The Pignatelli Family traced their ancestry back to Agilmondo , a King of Lombards (VIII-IX) Century , of the Dukedom and later Principality of Benevento. It was and it is a proud and illustrious family. It was one of the seventh great families of the Realm (of Naples). It was also very common to marry with other prominent families, (including the other Pignatelli Branches ), as a way to keep and inherit the assets ,the fortunes and to hold power and wealth.
Pignatelli married into Carafa , Sanseverino , Caracciolo , d’Aquino ,del Balzo, Spinelli , Campitelli , Ravaschieri etc… etc. and other prominent Papal families as Orsini ,Caetani, Colonna , della Rovere, Conti. But in many ways the Neapolitan families as Carafa and Pignatelli (Papal families) were unlike other roman papal families ( the power and wealth was within Rome and Lazio region ) : the base of power and the source of their wealth were the feudal holdings in the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily. Their policy tended to marry the heiress of Principalities and fiefdoms of Southern Italy.
We outline some interesting examples:
Niccolo Pignatelli V Prince of Noja married in 1679 Giovanna Pignatelli, Duchess of Monteleone , Marq of Valle Oaxaca etc.. heiress of the fortunes Tagliavia – Cortes.(Sicily and Mexico). Ettore IV Duc of Monteleone married in 1592 Caterina Caracciolo heiress of the Earldom of S.Angelo de’ Lombardi. (Fief between Salerno and Bari)
Ferdinando Pignatelli Knight of the Toson d’Or , Prince of the Holy Roman Empire , Duke of Tolve , Grandee of Spain , married in 1719
Lucrezia Pignatelli III Princess of Strongoli (fief in The Calabria region) (Title inherited by marriage with the Campitelli Family by Geronimo I Prince of Strongoli in early 1600).
At the peak of their power the Pignatelli were owners of 179 fiefs , 18 Counties or/Earldom , 22 Marquisates , 16 Dukedoms and 14 Principalities. Today several branches are still existing. In the Genealogy section of this website , we can see the complex marriage policy implemented by the family.
Historical Essay | Famous Members | Genealogy