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Surnames in Campania, Italy

Campania region The lists of surnames were derived from the white pages of the 1990's for the recent lists, and from sources as indexes of births, "numerazioni", catasti onciari, parish records for previous centuries.

Surnames in the Provinces of Campania

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History of Surnames in Campania

In the 10th century AD Naples and all southern Italy came under Norman rule; starting from that date, noble families began to use patronymic surnames originating from the ancestor, such as Amicone, Berardo, Borrello, Guarino, Lupis, Maio, Miranda, Ranieri, Troisi. From the 13th century onwards the use of surnames began to spread to other social classes, to finally become mandatory with the Council of Trent of 1564.

Typical Surnames

  • Among the most common surnames is Esposito, especially in the Naples area, which derives from the Latin "expositus", assigned to infants abandoned at birth. The first Esposito was registered at the Annunziata Hospice on 1 January 1623, a Fabritio, two years old. Then, in Napoleonic times Joachim Murat, considering that surname revealing of uncertain origins, gave orders that abandoned children were to receive a fancy surname.
  • Patronymic surnames are common, mostly starting with "De", "Del", "Della"; the patronymic is usually "De" instead of "Di", which instead more common in other regions.
  • Most surnames originary of Campania are of singular form, ending in -o (as Russo, Scognamiglio), -e (Bove, Calvanese, Matrone), -ella (Colella, Buccella). Often, surnames are modified with such suffixes as -iello, -uolo, -illo and -icchio.
  • Among the surnames derived from dialect nicknames, many are linked to some physical feature of an ancestor; some examples are Capuozzo and Caputo (from "capo", head), Caruso (bald), Coppola (a typical cap), Fusco (dark), Gargiulo (jawbone), Longo and Luongo, Russo (red). Among the surnames related to professions there are Abate or Abbate, Castaldo, Iodice (judge), Monaco (monk), Pastore (shepherd), Piscopo or De Piscopo (bishop).
  • Some common toponymic surnames are Formisano (from Formia), Franzese (=French), Greco, Napolitano, Sorrentino, Aiello, Ferrara.