Gherarduccio and his brother Vanni, were military soldiers and defended their estate, the village of Linari, from the invasion of the king of England, Henry VII. They also dealt in trade and finances.
Some members of the family (belonging to the Guelph white party) Tommaso, Maurizio and Gherardo were exiled in 1190, along with Dante Alighieri, from the city of Florence. They made their way to Ireland, where they settled and took part to the military campaign led by William the Conqueror for the possession of England. Some members of the family had high political positions, and were Viceroys of Ireland. From that moment on they changed their name into Fitzgerald, which means in Gaelic the children of Gherardo. A family branch emigrated to the United States in 1700 and originated one of the most powerful American families, the Kennedy.
It is curious that a distant ancestor of the family, Ottorigo Gherardini, in 1304, had a similar destiny to that of John Kennedy. He was killed by a crossbow hit in Piazza Signoria in Firenze. You can visit his tomb in the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte, close to Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Another ancient member of the family was Cece Gherardini. He, instead, participated in the battle of Montaperti against Siena, as captain of Florence. He lost his life in the battle of 1260 and now rests in Val d'Elsa.
So there you have it, who would have thought??
- Post by Angelica, Photo from the internet