Bonaparte is a French family name of Italian origin. Originally Buonaparte, this family claims numerous influential descendents including Corsican Napoléon I who ruled France during the early 19th century. The Bonaparte family's descendants also include kings of Spain, Naples, Holland and Westphalia, and a second French Emperor, Napoléon III. Supporters of the Bonaparte family's claim to the throne of France are known as Bonapartists.
The Buonaparte family were from minor Italian nobility
who held most of their property in the hill town of San Miniato
near Florence, Italy
. The Buonapartes came from a Tuscan
stock of Lombard
After settling in Florence the family enjoyed a relationship with the then ruling Medici family. Jacopo Buonaparte was a friend and advisor to Medici Pope Clement VII. Jacopo was also a witness to and wrote an account of the sack of Rome (1527), which is one of the most important historical documents recounting that event. Two of Jacopo's nephews, Pier-Antonio Buonaparte and Giovanni Buonaparte, however, took part in the 1527 Medici rebellion, after which they were banished from Florence and later were restored by Alessandro de' Medici. Jacopo's brother Benedetto Bounaparte maintained political neutrality.
The family later broke in two branches: Buonaparte-Sarzana, Nobili di Sarzana had been compelled to leave Florence due to the defeat of the Ghibellines and later when Francesco Buonaparte came to Corsica in 16th century and the island was in Genoese possession.
The Buonaparte tomb lies in the Church of San Francesco in San Miniato.
The arms of the Buonaparte family were: Gules two bends sinister between two stars or. In 1804 Napoleon changed the arms to Azure an imperial eagle or. The change applied to all members of his family except for his brother Lucien, and the son of Jerome's first marriage.
is the most prominent name associated with the Bonaparte family because he conquered much of the Western world during the early part of the 19th century. He was elected as first consul of France
on November 10
with the help of his brother, Lucien Bonaparte
, and president of the Council of Five Hundred
. He was crowned Emperor
of the French and ruled from 1804-1814, 1815.
Following his conquest of most of Western Europe, the first Napoleon made his elder brother Joseph (1768-1844) king first of Naples (1806-1808) and then of Spain (1808-1813), his third brother Louis (1778-1846) king of Holland (1806-1810) (subsequently forcing his abdication after his failure to subordinate Dutch interests to those of France) and his youngest brother Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860) king of Westphalia, the short-lived realm created from some of the states of northwestern Germany (1807-1813).
Napoleon's son Napoleon François Charles Joseph (1811-1832) was created king of Rome (1811-1814) and was later styled Napoleon II by loyalists of the dynasty, though he only ruled for two weeks after his father's abdication. Charles Louis Napoléon (1808-1873), son of Louis Napoléon, was president of France in 1848-1852 and emperor in 1852-1870, reigning as Napoléon III; his son, Eugène Bonaparte (1856-1879), styled the Prince Imperial, died fighting the Zulus in Natal, South Africa. With his death, the family lost much of its remaining political appeal, though claimants continue to assert their right to the imperial title. A political movement for Corsican independence surfaced in the 1990s which included a Bonapartist restoration in its programme.
Crowns held by the family
The family tree
1785) married Maria Letizia Ramolino
(Ajaccio 1750 - Rome 1836) in 1764. He was a minor official in the local courts. They had eight children:
Napoléon (I) Bonaparte (1769-1821) Emperor Lucien Bonaparte (1775-1840)
- Joseph Bonaparte (Corte 1768-Florence 1844), King of Naples and Spain, married Julie Clary, sister of Napoleon's childhood sweetheart, Désirée, who was to become the wife of General Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, the later Charles XIV of Sweden.
Maria-Anna Elisa Bonaparte (1777-1820), grand-duchess of Tuscany married Félix Bacciochi
Louis Bonaparte, (1778 - 1846) married Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepdaughterMaria Paola or Marie Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825), married in 1797 to French general Charles Leclerc and later married Prince Borghese.
Maria Annunziata Caroline Bonaparte (1782-1839) married Joachim MuratJérôme Bonaparte (1784-1860), King of Westphalia
- 2 daughters with first wife, Katherina Boyer
- Christine Charlotte Bonaparte (1795-1865)
- Victoire Gertrude Bonaparte (1797-1797)
- 10 children with second wife, Alexandrine von Bleschamps:
- Christine Charlotte Alexandrine Egypta Bonaparte (1798-1847)
- Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte (1803-1857), ornithologist and politician married Princess Zénaïde Bonaparte (1801-1854)
- Joseph Lucien Charles Napoléon Bonaparte (1824-1865)
- Alexandrine Gertrude Zénaïde Bonaparte (1826-1828)
- Lucien Louis Joseph Napoléon Bonaparte (1828-1895)
- Julie Charlotte Pauline Zénaïde Laetitia Désirée Bartholomée Bonaparte (1830-1900)
- Charlotte Honorine Joséphine Pauline Bonaparte (1832-1901)
- Léonie Stéphanie Elise Bonaparte 1833-1839)
- Marie Désirée Eugénie Joséphine Philomène Bonaparte (1835-1890)
- Augusta Amélie Maximilienne Jacqueline Bonaparte (1836-1900)
- Napoléon Charles Grégoire Jacques Philippe Bonaparte (1839-1899)
- Bathilde Aloïse Léonie Bonaparte (1840-1861
- Albertine Marie Thérèse Bonaparte (1842-1842)
- Charles Albert Bonaparte (1843-1847)
- Laetitia Christine Bonaparte (1804-1871)
- Joseph Lucien Bonaparte (1806-1807)
- Jeanne Bonaparte (1807-1829)
- Paul Marie Bonaparte (1808-1827)
- Louis Lucien Bonaparte (1813-1891)
- Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte (1815-1881)
- Antoine Lucien Bonaparte (1816-1877)
- Alexandrine Marie Bonaparte (1818-1874)
- Constance Bonaparte (1823-1876)
The headship of the family is in dispute between Charles Napoléon
, born 1950, great-great-grandson of Jérôme Bonaparte
by his second marriage; and his son Jean-Christophe
(born 1986) who was appointed heir in the will of his grandfather Prince Louis Napoléon
. The only other male member of the family is the brother of Charles, Prince Jérôme
, (born 1957), unmarried. There are no remaining descendants in male line from any other of Napoleon's brothers. There are, however, numerous descendants of Napoleon's illegitimate, but recognized son Walewski
from his union with Marie, Countess Walewski
. Of these include the Wattier family and its union with the Bonaparte family. The later descendents were the Peschongs and Herrs. A descendant of Napoleon's sister Caroline Bonaparte is actor Rene Auberjonois