As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
Is it known today what families might be descended from Leonardo daVinci? I came across a site that had ancestors of his in a family tree there. My fiancee's maiden name is Castrovinci, and the name was said to have come from a mixing of Castro and vinci. So I'm curious whether or not it's even possible at all that the family came from his.
Are you willing or know how to research or would you prefer to hire someone to perform this function for you?
The Italian surname dictionary reflkects that CASTRO is the base surname and there are no variations listed for this base name involving any VINCI. In fact the surname CASTRO is identical in Spain as well as Italy.
Who or what is your reference to Castro Vinci? =Peter=
Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, "at the third hour of the night" in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of Florence. He was the illegitimate son of Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine notary, and Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, "da Vinci" simply meaning "of Vinci": his full birth name was "Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci".
In the case of the original poster's fiancee, her maiden name may simply indicate that her ancestors were of the Castro family from Vinci (to differentiate them from Castro families from other towns), With, for example, "Giuseppe Castro da Vinci" eventually being shortened to Giuseppe Castrovinci.
My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me!
I am willing to do research myself. I have pretty much been learning as I go how to research this. I am a very long way from linking my fiancee's family to the da Vinci timeframe anyway. The earliest information I have on the Castrovincis is from the last 20 years of the 1800s. I put a post up in the Italian genealogy section. It talks about the Castrovinci and Patella families. I'm starting by trying to find out the parents and family of the earliest members on her family tree, Filippo Castrovinci and Carmela Patella of Palermo. They had a brother and sister who moved without telling them, yet were close enough to go to the local market in New York.
german Wikipedia writes about his homosexual inclination: "Ihm wurde zudem nachgesagt, homosexuell gewesen zu sein. Der großgewachsene, attraktive, musikalisch und darstellerisch talentierte und immer extravagant gekleidete Leonardo – der zeitlebens Männerfreundschaften pflegte – musste sich 1476 einer Anklage wegen Sodomie stellen. Ihm wurde vorgeworfen, mit dem 17-jährigen Jacopo Saltarelli sexuellen Kontakt gepflegt zu haben, was jedoch nicht eindeutig geklärt werden konnte. Leonardo wurde freigesprochen." http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci
also correct that da Vinci means he came from Vinci, west of Florenz/Firenze: "Sein Namenszusatz „da Vinci“ ist kein Familienname, sondern bedeutet aus Vinci. Der Geburtsort Vinci ist ein Kastell bzw. befestigtes Hügeldorf und liegt im Florentiner Territorium (ca. 30 km westlich von Florenz) nahe Empoli." http://maps.google.at/maps?hl=de&cp=9&g ... a=N&tab=wl