Napoleon was born on 15 August 1769, to Carlo Maria di Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino, in his family's ancestral home Casa Buonaparte in Ajaccio, the capital of the island of Corsica. He was their fourth child and third son. This was a year after the island was transferred to France by the Republic of Genoa. He was christened Napoleone di Buonaparte, probably named after an uncle (an older brother who did not survive infancy was the first of the sons to be called Napoleone). In his 20s, he adopted the more French-sounding Napoléon Bonaparte.
The Corsican Buonapartes were descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin, who had come to Corsica from Liguria in the 16th century.