That is: of the noble and titled Neapolitan families belonging to the Noble Circles of Naples, registered in the Neapolitan Gold Book, to the Neapolitan Regional Register or who played a role in the affairs of Southern Italy.

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Part one

Coat of Arms: light blue with six-rung ladder placed obliquely, accompanied by two eight pointed stars, one placed at the head and the other at the base – all in gold. (From the text of the ancient privilege “Insigna et vero scuto – Campo azulo cum duabus stellis aureis et scala aurea sistante inmedio”.) (1)


The name of d’Auria, formerly de Auria had its origin from an Auria (2) of Lucera of which clear mention is made in a document existing in a collection of  parchments from the Benedettini archives of Cava dei Tirreni of the year 990 3). In the same parchment an Optabiano is mentioned, descendent of Auria who is also named in an “ancient charter in the archives of the Sanctae Sophiae urbis beneventanae monasteries”.  “Imperii basilii et cum eo regnante Costantino frate eius, mense Februario, II indictione, Luceriae, Castaldi Polcari, Joannes, Iduini, Optabiano ordinati a Theodoro Imperiali ex cubido Longobardie sumus residente in ista civitate Lucerie ad senorantum indicantum, regendum, tunc ad nostrae potestatis palatium cecidit una casa”.

Optabiano is, therefore, one of the Gastaldi of Lucera in the year of 1013 (4).

Princivalle d’Auria is remembered in the Great Archive of the Royal Chamber as possessing half of the “Pantano” (lake and land area) of S. Giovanni Rotondo: Pro informationi Imperialis Curiae, Dominus Princivallus de Auria possidet meditate Pantani, in territorio Casalis Johannis Rotundi, tempore Henrici sexti Imperatoris, in anno 1195 (5).

Fabrizio, descendent of Princivalle, was royal courtier of King Charles I of Angiou and knighted ‘Conte di Volturara’ for services rendered to this Sovereign.

Tommaso, son of Fabrizio (AD 1270) was “Equitum Dux”, with King Charles II of Angiou, under whose banners Tommaso was charged to drive out the Saracens from Lucera in 1309. He was knighted Marquis of Spineto.

Antonio (AD. 1310) son of Tommaso, as well as services to King Charles II, he had the privilege of being appointed Steward to Queen, Lady Sancha of Aragon, daughter of the King of Majorca and second wife of Roberto of Angiou in  the year 1340.

Antonio was son of his father Antonio (1310). In 1334 both father and son were remunerated by King Roberto d’Angiò with 100 ounces for life, in the Royal estates of Gabelle.

The same Antonio was royal courtier of King Andrea who, in 1343, bestowed on him the honour and privilege of a coat of arms.

Tommaso (1458 – Captain of Knights and Chief Steward to Alfonso of  Aragon) – bestowal by Giovanni of Angiou 1461 (3a parts of iron and steel from the ports of Manfredonia and Fortore) – Privilege of Ferdinando 21/2/1473 – bestowal by King Ferdinando of 15 wagons of grain from Fortore or Manfredonia. Tommaso d’Auria, as mayor of Lucera, was received in audience by King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1459 with regard to the discipline of the territory, as privilege given in Barletta on the 7th of February 1459. In the summary of the Aragon Chancery of Naples page 49, one can read:

“1489 21st July – Naples (Castelnuovo) King Ferdinando I.

“I confirm to Tommaso d’Auria of Lucera, the chapter allotted on the 21st February 1483, in which is pardoned any debt contracted by Tommaso and claimed by royal tax collectors, relative to the administration of the royal estate holding situated in Capitanata given to him in the time of Alfonso, with the prohibition to the authorities of harassing the said Tommaso in any way, also in cases of willful default or fraud committed in the administration of the said estate. The King, under the same privilege, pardons our Tommaso de Auria of the City of Lucera of any crimes and offenses, any guilt or punishment for all and every offense or crime committed, including even lese-majesty if necessary. Furthermore, the King exonerates Tommaso from the conduction of the said royal estate and gives him, for the duration of his life, 15 wagons of wheat per year tax free to be drawn from the Port of Manfredonia or Fortore. This privilege, dated 1473, is extended to the brother and heir of Tommaso, the 25th July 1484”.

Nicola, brother of Tommaso – 1461: bestowal by Giovanni of Angiou as done for Tommaso, of the family of Ferdinando I (14/8/1463); privileges 1463, 1475, 25/7/1484. Governor of Lucera. According to the Chronicles of the era “Ferdinando II was one night in Benevento where he was housed … departing for Lucera, by nightfall entered the house of Nicola d’Auria with whom he consulted the entire night … early in the morning he started on his way, chasing rebels throughout the Kingdom and the said Nicola lent him 300 guilders”.
The historian Amelj in his work “The history of the City of Lucera” writes “We transcribe a letter from King Ferrante I of  Aragon, addressed to Menelao of Mobilia and to Nicola d’Auria, not only to reaffirm the nobility of these two families, but also to highlight some particulars relevant to historical facts of our City”.

The Cistercian monk, Placido Troyli
(6) mentions Nicola d’Auria among the “soldiers who were in Lucera at the time of King Ferrante I and of his father, Alfonso of Aragon”.

Marc’Antonio d’Auria, Cavalry Captain in the Imperial Army of Charles V of Augsburg – Spain. This great Emperor,  granted with Privilege, 1 December 1540, to “the Nobleman Marco Antonio d’Auria of the City of Lucera of our Kingdom of Sicily, hitherto faithful to us and invited his loyalty in this last Germanic war against the Duke of Saxony (Schmalkaldischer Krieg 1546-1547) and for these and many services to us from him, and since we are maximally aware of the services rendered by the Nobleman Marco Antonio d’Auria in our service as Captain, we welcome him to our certain knowledge as family and regular commensal at our table, according to the tradition of our House and also restore him to the Consortium of Families and we number him among our commensals, like the other Nobles and our Families. To him and to his descendants, and confirm the Feud commonly called “Lo Saracino” near Lucera, already granted to said Family by our ancestors and then again granted by King Alfonse II, our most glorious blood relative for the many services given to him by Alessandro d’Auria “in bello Florentino” (The Florentine war - 1479).

San Domenico Church Lucera – interior Altar donated by Claudio and Fabio d’Auria in 1575
Dedicated to the Beato Agostino Kažotic

Ancient fresco above the Altar, later covered by
The actual “altarpiece” or painting.

In the Diplomatic Code of Puglia one reads: “Nicolao, Family of Ferrante I of Aragon, was already patrician of Lucera in 1463, Nicola, grandson of said Nicola senior, was enrolled there to the 60 some (soma is a land extension measurement) in 1556 and Lelio subsequently in 1556. Geronimo was among the elected nobles in 1619 and was enrolled the 60 some in 1621. Geronimo Jr, possessed 60 some in the recognition operated by the Duke of Laurito in 1694. Gennaro, son of Antonio, was added, enrolled and graduated of the 60 some in 1724. Antonio is enrolled with the title of Patrician in the land register of 1754, with his wife, Camilla Veneziani and the sons, Vincenzo and Domenico. Tomb and altar are in the San Domenico Church; they had a palatial building, then inherited by the Secondo, in the present Oberdan square”.

Patrician of Lucera (“m” which stands for magnificent) for the descendants
of Gennaro, son of Antonio and of Vincenzo and Domenico (Vol. 20- 1768,
sons of Antonio (Vol.2. 1754).

Coat of arms parted with the insignias of the
Families Secondo and d’Auria  1693.

First born son of Nicola and Angela Miradois was Giovanni Francesco d’Auria, who transferred the d’Auria family to Naples. Claudio, second son of Nicola and Angela Miradois was Doctor in Law (U.J.D.) married Beatrice Severino of Pietro, in 1576. In 1575, Claudio with brother Fabio, founded the Chapel of Beato Agostino Ungaro (Agostino Kažotic) still existing in the Church of San Domenico in Lucera. A testament exists dated December 22nd 1598. 

Alessandro (2.10.1699 – 13.03.1770) Jesuit, was a scholar of the ‘700, author of many works, among which a Choice of the Most Memorable events of the Kingdom of Naples, with exploits of the most famous Captains and monarchs of the whole Kingdom and still with the distinct series of the events of Lucera, the principal city of Puglia”. The work was edited by Mosca publisher in Naples in 1729.  He used a pen name and signed himself Metello Dariva. His Compendium veridical on all the history of Lucera”. (1740). It was translated from the Latin by Giuseppe Ramamondi.
Alessandro had to undergo the persecution that the Jesuits suffered in those times. The Prime Minister of King Charles III of Borbone, Bernardo Tanucci, wanted to impose a control on the Church. Alessandro was expelled with the other Jesuits of the Kingdom. The results for the Jesuits were, according to the chronicles of the time, “
deprivation of everything and abandoned with their poor belongings on the beach of Terracina”.

In 1675, Nicola d’Auria, great-grandson of Giovanni Francesco, reconstructed the memorial chapel in the Church of S. Luigi di Palazzo, a church which was subsequently pulled down to make place for the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples.  One reads in an ancient document “perpetual and eternal monument of the d’Auria Family of Naples, descendants of that of Lucera, is the inscription which is read in the Church of S. Luigi di Palazzo, on the side of the Chapel “Gentilizia” of Santissima Annunziata, founded by Rubino d’Auria, located on the opposite of the place where you see it today, and where it was transported in 1675, in occasion of giving a more decorous form to the Church. Nicola, Great Grand-father of Don Pasquale and grandson of the founder, wishes that the memory of such a mutation remains perpetual, so that you may erect the following epitaph”.

The d’Auria(s) of Naples maintained their ties with the city of origin. There exist documents that show how the d’Auria(s) of Naples were re-acknowledged as belonging to the ancient noble Family of Lucera and were “re-enrolled” into the citizenship and with the right to the 60 some of land. Gennaro d’Auria and Nicola d’Auria, great-grandsons of the forefather in Naples, Giovanni Francesco were “re-enrolled” on the 10 April 1690. Nicola d’Auria, grandson of the aforesaid Nicola, and Antonio, son of the same Nicola, were “re-enrolled” in 1724, Pasquale d’Auria, son of Nicola was “re-enrolled” in 1777. The already cited, Pasquale d‘Auria was appointed Cavaliere di Giustizia (Knight of Justice) in the Royal Military Constantinian Order of St. George.

With Don Pasquale finishes the ancient lineage of the rich nobles, but the Family d’Auria continues with many active members in the liberal professions, such as lawyers, judges and officials of the Armed Forces. Giovanni Battista d’Auria (3.09.1814 – 15.01.1884) distinguished himself and received much appreciation for his firm conduct which placed under control the criminal underworld of the territory. To Giovanni Battista was confirmed the title of Marquis of Spineto.

Bronze bust of  Giovanni Battista d’Auria,
Marquis of Spineto

Francesco d’Auria – Marquis of Spineto, son of Giovanni Battista – oil painting

Francesco d’Auria, son of Giovanni Battista, was a successful lawyer and also to him was confirmed the title of his father.  Francesco d’Auria was also nominated Cavaliere dell’Ordine Equestre of the SS Maurizio and Lazzaro.

Giovanni d’Auria, General of the Air Force – “Ragazzo del “99” in the 15-18 World War, squadrista in the 1921-22. As pilot, he participated in the Mediterranean air cruises – he fought in Ethiopia as Commander of the 11° Wing and then of the Group of the IX Bombing Squadron. For his valor he received a promotion for merits of war. In World War II, he was Commander of the IX Bombing Squadron distinguishing himself in the air offensive against Malta and for the attack of enemy convoys in the Mediterranean. For the sinking of an enemy ship in the “Battle of Pantelleria“, he was personally decorated by Mussolini. Benito Mussolini, seeing the ribbon on Col. d’Auria’s chest, qualifying him as “squadrista”, was particularly happy and moved and then, noting the other ribbons and decorations which indicated the many campaigns, asked but aren’t you tired of going to war?” Colonel d’Auria replied jokingly that by now the war had become part of his life and Mussolini laughed heartily and embraced him.

Colonel d’Auria, valiant pilot, fought in three wars, multi-decorated, squadrista from the first hour, was certainly shocked at the news of the arrest of Mussolini, on July 25 1943. However, having acknowledged some serious differences of opinion and discussions among the personnel under his command, summoned all officers and said “We are soldiers in the service of the Country and that which counts for us is only Italy! If it is necessary for the good of our Country, so must fall Mussolini, IL Duce and Fascism!”

Medals of valor received by Giovanni d’Auria

But he was wrong. At 7:45 pm on September 8th 1943, the radio broadcast the news of the armistice requested by Italy to the Anglo-Americans. It was not an armistice, neither, as many hoped, did it open the prospects of peace – it was an unconditional surrender! Italy prostrated itself before the enemy which could dispose of it at will. Colonel d’Auria was dismayed and said “It is a disgrace! An humiliation which will remain throughout history”. He joined the RSI, wishing to continue fighting for the sake of honour; after the war, he was arrested many times, tried at the risk of his life, then dismissed from the Air Force. He was persecuted and suffered untold humiliations, all borne with courage and great dignity – never wanting to bow to compromise.

Accompanied by a military escort of honour on November 21st 1975, he was laid to rest in his General’s uniform – shrouded in the Italian flag.

Adriano d’Auria (branch of Tolve) was Brigadier General, Military Officer at the Italian Embassy at Riad (Saudi Arabia). Among the honours bestowed on him, he was conferred the Cross of Cavaliere dell’Ordine Militense.

Eugenio d’Auria (Branch of Tolve) 1948 was the Italian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia.


Earlship of Volturara, Marquisate of Spineto (ab antique with confirmation in 1851 and in 1889).


On the side: coat of arms of the d’Auria Family, quartered with the coat of arms of the Caropresa Family.

Above: the coat of arms of the Family d’Auria, quartered with the coat of arms of the Secondo Family.

Among the many:

Arcella, d’Afflitto, d’Anna, de Attellis (Dorotea d’Auria, noblewoman of Lucera, wed Francesco de Attellis of the Marquises of Sant’Angiolo Molisano and they procreated Caterina who, on January 28 1806 married Francesco del Martino), d’Avalos, Bonito, Capigrecco, Capuano, Castaldi, de Contreras, de Corradis, Corrado, Del Buono (Castello di S.Agata in Puglia, de Deora, del Duce, Engelsby Hansen, Falcone, Filjeta, Filangieri, (Geronima d’Auria,  nobile di Lucera wed Ferrante Filangiere, brother of Niccolò Antonio (died 1547) Baron di Mancusi e Lentace, Angela Humphries, Landolfo, de Liguori (the d’Auria(s), thanks to the many family ties with the de Liguoris conserve in family the Cross of Sant’Alfonso Maria dè Ligori), Lucarelli d’Avalos, Ippolito de Majo, Miradois, de Mobilia, Mollè, Monaco, Moscatelli, Napodano, Navarra, Pagano, Pisanelli di Ravello, della Ratta (Gugliemo married Lucia della Ratta around 1050) Rho Confalone, Sant’Angiolo, Scoppa, Secondo, Severino, Tafuri, de Tommaso, Toraldo, Vallin, Vango of Aragon, Veneziani.

Coat of arms of the d’Auria(s) of Lucera –
manuscript of the XVII Century.

Coat of arms of the d’Auria(s) of Lucera –
manuscript of the XVII Century.

Rocchetta – coat of arms of  the Ippolito Family.

Coat of arms of the Napodano Family (7)

1) -
Privilege of Andrea, King of Naples and Sicily to Antonio d’Auria 25th July 1343.
2) - Auria was a proper name of persons of Longobarda origin derived from the Latin Aurea. Lucera was under the dominion of Longobardi until 892 when it passed under the Byzantine dominion.
3) - Collocation ARCA 4. N° 56 and also “Italia Sacra” by Ughelli, Chapter 25. Doc. CCCCXXXIV AD 990.

4) - Ref. C.A. Caggiano “L’amministrazione Periferica Longobarda in Puglia. Gastaldi and Gastaldati in “Vetera in Christianorum” XIX, 1982, 361-372, partic. 371-372.
5) -
Great Archive of the Royal House, 1195.
6) - General History of the Kingdom of Naples (1748). Volume III page 396.
7) - Carlo Padiglione “Thirty Centuries of Noble Families”. Forni Publishers, Bologna, 1968.

Part two / Album / Genealogy

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