It is believed that the Bonugli family originated from the Romagna region of Italy over 700 years ago, and in particular were widely known around Forli at the start of the fourteenth century. It was at this time that Cardinal Albornoz, on behalf of the Pope who was a refugee in Avignon, subdued the French army who were then occupying Forli. The name BONOLI is still found in Forli today and is probably a later from of BONUGLI. BONUGLI itself may well have derived from the French BONNEUIL which also remains in existence. During the wars of the Cardinals it became necessary for anyone with French names to change their surname to a more Italian sounding form. A branch of the Bonugli family moved to Lazio and Viterbo where the name became BONUGLIA, although there are few with this name that can still be traced in Italy. In the British Museum there is a book called Istorie della Citta di Forli written by Paolo Bonoli in 1661. This contains references to other individuals with similar, slightly variant, names.
Some of the history of the family in these times was researched by Filippo Bonugli (now deceased), a professor of history in Genoa, and a complete copy of an original document in which he tries to summarise some of this information can be viewed by clicking here, but a summary is given below:
"Since the year 1300 we find that the Bonugli were patricians of Forli. In 1525 Andrew of John obtained the title of noble and was one of the Ambassadors sent from the Senate to the Pontiff Clemente VII to obtain the approval of the College of Doctors. This family has given to her country Captains in the Army, doctors in laws, judges and exquisite Lord Mayors. She gave to the church famous prelates that with clear mind and military valour have been able to obtain her country a very good period of five years. At the beginning of the eighteenth century we find a branch of this house in Viterbo. From this family too, we find famous men that dedicated themselves to the Army, Sciences and Politics. This family is prosperous even now and still gains many merits. Arms: Gold to the azure roe-buck surmounted by three stars".
There is little doubt that back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Bonuglis were of some distinction, and intermarried with the great Florentine family of the Medicis. Pietro Bonugli (on the main section of our family tree) was married to Giovanna Medici di Garfagnana Fosciandora. The modern-day Bonuglis seem to have originated from a region of Tuscany, just north of Lucca in Italy, known as the Garfagnana, in particular in the main town of Barga, and two smaller villages - Gallicano and Fosci�ndora. Barga and its surrounding territories followed the ruling of the Florentine state until 1859. However, Barga differed from other areas of the region, in that even under the protection of Florence, it was governed by an elected party, and was thus effectively independent. Once this independence was lost many of the inhabitants of the town and it's surrounding area emmigrated during the 1870's to other countries around the world - in particular Scotland, England, the U.S.A., and a few to South America. This is likely to have included the forbears of the Bonuglis who are found to-day in these different areas of the world. It is for this reason, that all of the modern-day Bonuglis, detailed in the worldwide directory, are likely to be related, and this website exists to help bring them back together and to attempt, where possible, to show how they may interconnect.
Much of the research contained on this page was originally compiled by Keith Grenville (born John Keith Bonugli) and Professor Filippo Bonugli.