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The Origin of the Cofrancesco Family
Written by Pacifico Cofrancesco   
Monday, 12 May 2008
Article Index
The Origin of the Cofrancesco Family
01. The Titerno Valley
02. The original nucleus of the Cofrancesco family
03. The first and second generation in S. Lorenzello
04. The Cofrancescos in S. Lorenzello in the 1600s
05. The main genealogical lines
06. The descendants of Giovanni Donato
07. Stato delle anime - 1714
08. Catasto Generale of S. Lorenzello - 1754 
09. Some important "missing" persons...
10. The Cofrancescos of Cerreto Sannita
11. The Cofrancescos of Massa
12. The Cofrancescos of S. Lorenzello
13. The Cofrancescos migrations
14. Epilogue
Downloadable PDF Text

2. The original nucleus of the Cofrancesco family

          The documents found at the archive of the parish of S. Lorenzello show that in the second half of the 16th century a number of Cofrancesco families already existed there.  As shown in The origin of the surname Cofrancesco people belonging to this family were from time to time called Nicolai Francisci, de Cola Francisco, Francisci, and de Francisco, but in fact belonged to a single family that will steadily use the surname Cofrancesco.

          In particular, thanks to the Scripta Mortuorum, which contains death records from 1596 to 1629, we can document from as early as the 1500s the presence of many Cofrancescos in S. Lorenzello.  Unfortunately, in death records the name of the father of the deceased was not always given, and the age was always approximated.  Thus it is not always possible to be sure of the birth year of the deceased.  It is sometimes possible to cross match information with marriage records to better estimate the dates of birth of individuals identified as members of a Cofrancesco family and born in the 16th century in S. Lorenzello.

          Records of baptisms in S. Lorenzello were not found prior to 1595.  The earliest date of birth, which can be calculated from the information taken from death records, is that of Giacomo de Francisco, who died on 23 August 1614 at the age of 70, and therefore was born around 1544. The name of his father and his place of birth were not given. Some months later in the same year (1614) Orsa de Francisco died at the age of 65.  So the year of her birth should be around 1549.  Again there is no indication of the name of the parents.  Giacomo and Orsa are the oldest generation of Cofrancescos currently known for which the year of birth can be estimated with some accuracy.

Death of  Jacobus de 23 August 1614 at the age of 70 (born in 1548)
Death of  "Jacobus de" 23 August 1614 at the age of 70 (born in 1544)
(Parish Archive of S. Lorenzello - BN)

           The first baptism of a Cofrancesco recorded in S. Lorenzello is that of Giuliana de Cola Francisco, born on 2 September 1595 and the daughter of Giovanni Donato and Fiorenza Fosca.  Giovanni Donato died on 29 April 1606.  How old was he?  This is difficult to answer.  It appears that before his death, his son Giovanni Francesco was baptized on 22 April 1602, and also that another daughter, Vittoria, died on 21 September 1602, of unknown age, but presumably born before 1595.

2 September 1595 - Baptism of Giuliana Cola Francisco
2 September 1595 - Baptism of Giuliana Cola Francisco,
legitimate and natural daughter of  Giovanni Donato Cola Francisco and Fiorenza Fosca
(Parish Archive of S. Lorenzello - BN)

           Mattia Francisci married Cassandra Gizzi (Izzo) on 16 November 1608, and they had a son, Giovanni Donato.  Based on the fact that a son was given the name of his grandfather, Mattia could have been one of the Giovanni Donato’s sons.  Mattia most likely was 25 to 30 years old when he married, so he would have been born around 1580.  So his father Giovanni Donato could have been born around 1550. Also Nicola, who married Giovanna Mattei on 6 February 1618, and Cesare, who married Lucrezia Mattei on 3 November 1622, gave the name Giovanni Donato to their first sons, so they could be brothers of Mattia and sons of Giovanni Donato, the father of Giuliana. 

Last Updated ( Friday, 27 February 2009 )
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