vittorio Noli, I am proudly one of those descendants. In June 1974 I had the opportunity of personally meeting our Noli relatives living in the City of Genoa. It was an unforgettable visit I made in the company of my son José-Miguel and his mother, and where the Noli Genovese brought us from their own vineyard-cellars the most exquisite Italian red wine that - I thought then and still think now - I ever had tried in my life.

In a wider genealogical perspective, the Noli descendants - as pointed before - appear to be more concentrated in the city of Genoa and its periphery. Other areas are Piemonte and Lombardia, and Sardinia (as said, exactly the same constellation that late middle ages). In total, and including those adopting the name after marriage, only about four hundred persons bear currently the name Noli in all Italy (population= ca. 60 million), being Noli still one of Italy's most unique names. It is estimated than year 177I the total Noli descendents from different family nuclei in all Italy were less than one hundred. Also the few Ferrada of Italy live, as well as the Noli, in Lombardia (for the most) and Liguria. To illustrate with current terms (about the discrete number of Noli descendents in Italy), an average Swedish noble family name, such as Lagerblad (position 1 175 among 2 350 adliga ätter) has a distribution of ca. 2,7 per 100 000 Swedes. The Noli name has a distribution of only 0,88 per 100 000 Italians.


Il Genovese Vittorio Noli


My grandfather Vittorio de Noli
b. 1881
Click on pictures to enlarge

My grandfather Vittorio Noli

Descendents of the brothers and sisters of my grandfather Joseph Vittorio Noli. Click to enlarge.
For the de Noli ascendents since 1587 see the genealogical tree of Marcello Ferrada-Noli's family here

My grandfather Vittorio Noli was also born in Valleregia, Genoa, 1881, as a descendent of the de Noli family officially rooted in the very same place since 1589 (see on Angelica de Noli above and Picture 2 below)). In a visit to Valleregia church I was able to document his birth registration (here), written in Latin (the Italian name Vittorio is in Latin Victorious). My grand grandparents were Angela and Joannes-Baptista Noli, also born in that same parish of Valleregia in Genoa.

Vittorio Noli was since early - as many Valleregians of his time - engaged in family vineyards and wine production. His early youth coincided with post effects of the phylloxera grape-pest in the Liguria territory. Also known as the great pest, the plague emerged during the second half of XIX century and had after 25 years nearly decimated wine production in vast territories of French Provence and vicinities of the Mediterranean coast in Liguria. While many Italians turned to USA in an effort to save quality wines by grafting plants to rootstocks of resistant California wines, Vittorio de Noli did that instead with rootstocks of the soiled region of Copiapó Valley in Chile. With fine and healthy grape foundations (notably the region’s emerging Uva Italia) Vittorio Noli contributed predominantly - and together with other Italian families such as the Porscile and Ghiglino - to the notorious wine industry that during that time flourished in the Atacama Valley of Northern Chile.

Vittorio Noli. Benefactor of Copiapo

My grandfather Vittorio Noli was able to establish three vineyards, the one in Hacienda Margarita, La Provisoria vineyard, and the one in the acres behind the houses at Juan Martínez in Copiapó, where also the big oak barrels (the quarterolas) were kept. Here I grew up spending several years of my childhood close to my grandfather Vittorio and my dear cousins Ghiglino, which had also properties in the nearby. I vividly remember, when being a child, I so many times accompanied with devotion my grandfather Vittorio - who was 190 cm tall - in his daily inspecting walks through the vineyard at Juan Martínez. While we walked, eating fruit or a piece of cold boiled beef he sliced with his temperino da caccia - while walking! He initiated me in several of the facts here told about our family.

My grandfather always encouraged me on the enterprise of travelling abroad, on that we were meant for adventures, cruising, etc. With that inspiration I developed a passion for the sea already in my teens and I even applied for the Navy Cadet School at the age of 14. I was of course at the earliest stage filtered out because I had "low arc feet" and hence I would not be able to endure "long parade marching" (who cares). [It was then when my father sent me to private sailing courses at that time given at Escuela de Torpedos in the Talcahuano Navy Base. At the end I even got the license of "patron de naves especiales". I still sail (here). Incidentaly, I came back years later to the Talcahuano Navy Base as "prisoner of war" in Quiriquina Island in the aftermath of the defeated uprising against Pinochet's military coup in 1973, as links referred above (here), and (here)].

My grandfather Vittorio Noli, 1945

With all, it was only in March 1964, while I met my old nonno Vittorio Noli the very same day I came back to Chile from a long trip to Latin America and Europe (I was 20 years old at departure), when he told me much of the details that were left in the fragmente story I had kept from childhood. We started to talk about about my trip there, and his trip here, and then he went to develop on Antonio de Noli's navigation and exotic enterprises, and I could feel the admiration of his voice, and the underlying trill of his own exile so long away from Italy. He also was particularly proud that a warship of the Italian Navy (here) was named after "quell'avventuriere della famiglia" ("adventurer", as he called Antonio de Noli, instead of explorer, as every else does). He was at the time in Santiago for medical treatment and resting in bed at my aunt "Chepa" Galeno's house in Brown Norte 1260. That afternoon he could not do much more than talk. And I could not do less than listen to him with the greatest, greatest interest. I really loved my nonno. I met him for the last time three years later in Copiapó, living still in his old compounds of Juan Martínez. All the machinery had silenced, all the oak quarterolas emptied, all the grape harvests taken for processing Pisco in the Ovalle region, some 200 kilometres south of Copiapó.

My beloved Italian grandfather Vittorio, from Genoa, a patriot who never resigned his precious Italian citizenship, closed his strong-blue, gentle eyes, quietly and forever at the age of 94, the 29 of July 1975, in Copiapó, Chile. I could not be with him. By the ironies of universal migration, I was at that time a political refugee with passport issued by the Genève Convention and forbidden to enter Chile. My first country of exile being Italy! Please click on my painting One-way ticket to exile for the poem La partenza (Farewell at the railway station where trains depart to only one direction) which I wrote in Rome, 1975 (English translation here).

I have documented this as a theme in my art production. Click here for my painting The run, and here for my painting One-way ticket to exile. For the poem La partenza / Farewell on the dock ("where trains depart to only one direction") which I wrote in Rome, 1975 here.

My painting One-way ticket to exile, 2004

Click on the painting for text (Italian) (English)

Vittorio Noli died at his residence in the middle of the fertile Copiapó Valley, at the heart of the impressive landscape of the huge and dry Atacama Dessert. He wished to have the windows open towards the old laurel trees in Juan Martínez - the pimientos. Its classical aroma reminded him of his beloved youth in lontana Italia. At times green and lusty as the deepest emerald, or sad as a tree longing for his leaves.

On more thing that I can tell, to honour the truth about my nonno. My grandfather Vittorio Noli was not what we coud say an ideologically liberal person, as instead I was my self and rather early, at the age of 14. Although he never spoke loud about it, his inner ideological sympathies were easily revealed by small events, the tunes he sang, etc. Much of his conversation with me was indeed very patriotic. I will not tell here which in my childhood was the absolutely first Italian tune I remember have heard, sang by him. Well, never mind now. When I asked recently (2006) my brother Maurizio - a rather rightwing and former lieutenant colonel in the Army - what he would remember as the most characteristic feature of our grandfather Vittorio, he answered without hesitation "the kindness, the ostensibly gentle way he treated the workers, all which adored him". And that was also true.

Vittorio Noli is still reputed have been a quite generous man, and his work and fortune allowed him to become a benefactor of Copiapó, a philanthropic enterprise that the community has publicly acknowledge in several occasions. He donated to the city of Copiapó several properties, among other his wineyard at Juan Martínez. There, the Avenue Batallones Atacama and the the luxurious residence area with the same name were built on terrains donated by Vittorio Noli (here). Vittorio Noli had eight children: José, Carlo, Stella, Juan Ricardo, Oscar, Consuelo Noli de Ferrada (my mother), Josefina, and Eric. My parents had only four children: Ricardo, Mauricio Victorio, Marcello Vittorio, and Carmen Consuelo.

Vittorio Noli - 1920 - and his three daughters
Chepa (Giusepppina), Conchita (Consuelo, my mother), and Stella Noli

My parents wedding 22/12 1939. My mother's accompanying dames at her wedding (in the picture) are
the Italian descendents Gilda Bordoli, Maria Ghiglino, Antonietta Ricci, Norma Shuster, and Victoria Porscile

Holidays in Bahia Inglesa, 1941

From left: My eldest brother Riccardo, my sister Carmen Consuelo , my beloved father,
my elder brother Mauricio, and I, 1963

Fratelli Mauricio e Marcello Ferrada Noli, 1967

Our Mother, 2005

Marcello Vittorio Ferrada-Noli 2004

The same as my grand father Vittorio Noli, I have eight children:
Marcello Vittorio, José-Miguel, Rodrigo Mauri , Andreas, Christopher Riccardo (R.I.P.),
Consuelo Caroline, Nicholas Francesco, and Andreas Vittorio. My first two grandchildren will
born in the Spring 2008.

de Noli
Detail of Book I, 1589

One of the firsts inscriptions regarding the Noli family name in the family books of Valleregia parish - situated 18 kilometres to the City of Genoa - dates from 1589 and pertinent Angelica de Noli. The family name was from the origin de Noli, as distinctly seen in the parish book (volume I). The family register is kept in Valleregia by the Catholic Church since around 1530.

The kind priest Stefano Plizzari
opens Parish Archives for us in
Valleregia, Genoa 28/9/2005

The Valleregia Church
Serra Riccò, Genoa

My grand grandfather Jose-Emmanuel
(father of my grandmother)
b. 1867

My grandfather Vittorio
b. 1881

My beloved father

Fratelli Ghiglino, cousins from my childhood, visiting Valleregia, Genoa, 2007.
Here with personalities of Comune di Serra Ricò

Above: Father Stefano holds Family Book I from 1589 (Angelica de Noli), and in the picture below the Family Book X from
1881 (Angela Noli →Vittorio Noli). At Valleregia, Genoa, 2005.

Having a look in the
archives at Ferrada, Genoa

With Priest Stefano Plizzari and
Mario Ghiglino
in Valleregia, Genoa, 2005.

With Mario Ghiglino
in Castagnaa, Genoa, 2008

My grandmother
Carmen Alejandra de Noli
b. 1903

My parents

Again at Valleregia Parish

I, Law student, 2007

My grandmother
Carmen Alejandra de Noli
b. 1903

My uncle Oscar Noli
b. 1932

My uncles Carlos Noli
and Juan Ricardo Noli
b. 1924-6

My uncle Juan Ricardo Noli
Click on picture for daughter Angelica Noli & family

My aunt Giuseppina Noli (Chepa) and husband Raul Galeno
Aunt Chepa is my mother's younger sister
Click on the picture above for pictures of their family

My cousins Marisa Noli and Mauro Noli

With my cousins Sandra Noli and Oriana Noli in Genoa-Valleregia.
Click on the picture above for a pictorial on my cousins Noli & their families in Italy

My father page (here)

Father and his horse Ginger

Thank You for visiting my page Noli, the Italian bond
If you wish to visit my other personal pages
Click here

You may also wish to see here a pictorial of my children (here),
and of my parents and family (here)

And here comes...
The beautiful City of Noli
Click on ban for
my gallery of Noli

Notes and references

[0-1a] Della Cella: "Famiglie Di Genova. Antiche, e moderne, estinte, e viventi, nobili, e populari". Parte II, D.E.F.G.I.L.M.N.O./ MDCCLXXXIII. Pages 293-294. Manuscript a the Library of the Universsity of Genoa (main library, at Via Balbi).
[0-2a]   Research Bulletin of the Antonio de Noli Academic Society.
Genoa, Italy, 2010. Vol. 2, Nr 8, p. 128-131.

[1] Blasone Cesenate

[2] Scanned photo with text

[3 ] Joao Barros, L’Asia, republished in Venetia Anno 1562 [Dec. I. lib. 2. cap. I.] “(Antonio da Noli) “di natione genovese, et di sangue nobile, che per alcuni dispiaceri che hebbe nella patria sua se ne venne in questo regno con due navi. . .”

[3a ]


[3b] Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira (ed. 1945), Vol XVIII, p. 836.




[3d ] In the manuscripts from Cesena at the Malatestian Library as well as in the Codice Diplomatico Istriano and in the manuscripts of Valleregia the name de Noli, de Nauli, Noli, de Nolio, and de Naulo are used indistinctly to refer to the same family Noli. Even a same individual is named in the very same manuscript as for instance Angelica de Nauli as Angelica de Noli (Valleregia), or Antonio de Noli as Antonio de Nolio or Antonio Noli (Cesena), or Arpuliano de Noli de Parma as Arpuliano de Naulis de Parma (Codigo Istriano). This can be just up to the Latin of the priest writing the entries in the Parish book. For instance, the new priest who took in charge Valleregia parish in 1595 changed from that moment onwards "Naulo" to "Nauli". Italian translations from old Latin manuscripts use the generic "Noli", which it will also uses here.

[3dd ] About the quest anguilla/vipera. Actually I have not much doubt left on this issue. a) The idea of atributing the figure appearing in the Noli coat of arms a viper-form was an interpretation of an older drawing. b) I have examined library photos of both eels and vipers. The eel and not the viper match with the original drawing (of the Noli arms) in both shape and proportional size. c) The eel has a triangular formation noticeable between the eye and the mouth - like the point of an arrow with the tip close to the outer "lip" - and this could explain the funny little thing outside the head in the drawing d) The viper's tongue is instead connected to the head, not separated as in the object of the drawing. e) I also put together the Noli arma with the Orsini arma (one of the Piedmont families having eels in their coat of arms) and the similitud between the figures is nearly identical! f) Also, on the one hand there is no vipers at all in the Italian cotas of arma from Lombardy/Liguria/Piedmont (all those I have been able to review, I mean hundreds). g) On the other hand there are at least nine coata of arms containing eels, and most of them using also red band/s on white or silver background.

[3d ]

"Nolio" in Valleregia 1638

"Nolio" in Cesena 1558

[3e ]

[3f ] Codice Diplomatico Istriano - volume III, Annotazione 478. In Scrinium Adriae. Medioevo e dintorni.

[4] Scanned photos with text
and and

[4a] Personal communication from the Section of Antique documents and Research of the Malatestiana Library, 22/2 2008. In the analysis participated also a teacher of Latin paleography. Document with Conclusion attached.

[5] Codice Diplomatico Istriano - volume III, Annotazione 478. In Scrinium Adriae. Medioevo e dintorni.

[6] The following text - and the Frascaroli coat of armas - is given in the site L'origine dell cognome Italiano. "Frascaroli è tipico del bolognese con un ceppo anche nel pavese ai confini con l'alessandrino. . .Troviamo il casato dei Frascaroli feudatari di Momperone (AL) nel 1300, nel 1400 i Marchesi Frascaroli di Montacuto sono feudatari di terre nella zona di Fabbrica Curone (AL)."


[7b] Giuseppina Rovereto, Archivio Storico del Comune di Genova.

[8] Quote from the official site of the Municipality of Casalino: "Agli inizi del quattrocento il castello - diventato un'importante fortezza - fu amministrato per diversi anni dal marchese Teodoro di Monferrato. In seguito divenne feudo dei "Botigella" e fu abitato da varie famiglie di signori, tra cui i Cattaneo di Cameriano e la famiglia Noli di Novara."


[10] Dr. Trevor Hall, personal communication 18/2 2008

[11] Dr. Trevor Hall, personal communication 5/2 2008

[12] Dr. Trevor Hall, personal communication 27/1 2008

[site in construction]



[ ]

[ ]

[ ] Archivio Storico Araldico Italiano, a Milano research site directed by Bruno Ronco

[21] These coat of arms were found in Blasonario Subalpino, a site run by Federico Bona

[22] Id.

[23] Id.


Notes and References on the chapter Famiglia Noli homogeneous nobility rank


[b] Grande Encyclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira, Vol. XVIII, in page 836

[c] Joao Barros, L’Asia, republished in Venetia Anno 1562 [Dec. I. lib. 2. cap. I.] “(Antonio da Noli) “di natione genovese, et di sangue nobile, che per alcuni dispiaceri che hebbe nella patria sua se ne venne in questo regno con due navi. . .”

[d] Giaccomo Gråberg's Annali di Geografia, e di Statistica, Genova, Anno 1802. Vol. II, page 258. Quote from page 258 "Antonio da Noli, celebre navigatore e nobile ligure, secondo alcuni [Prevot, Hist. general des vogages] ambasciadore della sua repubblica perso Alfonso V. . .”

[e] Quote from the official site of the Municipality of Casalino: "Agli inizi del quattrocento il castello - diventato un'importante fortezza - fu amministrato per diversi anni dal marchese Teodoro di Monferrato. In seguito divenne feudo dei "Botigella" e fu abitato da varie famiglie di signori, tra cui i Cattaneo di Cameriano e la famiglia Noli di Novara."



[h] Codice Diplomatico Istriano - volume III, Annotazione 478. In Scrinium Adriae. Medioevo e dintorni.


[i-2] Lo Bianco Giuseppe Umberto, Barelli Armida incontra Don Orione. Messaggi di Don Orione 35(2003) n.110, p.69-79

[j] Biblioteca Malatetiana di Cesena. Personal communication (14/2 2008), and photo of the manuscript page

[k] Biblioteca Malatetiana di Cesena. Personal communication (16/2 2008)

[l] Id.

[m] "Diploma of the Merchant" was not found in a separate searching in British sites, but "Diploma of the Merchant Navy" or "Diploma of the Merchant Marine".

[n] Dr. Trevor P. Howard, personal communication 12/2 2008. Referred also in " Nottinghamshire History. The Middle Age"

[o] Britannia. Monarchs of Britain

[p] Archivio Storico Araldico Italiano, a Milano research site directed by Bruno Ronco

[q] The new married couple - Antonio Maria Sanseverino and Margherita di Saluzzo - received from Margherita's father, Marchesse Ludovico II, the territory of Camerana. This one, in spite of belonging Piedmont is right in the vicinity of Liguria, about 100 kilometres from Genoa.
[r] Biographie Générale. Firmin Didot Fréres, publishers. Anno M DCCC LVII, Vol. 38 [here] and [here]

Other references and readings

1. W. Mary Bannerman & Caroline Sarah Shaw, Ed. (2008) Cape Verde. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 20, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:

2. Charles Verlinden (1963). Antonio de Noli e a colonização das ilhas de Cabo Verde. Revista da Faculdade de Letras, Lisboa, vol.3, nr.7, p.28-45

3. All the entries in the Family Book of Valleregia Parish were done in Latin since 1530, explain Valleregia Priest Stefano Plizzari, 2005.

4. Portugal states officially that the discoverer of the Oriental Islands of Cape Verde was Antonio de Noli, from Genoa. Source: António Germano Lima (2007) A PROBLEMÁTICA DO DESCOBRIMENTO E DO POVOAMENTO DAS
ILHAS DE CABO VERDE. The author refers "A tese oficial portuguesa dá como descobridor das ilhas orientais do Arquipélago de Cabo Verde o genovês António de Noli. Tese oficial por ser a tese dos diplomas da chancelaria real, que tem em António de Noli o descobridor exclusivo dessas ilhas." For details on Germano Lima's referred documentation see

5. On Portugal Prince Henry The Navigator and his stands on Spain, several links as historical background of Antonio de Noli epoch in

6. Other opus of Jakob (Giacomo) Gråberg are Essai géographique et statistique sur la régence d'Alger, 1830, and Specchio geografico estatistico del imperio di Marocco, 1833.

[Note on Gandoglia's text on A. Noli]. For the book In Repubblica - a comprehensive history of de City Noli, by
Bernardo Gandoglia - The City of Noli made available for the author all existing archive sources.
However, among the 696 pages of his book, Professor Gandoglia devotes Antonio da Noli only two
lines in just only one page, and one foot note. The most remarkable observation is that Gandoglia
emphasizes - about Antonio being from Noli - that ”so it is believed" (cosi si crede). If he would
have any evidence of such claim in the archives he thoroughly studied, Gandoglia would
surely had expressed him self otherwise. The above is a fact that biographers of Antonio
de Noli have apparently disregard.

7. In the history of Nals

My painting THE RUN, 2004

Note: The text from Wikipedia that follows corresponds to the version 20/Feb 2010 of the article António Noli( My texts in this Wikipedia article are signed Bluelamp5. In this article – as in the version of 19/2 2010 - I authored The “Introduction” and “Descendants” sections. I am not thou author of the section “Discoveries”, however I added in this section the two first references and a material received 17/2 2010 from Professor Marcel G. Balla (the paragraph “The official royal letter of 29 Oct. . .” and onwards). Professor Trevor Hall contributed (16/2 2010) with precisions on the Treaty of Alcacovas, and dates of the de Noli’s exile voyage from Italy to Portugal, for which a refernce has to be inserted. The texts were also reviewed by Dr. Carla Rosetti (Biblioteca Malatestiana) who sent to me her feedback (article "extremely accurate and complete") 19/2 2010.
Wikipedia articles are continuously updated and therefore I emphasize that this text correspond to the version as given above. The reason for including this material in De Noli. The Italian Bond, is to make here available the references which I used in the Wikipedia article, and that are relevant in the context of the biographic information on Captain Antonio de Noli in “De Noli. The Italian Bond”.


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António Noli

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Antonio de Noli (born 1415 or possibly 1419 [21]. Demise whereabouts unknown) was a 15th century Italian nobleman and explorer [1], and the first ever colonial governor in Africa appointed by an European power. He discovered some of the Cape Verde islands on behalf of Henry the Navigator, and he was made first Governor of Cape Verde by King Afonso V. In most history or geographic books, including ancient chronics, or encyclopedia, he is referred as Antonio de Noli [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8], as well as in official information by the Government of Cape Verde [9] or in Cape Verde history articles or references [10] [11] [12]. In Italy he is known also as Antonio da Noli (see Note 21, below) or some times referred as Antoniotto Usodimare [13].




Antonio de Noli was born to a patrician [14] family in Genoa, Italy, as referred in ancient sources of the epoch; e.g. Portuguese king's historian João de Barros stated already in 1552 that Antonio Noli was born in Genoa [15], and "of noble blood". Modern historicians and researches also specify Antonio Noli as Genovese or Genoese, e.g. Dumoriez (1762) [16], Thomas (1860) [17], Hamilton (1975) [18], Diffie and Winius (1977) [19], Irwin and Wilson (1999) [20]. It has also been put forward that Antonio de Noli would have instead born in Noli (Savona) Italy (see Note 21, below) [21] [22]. After he was exiled from Genoa amid political disputes compromising main families Fregoso and Adorno, Antonio de Noli (Navy captain, and cartography expert) [23] sailed to Portugal 1459-1460 in command of a small expedition of three vessels and with his brother Bartholomew (a Genoa lawyer) and nephew Raphael. In Portugal de Noli became engaged in Ultramar explorations by Henry the Navigator. From 1462 to 1496 he founded and then was Captain of Ribeira Grande (modern-day Cidade Velha) at the southern end of Santiago Island.
The de Noli family is believed to have its ancient roots in "the small city and Castle of Noli" [24]. By the XIV Century there were two main branches of the Noli family in Northern Italy sharing a pre-medieval origin in the ancient territory of Noli (Savona province). One branch was established in Genoa, Liguria, and the other in Novara, Piedmont, where the Noli ("famiglia di signore") habited the Castle of Cameriano by the beginning of XV century [25][22]. [26]. It is also recorded that members of the Noli family established in Genoa participated in government already by the XIII Century, i.e. as "Consigliere della Signoria" in 1261 [27]. In 1382 Giacomo de Noli (ancestor of Captain Antonio de Noli) [28] was appointed one member of the Twelve-Elderly Council of Genoa ("XII-Anziani del Comune") under the lead of Duke Nicolas de Guarco [29]. When Nicolas de Guarco took over the rule of Genoa after the Fregoso, in 1378, he had "appointed in positions of trust the noblemen which have been neglected in the previous administrations" [30], and thus also appointed the Fieschi. The participation of the de Noli in the Guarco's ruling of Genoa in alliance with the Fieschi would have, years afterwards, dramatic consequences for Antonio de Noli and his brother Bartholomew. Those prior political associations of the de Noli in Genoa provide a helpful background in explaining both their forced departure to exile in Portugal in 1447, and also the circumstances around the later repatriation of their descendants some decades after, first in Cesena and finally anew in homeland Genoa [31] [32].


Old history records attribute Antonio de Noli the discovery of Cape Verde Islands, supposedly "the ancient Hesperides of Pliny and Ptolemy" [33]. This according to a carta regia (royal letter) of September 19, 1462 [34]. It is thou uncertain which of the Cape Verde Islands were discovered by Antonio de Noli. Some of the islands are mentioned in a letter of donation dated December 3, 1460; the rest in the above mentioned from September 19, 1462. Noli has claim to discovering the first set of islands, while the second were possibly found by Diogo Gomes. However the events in question are poorly recorded in documents from the time, a reasonable alternative would be that some or all of these second set of islands were discovered by Diogo Dias, Diogo Afonso and Alvise Cadamosto.
The official royal letter of 29 Oct 1462 [35] states that it was Diogo Afonso, the king's scribe, who had discovered the other (last) seven islands that were mentioned in the royal letter of the 19th of September 1462 [36]. This letter of 19 Sep 1462 grants all the islands of Cape Verde to Dom Fernando and the other seven islands are designated but the discoverer is not named. In this letter Antonio de Noli's name is given as the discoverer of the first five islands, been also the first time he is mentioned by name as the discoverer. The letter of 3 Dec 1460 [37] was a royal grant to Infante Ferdinand the Saint Prince after the demise of his brother Henry the Navigator in 1460.

During World War II, an Italian destroyer was named Antonio da Noli. It sank after striking a mine off the coast of Corsica on September 9, 1943, the day after the Italian surrender to the Allies (see Navigatori class destroyer).


Governor Antonio de Noli had one daughter (Doña Branca de Aguiar, who married the Portuguese nobleman Dom Jorge Correa de Sousa, fidalgo da casa real) and one son, whom is mentioned to have accompained him during the early exploration years in mainland Africa [38]. During the occupation of Cape Verde Islands by the Spaniards during the Lusitanian-Spanish war of 1475-1479, Antonio de Noli remained governor. In the aftermath of the Treaty of Alcacovas and the reestablishment of Portuguese rule the governorship of the Islands went instead 1497 to Noli’s daughter Branca and her Portuguese spouse. Thereafter, the whereabouts on Antonio Noli - including his demise or location of his son and descendants, or his fortune (as well as in the case of his Genoa brother Bartholomew or nephew Raphael) – have no record found in Portugal, Cape Verde, or Spain. The Noli were at the time (1497) still banned for political reasons of returning to Italy via Genoa. In 2008 it was found at the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena, Italy, several manuscripts indicating the presence of the de Noli family in Cesena [39] by the end of fourteen hundred, and not earlier. Among the Malatestiana Library manuscripts it was found as well two separate documents depicting the coat of arms of the Noli family. In one of such manuscripts is written under the Noli coat of arms “Famiglia Noli oriounda”. The reference to “oriunda” means in this context “not from Cesena”, thus “coming from an outer territory”. The first entrie of the de Noli in the Cesena manuscripts refers to "Simone de Antonio Noli Biondi" [40], which indicates - according to naming praxis at the time - that Antonio de Noli would have been his father. Later, and with the name Simone de Noli Biondi he is mentioned in another manuscript [41] as member of the Cesena Council (Consiglio di Cesena) in 1505. The same position was held in later years by two other de Noli descendants, Antonio Noli of Tregga rotta in 1552 [42] and Antonio de Noli Biondi in 1556. This Antonio de Noli ceased as member of the Cesena Council in 1558 [43] and in the aftermath of it the family de Noli was reported in a Malatestiana manuscript as "extint" in Cesena [44]. However, few years later descendants of an Antonio de Noli appeared again living in Northern Genoa (Valleregia, Serra Ricco). The first register of the de Noli in the Family book of Valleregia Parish of the period took place 1586 [45]. The entries show the names of Antonio de Noli, Bartholomew, Simone, Raphael, and others known names used already in the previous generation of navigator Antonio de Noli and his descendants [46]. The descendants of the de Noli family established anew in the hamlet of Noli in Northern Genoa (La frazione di Noli al comune di Serra Ricco) [47]. As most of the de Noli families with Ligurian ancestry, the coat of arms of the family of Antonio de Noli and his descendants carries the red and white colours of the ancient City of Noli, Genoa and Savona.

References and Notes

  1. ^ The "Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa" states: "Antonio de Noli belonged to the Genoa nobility. The celebrity of the discoveries..." ("Antonio de Noli pertencia à nobreza de Genova. A fama dos descobrimentos ..."). "Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasilera. Ilustrada", Lisboa, Editorial Enciclopédia, 1935-1960. Page 836
  2. ^ Charles François Du Périer Dumouriez, "An account of Portugal, as it appeared in 1766 to Dumoriez. Printed at Lausanne 1775". Law, Debret & Balfour, London, 1797
  3. ^ The "Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa" refer to him as Antonio de Noli. Op. cit. Page 836
  4. ^ "Uso di Mare and Antonio de Noli were to be found in the same employment the connection between...". In Gomes Eannes de Azurara, "The chronicle of the discovery and conquest of Guinea". The Hakluyt Society, London, 1896-1899. Page 300. (Earlier published in Portuguese by Pariz Aillaud 1841)
  5. ^ Cape Verde Islands. Handbooks prepared under the direction of the Historical Section of the Foreign Office. No. 117. Published by H.M. Stationery Ofice. London, 1920[1]
  6. ^ "A carta regia (royal letter) of September 19, 1462, attributed the discovery of the Cape Verde Islands to the Italian Antonio de Noli". In Bailey W. Diffie & George D. Winius, "Foundations of the Portuguese Empire 1415-1580". University of Minnesota Press, 1977. Page 106
  7. ^ C.E. Nowel "A History of Portugal". D Van Nostrand Co. New York 1952. Pages 40, 256 [2]
  8. ^ Charles Verlinden, "Antonio de Noli e a colonizaçaão das ilhas de Cabo Verde". Lisboa, 1963
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ "Ribeira Grande is where the history of Cape Verde began...It was chosen by António de Noli as the centre of his portion of Santiago - where the first Cape Verdians..." In Aisling Irwing, "Cape Verde History" [4]
  11. ^ e.g.[5]
  12. ^ [6]
  13. ^ Some texts identify Antonio de Noli and Antoniotto Usodimare as been the same person. However, this assumtion has not been established as biographic or historic fact. The Usodimare family is a separate Ligurian family with not known lineage association with the de Noli families.
  14. ^ Biographie Générale by Firmin Didot Fréres states that Noli appartenait à une famille patricien ("belonged to a patrician family"). Biographie Générale. Firmin Didot Fréres, publishers. Anno M DCCC LVII, Vol. 38
  15. ^ João de Barros on Antonio di Noli: “di natione genovese, et di sangue nobile, che per alcuni dispiaceri che hebbe nella patria sua se ne venne in questo regno con due navi. . .”. In Joao Barros, "L’Asia", Dec. I. lib. 2. cap. I. Republished by Vincenzo Valgrisio, Venice, 1562. João de Barros, Captain (head) of the Fortress of St George of Elmina (Elmina Castle), was also the most notable Portuguese historian of the epoch, and distinguished for his intellectual ethics and trustfully work. As official historian of the King, he had access to primeval data kept at the court on Antonio de Noli. He wrote the first part of his Décadas da Ásia ("Decades of Asia"), in 1552-1556 (republished in Venetia 1562)
  16. ^ Charles François Du Périer Dumouriez. Op. cit. Page 95
  17. ^ "(Cape Verde discoveries) Antonio Noli, a Genoese in the service of the Prince of Portugal. In W. Thomas, M.A.,"The West Coast of Africa, And Its Islands". Derby & Jackson, New York, 1860. Page 327
  18. ^ "The Portuguese, with the aid of Genovese navigator Antonio Noli, discovered the remaining, likewise inhabited, islands of the Cape Verde Archipelago". In Russel G. Hamilton, "Voices from an Empire". University of Minnesota, 1975. Page 233
  19. ^ Bailey W. Diffie & George D. Winius "Foundations of the Portuguese Empire 1415-1580". Op. cit. Page 111
  20. ^ "...(Discovered Cape Verde)....More likely, it was the Genoese António de Noli". In Aisling Irwin & Colum Wilson, "Cape Verde Islands". The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Conneticut. Fourth Edition, 2009. Page 6
  21. ^ As the name Antonio da Noli bears the assumtion he would have born in Noli, vice versa, it is assumed that he was born in Noli because his name would be Antonio da Noli (as da would denote procedence). Emanuele Diotto, in Antonio da Noli e la scoperta delle isole del Capo Verde [7] quotes City of Noli historian Bernardo Gandoglia as referring the existence of a birth document with the name Antonio da Noli. However there is no indicated reference or source for such document. Further, in his book In Repubblica (1916. 696 pages) Bernardo Gandoglia refers the issue of Antonio Noli being from Noli as ″so it is believed″ (cosi si crede). In a brief mention to Antonio Noli Gandoglia writes ″il nostro Antonio (cosi si crede) ò a Genova, ove piu tarde si trovò compromesso nelle fazione fra gli Adorno e i Fregoso″. Further, the original reports on Antonio da Noli, as indication of locus-origin, may as well have referred to the hamlet of Noli in Northern Genoa province (La frazione di Noli al comune di Serra Ricco), then a site of the de Noli family[8]
  22. ^ [9]
  23. ^ Referred as "Peritissimo Piloto Genovese" in "Famiglie Di Genova. Antiche, e moderne, estinte, e viventi, nobili, e populari". Parte II, D.E.F.G.I.L.M.N.O./ MDCCLXXXIII. Page 293
  24. ^ "L'origine si puó supponere dalla piccola cittá o Castello di Noli". In "Famiglie Di Genova. Op. cit. Pages 293-294
  25. ^ "Castello di Cameriano...Agli inizi del quattrocento il castello - diventato un'importante fortezza - fu amministrato per diversi anni dal marchese Teodoro di Monferrato. In seguito divenne feudo dei "Botigella" e fu abitato da varie famiglie di signori, tra cui i Cattaneo di Cameriano e la famiglia Noli di Novara [10]
  26. ^ Descendants of the Noli in Novara (at the time Lombardy territory) became later established around Bergamo and Parma/Cremona. E.g. Nobildonna Alessandra Noli Datarino (Cremona)[11], Can. Comte Alessandro Noli (Bergamo) [12], Arpulino de Noli da Parma [13]
  27. ^ "citase un Noli Anziano e consiglieri della Signoria nel 1261". Bollettino della Società geografica italiana, Volym 17. 1880. Page 139
  28. ^ Giacomo de Noli and Antonio de Noli are listed in the same Noli family in "Famiglie di Genova",op.cit. Page 293
  29. ^ "1882. Giacomo de Noli fú un de XII-Anziani del Comune sotto il Duce Nicolas de Guarco". In "Famiglie di Genova",op.cit. Page 293
  30. ^ "Nicolas de Guarco fut, en 1378, donné pour successeur a Frégose...Pour augmenter les forces de sa patrie, il rappela aux places de confiance les nobles qu'on avoit écartés pendant les administrations précédentes". In Simonde Sismondi "Histoire des Républiques Italiennes du Moyen Âge. Paris, M.D.CCC.IX. Tome Septième (Elibro Classics ed, 2004). Page 232
  31. ^ [14]
  32. ^ The Fieschi were also prominet family in Cesena, and they were also ousted from Genoa after their aborted - and bloody - conspiracy against Doria led among other by the Count of Lavagna Giovanni Luigi Fieschi. This would also explain reasons of Antonio de Noli and/or descendants for choosing Cesena as a protected setting to come back to Italy after exile in Portugal (and after loosing the Cape Verde governorship), while waiting for the final settlement in Genoa [15]
  33. ^ "The Cape Verd Islands are situate at the distance of no leagues from the Cape of the same name, on the western coast of Africa, between 23 and 26 west long, and 15 and 18 north lat. They are supposed by some to be the ancient Hesperides of Pliny and Ptolemy. They were discovered, in the year 1460, by Antonio de Noli, a Genoese, under the direction of the Infant Don Henry, who presented them to King Alphonso V. his nephew". In Charles François Du Périer Dumouriez. Op. cit. Chapter "Account of Portugal", "Cape Verd Islands". Page 95[16]
  34. ^ In Bailey W. Diffie & George D. Winius. Op. cit. Page 106. (See Note 5, above)
  35. ^ A facsimile of the royal letter is reproduced in Marcel G. Balla, 2002. "Antonio's Island: Missing Pages of History for Blacks and Hispanics". Braiswick. ISBN 1898030480
  36. ^ Professor Balla notes that this letter was written only about six weeks after that one of the 19th September 1462, what it would constitute a good indication that those seven islands were discovered after the 3rd of December 1460 and before September 19th 1462. In Marcel Balla, Archivo Nacional Torre de Tombo (The national archives in Lisbon) (ANTT), Misticos, vol.2º.,fl.155-XX
  37. ^ Five islands in Cape Verde were mentioned in this letter with the original names given: S. Jacobe, S. Felipe, Maias, S. Cristavao and Lana. These names were changed later to Santiago, Fogo, Maio, Boa Vista and Sal. This is also the first time that the Cape Verde islands are mentioned with their original names. In Marcel Balla "Antonio's Island. Op. cit
  38. ^ Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira (ed. 1945), Vol XVIII, p. 836
  39. ^ The findings were conducted by Dr. Carla Rosetti at the Research Section (Servizio conservazione e richerche) of the Biblioteca Malatestiana, and Professor Marcello Ferrada-Noli. Images of the manuscripts can be seen in M. Ferrada-Noli "The de Noli descendants / Cesena manuscripts" [17]
  40. ^ Manuscript book "Memorie Antiche", page 300. Manuscript preserved at Servizio conservazione e richerche, Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy
  41. ^ Manuscript book "Memorie della Famigle è della Cità di Cesena". Page 202. Manuscript preserved at Servizio conservazione e richerche, Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy
  42. ^ This Antonio Noli lived in Tregga rotta and became also a member of the Cesena Council by means of purchasing his membership by paying “150 D’oro” to the City in 1552. The few mentions of "Treggia" or "Treggia rotta" (not found in Cesena) spells differently in the manuscripts and may be instead "Taggia", that is not so far from Genoa. All which together with emphasizing the "oriundo" character of the Noli family in Cesena may indicate the original, pre Capeverdian, Genoa roots
  43. ^ Manuscript by Mauro Verdone "Delle cose memorabili della Citá di Cesena". Page 73. Manuscript preserved at Servizio conservazione e richerche, Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy
  44. ^ Manuscript by Giovanni Ceccaroni "Raccolta di memorie cesenati". Page 420. Manuscript preserved at Servizio conservazione e richerche, Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena Italy
  45. ^ [18]
  46. ^ M. Ferrada-Noli. The de Noli descendants. Lineage Genoa / Serra Riccò / Antonio de Noli 1586 [19]
  47. ^ [20]

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