The Buonacorsi Foundation was founded by a group of decendents of the noble Buonacorsi di Pistoia family, originating from the Tuscany region of Italy. The name Buonacorsi derives from buona = good, and corso = course, path or stream.
The family name can be traced back to Buonacorso Pitti di Semifonte, whose grandson, Buonacorso di Baronto, was one of the elders of Pistoia in 1377.
Buonacorso di Baronto's grandson, Buonaccorso Pitti, authored the now-famous (and still-in-print) "Diary of Buonaccorso Pitti" ("Two Memoirs of Renaissance Florence," ISBN 0-88133-622). This (grandson) Buonaccorso assumed the role of "Captain of Pistoia" on September 22, 1399, later served as Florentine Ambassador to various European courts, and went on to become a prominent member of Florence's government later in his life.
In 1400 he was elected Ambassador to the Court of Holy Roman Emperor Rupert, Duke of Bavaria, and King of Germany. While in that position, he saved the Emperor's life by thwarting a poisoning plot instigated by the Duke of Milan. In 1401, Buonaccorso went on to successfully perform a dangerous mission for the Emperor, after which Rupert proclaimed "I will give you an emblem from my own coat of arms: the golden lion which you may include among your own armorial bearings. And I ennoble you and your brothers and your descendants." Buonaccorso was so moved by this that he proceeded to compose the following sonnet:
"This current year of fourteen one,
King Rupert, in his town of Trent,
Decreed my scutcheon might henceforth present
An armorial emblem of his own:
The golden lion rampant and, thereon,
Caused to be written in a document
My brothers' names and mine with his assent
So each of us might bear the lion on
His wavy field. Thence our privilege comes,
With lasting patents of nobility,
To bear this symbol bravely on our arms
Wherever such heraldic emblems be
Borne: here or in other realms,
And to hold land from kings in fee.
So, sons and brothers, nobly cultivate
Virtue as befits our new estate."
Buonaccorso's son, Luca di Buonacorso, built the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence. Buonaccorso's brother, Bartolomeo, was gonfaloniere (standard bearer) of Pistoia in 1417. This brother is the direct ancestor of the Buonacorsi decendents that founded the Buonacorsi Foundation in 2009.
The patent of nobility created by Rupert in 1401 made Buonaccorso and his brothers part of the House of Wittelsbach, and linked the family to Bavaria for over 500 years. All but one branch of the family was listed as having gone extinct by the 1940s. The surviving branch of the line, the Haugs, had emigrated from Bavaria to the U.S. in 1913, settling in Nashua, NH. A group of Haug decendents, the Doyles, founded the Buonacorsi Foundation in Illinois.
The coat of arms granted to the Buonacorsi decendents can still be seen today, in the center of the logo of the Buonacorsi Foundation. We use this symbol to constantly remind us of the enduring legacy of family, and to prompt us to forever strive to manifest through our actions the original meaning of the Buonacorsi name: "good path."