Morelli & Vanoni Genealogy
Morelli & Vanoni Genealogy
Dennis W. Morelli
The Morelli family was one of the most distinguished of Florence, the foremost city of Italy during medieval days. Originally the family was located in the old province of Romagna in the northeast of Italy. Traditionally it is said to have come to Italy with Charlemagne, the great King of the Franks, during the 8th century. The family is believed to have settled in Florence early in the 15th century where it became one of the great merchant families. Branches of the family were soon established in Turin, Perugia, and Taranto. The Coat-of-Arms for the Turin branch of the Morelli family is shown above. It was hand painted for Dennis Morelli in 1964 by a heraldic artist from Oakland, California and features a red shield upon which are two golden fore-legs of a lion, crossed diagonally. In the upper part of the shield is a golden chess-piece known as a rook which is often mistaken for a coronet. A much older painting of the Morelli coat of arms (circa 1500) can be seen by viewing the special photograph attached to Pietro Morelli.

In 1439 the family was honored with the title of Count Palatine by the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire when he attended the Council of Florence in an effort to reconcile the Roman and Greek churches; the title was later confirmed by Pope Leo X (1513-1521).

This web page identifies the descendants of Pietro Morelli, birthplace unknown, whose son, Donato, moved with his wife and children to Lierna, Italy in about 1750. Lierna is a small town located on the eastern shore of Lake Como, about 15 Km (9 miles) north of Lecco. One of Donato's great great grandsons (Joseph Barnaba Morelli, Jr.) married Erminia Vanoni from Aurigeno, Switzerland. The genealogy of her Vanoni family is also included on this site. Tha Vanoni Family Coat-of-Arms shown above can be found painted in Capellas and on the sides of houses in Aurigeno, Switzerland where the Vanoni family has lived for more than 300 years.