Molendini (surname of myfather’s maternal grandmother).
(updated15 November 2009)
My research has led me thusfar to Orazio Molendini, mygreat-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, whowas born about 1578. Orazio and his wife lived in Ostuni,Province of Brindisi, Region of Puglia, Italy, whentheir 8 children were born. Hisgreat-grandson Oronzo Pasquale moved to Cisternino probably in the 1680s. He was a notary and mighthave been related to the Molendini family alreadyliving in Cisternino and headed by patriarch Giorgio Molendini, a judge – just like OronzoPasquale’s father. They mayhave descended from or otherwise been related to Macedonio de Molendinis, whopracticed law in Monopoli in 1567 and is the earliestreference to this surname yet discovered. The Molendinifamily living in Ostuni was considered a part of thenobility.1
Oronzo Pasquale’s son Leonardo Antonio QuiricoAndrea Molendini was also a notary. Leonardo Antonio QuiricoAndrea Molendini’s son OronzoPaolo Lorenzo Molendini, his grandson LeonardoAntonio Molendini and his great-grandson Oronzio Paolo Molendini were allpharmacists.
It is with Oronzio Paolo Molendini’s generation that this line of the Molendini family began its decline in the 1800s. Oronzio Paolo’sbrother Domenico was a barber, while his sister Pasquanna married a shoemaker. He himself did not marry into a leadingfamily as had his ancestors. Their son,my great-great grandfather Martino Raffaele Molendini, married the daughter of a goldsmith -- a trade he also adopted,although by the time of his death he was described as a peasant farmer. Martino's daughter Anna Isabella ended upmarrying Nunzio Semeraro, astonemason whose father had also impregnated and married a young orphanservant. All in all, this must have beena difficult period for the family and represented quite a departure from thelearned professions and economic and social status of their forebears.
1. L. Greco& M. Guastella, La Chiesadi Maria Santissima Annunziatain Ostuni: Storia e arte, p. 103, fn 9.