May 092009

Historically this name is found in two countries, namely Greece (Ροσολίμοs) and Russia (Россолимо). It is believed that all persons carrying this name originate from the same bloodline, (although this has been disputed). The name can be traced back to the island of Cephalonia as far back as 13th Century, where this clan owned and controlled vast tracks of land. This clan are the descendants of Baron Hughes de Sully, most likely a branch of the Blois-Champagne family.

The literature records the following information:
• Nicolo Rossolimo was the Governor of the island of Ithaca 1634.
• Commodore Rosssolimo led Princes Claudia of Denmark’s army into Alexandria 1739 – 1741.
• Two brothers Constantin and Todorin settled in Ithaka in the late 1700’s
• Iaonis Rossolimo, son of Dimitri of Coriana, was a priest in Anogi, Ithaka, travelled to Constantinople in 1803.
• Basilio Rossolimo (1822-1897) was a ship owner and travelled to Russia
• Dr Gerasimo Rossolimo (1824-1889) practised medicine in Russia
• A Spiridon Rossolimo (1862-1923) was a merchant in Russia
• A Dr. Spiridon Rossolimo qualified as a medical doctor in 1852
• A Dr. NicolÓ Rossolimo practised as a medical doctor in Marseille in 1877.

The Rossolimo family crest is recorded in the museum library Cephalonia, Greece

Translation of “Livre D’or Noblesse Ionienne, 1926 by Eugene Rizo-Rangabe”
In an interesting study, published in the yearbook of the study society of Byzantine Athens, Georges Tipaldo-Alfonsato, the sage president of the Heraldic section of the historic and ethnological society of Greece, gives his opinion that the Rossolimo of Cephalonia are descendents of Hughes de Sully, baron and “officer general” from Normandy, in the service of Charles d’Anjou, King of Naples in the 13th century.
The book of the Conquista of Constantinople and of “the Moree?” written in the 14th century, says that, because of his red hair, Hughes de Sully was generally called “the red of Sully”. The Greek text calls him “Ros Solimo”, from where the Greeks seem to have named his descendants Rossolimo (Ροσολίμοs).
This Hughes commanded the Napolitan army, which King Charles sent to help the Despot of the “Nicephore” Empire against the Byzantine Emperor Michel Paleologne. In 1279 the Red Sully was commander in Chief of Albany and of Corfu. In 1281 he was taken prisoner by the Byzantinniens, close to the town of Berat in Albania, and imprisoned in Constantinople where he died. Hughes of Sully had a son, Johannes, whom we find established in Naples at the beginning of the 14th century.

In 1634 a certain Nicolo Rossolimo was Governor of the island of Ithaca, a post that has always been entrusted to a Cephalonian.
In the second half of the 18th century, Giovanni, son of Demetrio Rossolimo, of Coriana in Cephalonia, was Archimandrite and Predicator of the “Patriarcat Oecumenic” of Constantinople (Cicelli p.571)
The Rossolimos where written down in the Golden book of the Cephalonican Nobles in 1593.
Unfortunately, the Genealogical family tree of the family, very complete and going back to the year of its inscription in the Golden book, seems to have been destroyed during the last insurrection of the Bolshevists in Russia.

In the new Golden book or “Elenico” the Nobles of Cephalonia, made in 1799 by order of the Prytane Co. Corofan, 16 different families of Rossolimo are mentioned.

Sources of information:
Livre D’or Noblesse Ionienne, 1926 by Eugene Rizo-Rangabe (French)
The “LIBRO D’ ORO” of Cephalonia the year 1799 by Katerina F Zarithi (Greek, Latin, Italian)
Oresti Paizes – grandson of Dimitri Rossolimo (1912 – 2004, New York, USA)
Eustasios Paxinos – grandson of Dimitri Rossolimo (1937 – Ithaka, Greece)
Dimitri Rossolimos – son of Constantin Rossolimo (1921 – Johannesburg, South Africa)
Research done by Dr. Constantin Rossolimos (rosso (at)

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