The origin of Italian surnames dates back from the end of the 1500s when parish priests were obligated to register parishioners with their Christian names and surnames in order to stop marriages between blood relatives.
Surnames come from different sources: first names, nicknames, geographic locations, professions, objects and titles, but each Italian region has adopted some types more than others with different spelling variations. Tracing these sources and variations is part of genealogical research and unveils an important part of family history and Italian heritage.
My Italian Family is offering the opportunity to learn the meaning and history of your Italian surnames. If you already have a comprehensive family tree and would like to complement it with your family name history, or if you are simply interested in the origin of the surname this is what you should expect to receive:
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TRIVIA: Many Italian surnames were derived from first names, originating with the name of the head of the household. The most common of these are Giovanni, Andrea, Anna and Rosa with all their variant spellings. More than one third on Italian surnames were based on geographic locations
Occasionally, unsual circumstances gave rise to surnames such as Fumagalli, which means smoked poultry. Thieves used to fill the hen-house with smoke so the chickens made no noise during the theft. If your name is Fumagalli, your ancestors may have been chicken thieves.
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