The Acciaioli family in Brazil.




Francisco Antonio Doria[1]


with the help of

Cássia Carauta de Albuquerque and

Fábio Arruda de Lima.





Simon Acciaioli arrived in the Madeira sometime before 1512; very likely around 1508 or 1509. He was quite young by then, as he should be nearly eighteen in 1512. He was sent to the Madeira to work with his maternal grandfather and to go on with the local family business.


The grandfather was also a Florentine merchant; his name was Benozzo Amadori. He had been living in the Madeira since the last years of the 15th century and was by then a well-known trader who imported Malmsley wine and served as almoxarife, that is, a kind of broker or private treasurer for the Portuguese king. Bad luck, or bad business practices sent Amadori to jail in 1512, where he died. However his grandson Simon prospered with the family trade, and even followed in his grandfather’s steps by becoming almoxarife régio (royal treasurer) in the Madeira around 1520. He had as business associates Pedro Folgado, a minor nobleman who would soon become his son-in-law, and Pedro Rodrigues Pimentel, also a minor nobleman of ancient stock, whose daughter Maria Pimentel married Simon Acciaioli around 1530.[2]


Simon Acciaioli was the son of a Zanobi Acciaioli, according to a formal certification passed by the priori in Florence in July 14, 1515, whose translation was duly filed in the Madeira and transcribed by genealogist Noronha when he compiled the genealogies of the great families who resided in the island.[3] The fact that Simon was also a grandson of Benozzo Amadori as well as his business partner allows us to place him in the Acciaioli pedigree as Simon di Zanobi di Benedetto Acciaioli. Zanobi di Benedetto was born at Florence in Sept. 26, 1476, and married there Ginevra di Benozzo Amadori.


The family line to which Simon belonged was a strictly republican one. He was descended from Lotteringo di Acciaiolo Acciaioli who appears in several documents in the late 13th century as a major figure in the Parte Guelfa, and who was a nephew of messer Leone degli Acciaioli, doctor of law and founder of the family bank, Compagna di Ser Leone degli Acciaioli e de’ suoi compagni, and a grandson of the family’s capostipite Gugliarello Acciaioli, who had moved from Brescia to Florence in 1160 according to legend.  That same Leone degli Acciaioli or ser Leone di Riccomanno is the one celebrated at Ortona as the rescuer of the remains of St Thomas, now venerated in that city.


From Lotteringo onwards we see a succession of individual who held the highest offices in the Florentine republic, that is, who were priori and gonfalonieri. A noted one was Michele Acciaioli who was among the priori in 1396 when his kinsman Donato Acciaioli (a brother of Cardinal Angiolo Acciaioli and of Ranieri Acciaioli Duke of Athens) was judged for high treason and exiled to the family castle of Montegufoni, where he built a tower similar to the one in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Zanobi di Benedetto Acciaioli was Michele’s great-grandson.


We also know something about Ginevra Amadori’s ancestry. She was the daughter of Benozzo Amadori, and a granddaughter of Niccolò Amadori. Benozzo Amadori had applied to the Portuguese king for the right to bear his family’s coat of arms; the grant arrived too late however, in April 25, 1514, but we can read in the text of the grant that Benozzo’s grandfather was one Amonto Amadori. If “Amonto” is a corrupted form of Angiolo, then we may suspect that Benozzo Amadori was the grandson of Angiolo Amadori and of Lucia Acciaioli, the daughter of Francesco Acciaioli and of Margherita Bardi Malpighi, and a sister of Dukes Neri II and Antonio II of Athens.


Notice that this is a plausible conjecture that still needs further substantiation.


Simon Acciaioli applied for a grant of arms and received it in October 27, 1529. The barely legible document, now at the Portuguese archives IANTT, reads at is beginning as: Dom Joham etc… a quamtos essa Minha carta Virem faço Saber que symam accioly fidalguo/ floremtyno m.or na mjnha ilha da madeyra me fez Petiçam como… That is: Dom João, King of Portugal etc… To whomever sees this letter. Let it be known that Simão Accioly, a Florentine nobleman who lives in my island of the Madeira, applied to me that…


Simão Accioly (we’ll soon explain this form of the name) applied to the Portuguese king for the right to bear his family arms, a right duly granted; the description of the coat of arms shows it to be the traditional Florentine arms of the Acciaioli: o campo deprata com hum leam azul com a lingoa & Vnhas de vermelho/ elmo de prata aberto garnydo douro paquife de prata & azul & por timbre o mesmo leam das armas. Briefly: argent, a lion azure. Mantling, argent and azure, issuing from a fidalgo’s helmet, and as crest the lion of the arms.


Accioli was an infrequent but attested form of the family name, more commonly written as Acciaioli or Acciaiuoli, or even Acciajuoli. In Naples it appeared as Azzaroli; the Dukes of Athens wrote Atzaioli. The form Accioli appears in the title page a book by fra Zanobi Acciaioli — Zanobio Accioli — which was published by Aldus Manuntius in 1502. So, Accioli was one of the forms of the family name which were current in Italy in the early 16th century, and it was the way it was used in the Madeira: Symam Accioly, Symam Achioli, as Portuguese ch sounds as English sh.


Simão Achioli (let’s call him like that) married Maria Pimentel around 1530. Her father was Pedro Rodrigues Pimentel and her mother, Izabel Ferreira Drummond. The father came from an old noble family one of whose branches was already titled in Spain (they were the Counts of Benavente). The mother had an interesting ancestry, for Izabel Ferreira Drummond was the daughter of Gaspar Gonçalves Ferreira and Catarina Anes, and through Catarina Anes, granddaughter of John Drummond, a nephew to Annabel Drummond Queen of Scotland, the wife of Robert III Stuart. (The Drummond ancestry[4] includes a whole bunch of Scots royals, plus a line through the Sinclairs lords of Orkney[5] and even a Magna Charta Surety through Mary Montfichet, grandmother of John Drummond who settled in the Madeira in the early 15th century.)


Simão Achioli became pretty wealthy. He founded a majorat (a morgadio, entailed inheritance) and had a private chapel in the Franciscan monastery in Funchal, Madeira. In that chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy (Nossa Senhora da Piedade) he was buried with his wife. She passed away in Oct. 12, 1541, and Simão Achioli in February 15, 1544.


Simão Achioli left two sons and an illegitimate daughter. The daughter was born sometime between 1520 and 1530 and married Pedro Folgado, mentioned above, a  business associate of Simão Achioli. She was called Genebra after Ginevra Amadori, and was raised together with the legitimate child in the Achioli household.


The Folgado Achioli descent is huge; it includes three Portuguese titled families, the Counts of Avilez, the Counts of Galveas, and the Viscounts of Reguengo.



Achioli de Vasconcellos.


The main Portuguese family line begins with Zenóbio Achioli, born around 1535 and deceased in the Madeira in May 20, 1598. He inherited the family’s entailed property from his elder brother Francisco Achioli who died in August 20, 1562 without issue. Zenóbio Achioli was a fidalgo cavaleiro da casa real, that is to say, he held a hereditary title of fidalgo (nobleman) that is similar to the titles of nobile in the Italian patriciates, or that of Junker in Prussia. Zenóbio Achioli married Maria de Vasconcellos in May 19, 1562. She was the daughter of Duarte Mendes de Vasconcellos and of Joana Rodrigues Mondragão, and a great-grandaughter of João Gonçalves Zarco, who discovered the Madeira in 1418. The Vasconcellos family in Madeira was a junior branch of a very old Portuguese noble lineage; the family was descended from the 9th century Visigothic nobility and was related to D. Leonor Teles de Meneses, Queen of Portugal, married to King D. Fernando I the fair; they held several top court positions in the 15th and 16th century. The line that stems from Maria de Vasconcellos and Zenóbio Achioli still bears today the double name Achioli de Vasconcellos, now written Accioli de Vasconcellos.


The Madeira branch persisted until the late 18th century, when Jacinto Manuel (Giacinto Emmanuele) Acciaioli de Vasconcellos moved back to Florence to marry distant cousin Donna Maria Anna Acciaioli, the daughter of Antonfrancesco Acciaioli Torriglione, Marquis of Novi and Count del Cassero, and of the Marchesa Donna Teresa Serlupi Crescenzi.


But we are interested in the Brazilian branch, which stems from Zenóbio’s fourth son Gaspar Achioli de Vasconcellos. Gaspar Achioli de Vasconcellos was born in the Madeira in 1578. He moved to Pernambuco in 1618 where he married D. Ana Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, daughter of João Gomes de Mello and of D. Margarida de Albuquerque, and maternal granddaughter of Filippo di Giovanni Cavalcanti and of his wife Catarina de Albuquerque.[6] Their marriage took place on June 10, 1618.[7]


A brief note on Portuguese onomastics: the system is confusing and sometimes even anarchic, but from the early 16th century on to the late 18th century the daughters in some families took their family names from their mothers, or from a predominant female line. Such is the case of the Moniz Barreto de Meneses family, where the ladies are almost always “de Meneses,” or of the Achioli de Vasconcellos, where they take the name “de Vasconcellos,” while their brothers bear the full family name Achioli, or Acciaioli, de Vasconcellos. Therefore Gaspar’s wife bears the name Cavalcanti, or Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, and ignores the paternal name Gomes de Mello.


They had nine children, but descent follows from just two of them: the eldest, Zenóbio Achioli de Vasconcellos, and a younger brother, João Baptista Achioli.



Moura Achioli, hereditary military commanders of Olinda.


Olinda is the oldest city in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. It was founded by Duarte Coelho, first lord of Pernambuco in 1535, and became the seat of the lords, later Counts of Pernambuco (Coelho de Albuquerque family). Today it is one of the World Heritage sites in Brazil.


Zenóbio Achioli de Vasconcellos was born in Pernambuco in April 30, 1619, and passed away in 1697. He married at Olinda D. Maria Pereira de Moura, daughter of Cosme Dias de Affonseca and of D. Maria de Moura, who was the daughter of D. Filipe de Moura and of D. Genebra Cavalcanti. Zenóbio Achioli fought against the Dutch, who had invaded Pernambuco in the early 17th century and helped in expelling them; and finally witnessed the surrender that ended the war at the field of Taborda in January 27, 1654. As a reward for his accomplishments King D. Pedro II of Portugal gave Zenóbio the position of military commander (alcaide-mor) of Olinda, which became hereditary in his line.


Zenóbio Achioli’s eldest son was Filipe de Moura Achioli, b. just after 1655 and dec. 1710. Filipe de Moura Achioli was a fidalgo cavaleiro da casa real (we have already explained the title, which is that of a hereditary nobleman of knightly rank) and second alcaide-mor of Olinda by a royal decree of 1705. He married cousin D. Margarida Achioli, daughter of his uncle João Baptista Achioli, before 1676. They had five children.


Eldest son was João Baptista Achioli de Moura b. around 1680 at Olinda, and dec. after 1761. Fidalgo cavaleiro and alcaide-mor de Olinda (by a decree dated 1711), João Baptista Achioli de Moura married twice. First wife was a cousin, D. Brites de Almeida, daughter of José de Barros Pimentel and of D. Maria Achioli — see below. They had seven children; the eldest sons were Filipe de Moura Achioli II, fourth alcaide-mor of Olinda in this line, fidalgo cavaleiro, and João Baptista Achioli de Moura II, also fidalgo cavaleiro and fifth and last alcaide-mor of Olinda in this line. João Baptista II married D. Teresa Micaela Pacheco de Faria, and had four daughters.


João Baptista Achioli de Moura I took as second wife D. Ana Carneiro de Mesquita, daughter of João Carneiro da Cunha. Their daughter D. Joana Manoela de Moura married kinsman Alexandre Salgado de Castro Achioli; their branch of the family moved back to Portugal where they became owners of the lordship (senhorio) of Belmonte in the north of the country until the early 19th century.


A female branch descended from D. Rosa Maria Pereira de Moura, daughter of Filipe de Moura Achioli I, leads to the Nogueira Accioly family, which ruled over the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil from 1894 to 1912, when Antonio Pinto Nogueira Accioly was deposed and sent to exile in Rio. (We’ll discuss that line in the Appendix.)



Barros Achioli de Vasconcellos.


João Baptista Achioli was born in Pernambuco in the lands of his maternal grandfather João Gomes de Mello in 1623, and passed away in 1677. Together with his brother he fought against the Dutch invaders, and held public office after peace was established in 1654. He married — before 1654 — cousin D. Maria de Mello, daughter of Manuel Gomes de Mello and of his wife D. Adriana de Almeida Lins. D. Maria de Mello had been the wife, or (in our view) common-law wife of Caspar von Neuenhof von der Leyen, a German officer who had been fighting in Brazil for the Dutch and who originated the Wanderley family through his children from his union with D. Maria de Mello.


Three great lines are descended from João Baptista Achioli and D. Maria de Mello. First,  the sole remaining agnatic line of the family,[8] that stems from his third son Gaspar Achioli de Vasconcellos, born in 1665 and still living in 1732. He was then an alderman at the town of Paraíba and owned the engenho (sugarcane plantation and mill) “Santo André da Paraíba.” His wife was an illegitimate daughter of João Fernandes Vieira, a general in the army that expelled the Dutch; her name was D. Joana Fernandes César. This line became impoverished in the late 18th century and early 19th century and moved to the province (now state) of Ceará. There is indirect evidence that the Accioli de Vasconcellos male line still thrives in that area, but very impoverished and decadent.


The second line is the Accioly Lins line, which derived through a series of females from the main Acciaioli/Achioli line. We give details about that line in the Appendix, but the two main descendants are the brothers Sebastião Antonio Accioly Lins, lord of engenho “Goicana,” who was granted the title of Baron of Goicana in January 18, 1882, and Prisciano de Barros Accioly Lins, lord of engenho “Tinoco,” who was granted the title of Baron of Rio Formoso. He declined it and declared himself a republican (emperor D. Pedro II was deposed seven years later by a military coup d’état that took place in 1889).


The third line is that of the Barros Accioli de Vasconcellos which settled in the region of Santa Maria Madalena da Lagoa do Sul (known for short as Vila das Alagoas), later in the province (and now state) of Alagoas. We describe that line in detail.


João Baptista Achioli and his wife D. Maria de Mello had ten children, six sons and four daughters. Eldest among the daughters was D. Maria Achioli, born a bit after 1655; she married José de Barros Pimentel, lord of an engenho in Porto Calvo, in the northern region of the (then) region of Alagoas (means, the lagoons).


Her sister D. Francisca Achioli married twice, without issue from the first marriage. Her second husband was Paulo do Amorim Salgado, lord of engenho “São Paulo do Sibiró.” From the couple stems the Salgado Achioli line, who became as we’ve mentioned lords of Belmonte in Portugal in the early 19th century.


Back to José de Barros Pimentel and D. Maria Achioli. José de Barros Pimentel, lord of engenho “do Morro” in Porto Calvo, was the son of Rodrigo de Barros Pimentel and of D. Jerônima de Almeida Lins. Father was descended from another branch of the old Pimentel family (recall that these Achioli de Vasconcellos originate in the marriage between Maria Pimentel and Simão Achioli) and also ranked as belonging to old but untitled nobility.


D. Jerônima de Almeida Lins came from a mixup of converted Jewish and German bourgeois stock, the Holanda Linz von Dorndorf family. She was referred to as a matrona, the dowager lady. A kind of cloak and dagger episode is told with relation to D. Jerônima. She had been captured by the Dutch and imprisoned in the city of Recife, their main seat, where she was tried by a military jury who condemned her to the block. The Portuguese ladies who lived nearby then went to the Dutch governor-general Prince Maurice of Nassau-Siegen and pleaded with him to release her, which he gallantly accepted to do (there was another very strong argument in favor of her release: the ladies offered the prince many boxes of highly priced sugar as a ransom for D. Jerônima).


José de Barros Pimentel and D. Maria Achioli married between 1668 and 1670. They had ten children. We follow the descent of their fifth son, Colonel Francisco de Barros Pimentel, or Francisco de Barros Pimentel Achioli. Francisco de Barros Pimentel Achioli was born around 1680 in Porto Calvo. In the early years of the 18th century he moved to Alagoas and settled near the town of Santa Maria Madalena da Lagoa do Sul (which we will shorten as Vila das Alagoas).[9] He married around 1710 D. Antonia de Moura, the daughter of sergeant-major[10] Manuel de Chaves Caldas, who commanded the local public militia at he Vila das Alagoas. Manuel de Chaves Caldas was the son of one Inácio de Chaves Caldas who lived in the same region in 1670; Manuel Caldas owned the engenho “Novo” and married D. Antonia de Moura, daughter of one Francisco de Moura. The engenho “Novo” was inherited by Francisco de Barros Pimentel, who became a colonel of the local militia around 1720. Colonel Barros Pimentel is still attested in 1732, when he is already a widower, and in 1735. He probably passed away between 1735 and 1739, when we find his eldest son Ignácio Achioli de Vasconcellos as juiz de órfãos (judge in charge of inheritance proceedings) in Santa Maria Madalena; or at least already old and incapacitated.


They had seven children, three sons and four daughters. Eldest son was Ignacio Achioli de Vasconcellos, b. between 1710 and 1714 and deceased before 1802. Second male was José de Barros Pimentel, who had already passed away in 1760. Both have documented descent with the Achioli name — in the case of José de Barros, one of his children and two of his grandchildren actually reverted to the original Acciaiuoli. This is a tale worth telling, and we tell it now.



Marshall José Ignácio Acciaiuoli de Vasconcellos Brandão


José Ignacio Achioli de Vasconcellos Brandão was born in the province of Sergipe in 1750, and died in February 8, 1826, in his large engenho “Sant’Anna da Boa Vista de Igaraçu,” in the island of Itaparica, near Salvador, province of Bahia. He was the son of captain José de Barros Pimentel — the second male son of Francisco de Barros Pimentel Achioli and of D. Antonia de Moura — and of his wife D. Cecilia Maria Eufrásia de Almeida Botto, the daughter of sargeant-major Manuel Martins Brandão. In the early 19th century José Ignácio was a middle-aged colonel who doubled as a wealthy merchant with many business partners, including the Viceroy Count da Ponte himself. He had been in Europe several times, and had changed back his name to one of the traditional Italian forms; he was now José Ignácio Acciaiuoli de Vasconcellos Brandão.


Well-connected, José Ignácio Acciaiuoli performed many important tasks for the colonial government. In 1804 he arranged for the smallpox vaccine to be introduced in Brazil at his own expense. In 1806 he appears in the middle of a delicate political and diplomatic situation. Already a brigadier general, he hosts Prince Jerôme Bonaparte in Salvador in his palatial home; the Prince had appeared out of the blue Atlantic waters in a French fleet under Admiral Willaumès. Jerôme Bonaparte stayed in Brazil for the whole month of April 1806. The official explanation was that the French fleet had been lost in the Atlantic; the highly probable reason is that Bonaparte was the carrier of a message from Napoleon to D. João, Regent of Portugal, and that Acciaiuoli was to serve as a go-between.[11]


José Ignácio Acciaiuoli was in fact very close to the Portuguese court. In late 1807 he was at Lisbon and helped in buying part of the food needed in the fleet that moved the Portuguese royals to Brazil, just before Napoleon’s troops invaded Portugal. He became a Field Marshall in 1817.


A very large slave owner, he had to confront a huge slave revolt in 1820; he passed away in 1826 and was surprisingly[12] buried in the church traditionally venerated by the slave population from Bahia, the church of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Negroes (N. S. do Rosário dos Pretos).


This branch of the family includes several high-court justices, such as Joaquim Marcelino de Brito (1799-1879) who married D. Senhorinha Accioli de Madureira — they had reverted to that form of the family name — and their son Luiz Barbosa Accioli de Brito (1825-1900), also a supreme court justice.



Accioli de Vasconcellos till today.


Captain Ignácio Achioli de Vasconcellos — his name Ignácio was inherited from that of his maternal great-grandfather, and became an obsessive feature of this line — was born around 1714 in his father’s engenho “Novo” in the Vila das Alagoas. We know that Ignácio Achioli was lord or co-lord of the family’s engenho “Novo.” He is also documented in 1739 as a juiz de órfãos, that is, a magistrate in charge of inheritances and tutelage of heirs during their minorities. We also know that he was a captain in the local militia; he passed away before 1802, when last he is referred to in a document.


Captain Ignácio Achioli de Vasconcellos was married twice. First to D. Ursula, the daughter of Antonio da Silva; no issue is registered from that marriage. He then married D. Ana Maria da Silveira, daughter of Antonio de Toledo Machado, capitão-mor (literally captain-major, a position akin to that of alcaide-mor or military commander but of lower rank) of the Vila de São Miguel das Alagoas, a town close to the family’s engenho “Novo.”


We follow the descent of two of his sons, José de Barros Pimentel, first-born, and Ignacio Achioli de Vasconcellos II.[13]


José de Barros Pimentel was born around 1760 at the Vila das Alagoas. We know that he held the rank of lieutenant at the local militia in 1803. The militia’s commander was Col. Manuel Casado de Lima, a very wealthy merchant of non-noble origins who was by then the richest landowner in the area. José de Barros Pimentel married one of his commander’s illegitimate daughters — there were several — in 1785; her name was D. Antonia Casado de Lima, and she brought her husband one of her father’s engenhos as a  dowry. José de Barros and his father-in-law seem to have been quite close, as José was in charge of the late colonel’s estate after the older man passed away. That circumstance led to a judicial conflict among the Casado de Lima heirs that was still raging in 1803.


We briefly mention some of their descendants. Their eldest son was Ignácio Accioli de Vasconcellos III, born around 1786. Ignácio Accioli (he used that form of the name) de Vasconcellos, 3rd in this line, was admitted as a law student at the University of Coimbra in Portugal in late 1802. He received a doctorate of law in 1811; came back to Brazil in 1812 and held several positions as a local judge. Promoted to high-court judge in 1822, Ignácio Accioli de Vasconcellos was elected a member of the Brazilian Constitutional Convention (Assembléia Constituinte) in September 15, 1822. He is named president of the province of Espírito Santo in early 1824; soon afterwards Ignácio Accioli III leaves that position to join as a justice the Brazilian High Court in Rio.


Ignácio Accioli de Vasconcellos III married D. Leonor Felisberto de Azevedo in Portugal; they had issue that is still extant. Their second son José Ignácio Accioli de Vasconcellos (1817-1881) was also a Supreme Court Justice, named in 1879. His sister D. Leonor Felisberta Accioli married Luiz Antonio Pereira Franco, Baron of Pereira Franco, twice minister of the navy, minister of war, and a senator of the Brazilian Empire.


However the most noteworthy descendant of José de Barros Pimentel and D. Antonia Casado was his grandson Ignácio Accioli de Cerqueira e Silva (1808-1865), a noted historian who fought in his youth in the independence wars that raged in Brazil’s northern region between 1822 and 1824. He is the author of the 6-volume Memórias Históricas da Província da Bahia (Historical Memoirs of the Province of Bahia), a vast collection of facts, tales, documents, about the history of Brazil from the early 16th century to the 19th century.


We now mention some contemporary descendants of this line: Wilson Accioli de Vasconcellos (1921-1986), law professor at Rio’s State University; Zulmar Antonio Accioli de Vasconcellos and João Justino Accioli de Vasconcellos, plastic surgeons who have done work for the Médécins sans Frontières, among others.



The second Accioli de Vasconcellos line.


Ignácio Achioli de Vasconcellos II was born at the Vila das Alagoas around 1765. He is documented as the owner of two engenhos in that region, “Ingazeiras” in the town of Atalaia, and “Subaúma” next to his brother’s engenho at Pilar. He married twice: first, D. Rosa Maria do Bonfim, and then, after 1813, D. Margarida Correia Maciel, sister of father Manuel Correia Maciel, a priest and local politician who owned the engenho “Passagem” next to the “Ingazeiras.” Ignácio Achioli II had issue from both marriages: father Ignácio Achioli de Vasconcellos IV, b. around 1795, and still living in 1862 and fr. Antonio de Santa Helena, already deceased in 1844, among others, are children of his first marriage.


From the second marriage to D. Margarida Correia Maciel we mention a son, José de Barros Accioli Pimentel (1820-1879). José de Barros Accioli received a doctorate in medicine from Rio’s School of Medicine in late 1844. The committee that examined his thesis was presided by Emperor D. Pedro II himself,[14] as the Emperor thought his duty to attend all major intellectual and academic events in Rio. He distinguished himself as a “doctor for the poor” when he went back to Alagoas, where he lived until passing away in April 19, 1879. He had married D. Ana Carlota de Albuquerque Mello in 1840, and they had eight children, three males and five females.


We now talk about two of their sons: Col. Francisco de Barros e Accioli de Vasconcellos, and poet Ignácio de Barros Accioli de Vasconcellos V (1848-1879). Ignácio Accioli V was of a very weak physical constitution, and lived a bohemian life in the provincial town were he was born. He wrote romantic poetry and several plays which were presented at the newly inaugurated theatre in Maceió (province of Alagoas) during his lifetime.


Francisco de Barros e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1846-1907) was the eldest son of José de Barros Accioli and D. Ana Carlota de Albuquerque, third child. Born at the Vila das Alagoas, he went to Rio, capital of the Brazilian Empire, in early 1864 to study engineering, but dropped out of school that same year to enlist as a private in the volunteer’s army that was being raised to fight Paraguay (a country in South America). He was quickly promoted to captain and major during the war; was wounded at the Battle of Itororó in 1868, and at the end of the war (1870) retired from the army as lt.-colonel. He was chosen to congratulate Prince Consort Gaston d’Orléans, Commander in Chief of the Brazilian army, in the name of the army on the victory attained.


Back to Rio, he married D. Maria do Carmo do Valle (1855-1925), daughter of João Maria do Valle, a Portuguese nobleman, and of his Brazilian wife D. Antonia Brandina de Castro Pessoa. Francisco de Barros e Accioli de Vasconcellos made a quick career in the Brazilian civil service; he became “general inspector for lands and colonization” and was in charge of the huge Italian and Polish immigration wave that settled in Brazil in the late 19th century. At least two Brazilian towns were named after him: Accioli, in the (now) state of Espírito Santo, and Colônia Coronel Accioli, in Paraná.


There is evidence that he was granted the title of Baron of Accioli a few days before the military deposed Emperor D. Pedro II in November 15, 1889.[15] Nevertheless, he never used it. He had five children, four daughters and one son, Altamir do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1890-1935), a Navy officer, who left no issue. There is however ample descent from three of his daughters:


- D. Quintilla do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1875-1940), who married engineer Humberto Saraiva Antunes in 1890, with issue.


Among their descendants we note their son Professor Alayr Accioli Antunes (1892-1972), doctor of medicine and State Secretary for Education when Rio was Brazil’s capital city.


- D. Lucilla do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1876-1953), who married Professor Eduardo Rabello (1870-1940), a professor of medicine at Rio’s School of Medicine.


We mention here their eldest son Professor Francisco Eduardo Accioli Rabello (1905-1987), who followed in his father’s steps and became a Professor of Dermatology and Syphilography at Rio’s School of Medicine in 1941. Professor Rabello was made a Professor Emeritus in 1975.


- D. Inesilla do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1882-1946), who married Raul Moitinho da Costa Doria (1871-1948), a businessman in Rio who was also descended from old Italian stock.


We mention their youngest son Gustavo Alberto Accioli Doria (1910-1979), a lawyer by training and a drama critic in Rio. He was one of the pioneers of Brazil’s modern theater and a street is named after him in Rio.


- D. Filenilla do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1884-1977).


- Commander Altamir do Valle e Accioli de Vasconcellos (1890-1935).


We must also mention Professor Roberto Bandeira Accioli (1910-1999), historian, a Professor of History at the Colégio Pedro II (a position which had the rank of an university professor) and several times chairman of Rio’s State Council for Cultural Affairs. He was a great-grandson of José de Barros Accioli Pimentel through his youngest son José de Barros Accioli de Vasconcellos.



There was never a grant of arms to someone in this line after the 1529 grant made to Simon Acciaioli, Symam Accioly. However Francisco de Barros e Accioli de Vasconcelos used a signet ring with the full Acciaioli arms (argent, a lion azure) as his personal heraldic device.




































[1] Francisco Antonio Doria is a full member of the Brazilian College of Genealogists and of the Brazilian Academy of Philosophy. He is also a Professor of Communications, Emeritus, at Rio’s Federal University.

This text is based on the book Italianos no Brasil Colonial, to be published by Editora Revan, Rio, where all documentary sources are given.

[2] Documentary sources about Simon Acciaioli, his immediate family and associates are to be found in the Portuguese National Archives, IANTT. They can be seen online at

[3] H. H. Noronha, “Acciaiolis,” Nobiliário da Ilha da Madeira, 3 vols., S. Paulo (1947).

[4] They are traditionally said to be lineal male-line descendants of Attila the Hun through the early Kings of Hungary, but there is no documentary evidence for that tradition. The proved line goes back to Malcolm Beg Drummond in the early 13th century, who was the son of one Gilbert Galbraith and a kinsman of the Earls of Lennox.

[5] The Sinclair lords belong to the family that built Rosslyn Chapel, of Da Vinci Code fame.

[6] We are going to discuss the Cavalcanti de Albuquerque family in another essay.

[7] Genealogical data are taken from Noronha’s Nobiliário da ilha da Madeira and from A. J. V. Borges da Fonseca, Nobiliarquia Pernambucana, Biblioteca Nacional, Rio (1935).

[8] We’ve been told that there is still another agnatic line which is descended from the Madeira line. It has moved to England where it now resides.

[9] Despite the fact that this name only became official in the early 19th century.

[10] A militia commander who ranked as a major of today.

[11] P. Setúbal, Nos Bastidores da História, Cia. Editora Nacional, São Paulo (1935).

[12] Probably as a display of humility.

[13] Of course he never called himself like that; it’s just a convenient way of untangling the many Ignácios in this line.

[14] A fact duly noted in the thesis’ front page.

[15] Alberto Rangel, who prepared the Catalogue of the Orléans-Bragança Collection at the Château d’Eu refers to him in that catalogue as “Baron of Accioli.”