An outline of the Niccolini's history
The Niccolinis come from a split up occurred in the Sirigatti family around 1250.
The Sirigattis came from the Val di Pesa, where they were both landowners and loyal to the Passignano monastery. The first member we have information on is Arrigo ("Arrigus vocatus Sirigattus"), known as "fictaiolus perpetualis et fidelis Abbatie". Son of a man called Lucense, Arrigo married Scarlata di Paganello in 1208, Bonavia's sister. Bonavia was an active character in Florence, where he belonged to the seniors of the municipality and was a judge, whose family owned lands in Passignano. About Arrigo Sirgatti we know that in 1233 he owned three houses in the Passignano castle and some lands in the vicinities. He had at least two sons: Lucchese and Bonavia, also known as Ruzza. Upon the personality of Arrigo the tradition made up a legend that thought him fight in the Battle of Benevento (1266). The value shown in that occasion had as a consequence the birth of the Sirgatti name, because of Arrigo's coat of arms, which represented a cat and he was called Sire del Gatto (sir of the cat), so Sirgatti. But actually Arrigo was probably dead by the time of the battle.
Also Arrigo's son, Ruzza, is brought up in an aura of legend: it is said that he reached 130 years of age, and his life distinguished by a long feud with the ghibelline family of the Scolari. This long feud was put to an end thanks to the mediation of the Buondelmontis, who supported the marriage between Ruzza's son, Niccolino, and a Scolari woman. All these facts on the Sirgatti origin are told in the various editions of the family book by Lapo di Giovanni di Lapo Niccolini (1356-1429), then resumpted and corrected by his sons.
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