The Bonaparte Brood

Charles Bonaparte married Letizia Ramolino in Corte, Corsica when he was 18 and she was 14. It was an arranged marriage.

Corte, Central Corsica, where Charles and Letizia were married.

Letizia’s first child died in childbirth, the second only lived for a year.

Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s older brother, was born when Letizia was seventeen, and was her first child to reach adulthood.

The House in Corte where Joseph Bonaparte was born.

After Napoleon, Letizia gave birth to another ten children, but three died in childbirth, one after a few months, and only six survived to see Napoleon become Emperor of France.

The Bonaparte Brood

  • Died in childbirth
  • Died after 11 months
  • Joseph Bonaparte (07-Jan-1768)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte (15-Aug-69)
  • Died in childbirth
  • Died after 4 months
  • Died in childbirth
  • Lucien (21-May-75)
  • Elisa (03-Jan-77)
  • Louis (02-Sep-78)
  • Died in childbirth
  • Pauline (20-Oct-80)
  • Caroline (25-Mar-82)
  • Jerome (15-Nov-84)

The Bonapartes’ Residences in Corsica

The Bonapartes’ town residence, where Napoleon and many of his brothers and sisters were born, was in Ajaccio, a major city and seaport on the island of Corsica. The house is now a museum.

6 Maison natale de Napoléon

The Bonapartes also had a country residence just outside Ajaccio.  Milelli was the summer retreat of the Bonapartes. Its olive groves provided a large part of the family’s income.


In 1793, 24 year old Napoleon Bonaparte failed in his attempt to overthrow veteran Corsican nationalist leader Pascale Paoli and to bring the island under the rule of the French revolutionary government in Paris.

The Bonaparte house in Ajaccio was ransacked, Millelli was set on fire and the Bonapartes were condemned to “perpetual execration and ignominy”. The family was hunted across Corsica and forced to flee to mainland France with the few possessions they could carry.