Trentino Surnames – Searchable Database

BELOW is a searchable database of surnames (cognomi) I have gathered in the course of my research on my own ‘One Tree’ project, or on trees I have made for clients. PLEASE be patient, as I still have hundreds of surnames to add to this list. I also haven’t entered all the comments I want to include. Do keep coming back periodically to see what’s new.

The primary sources I have used for linguistic origins are:

  • BERTOLUZZA, Aldo. 1998. Guida ai Cognomi del Trentino, who also references various works by linguistic historian Ernesto LORENZI in the early part of the 20th century.
  • GIACOMONI, Fabio. 1991. Carte di Regola e Statuti delle Comunita’ Rural Trentine (3 Volumes).
  • RAUZI, Gian Maria.  1987. Araldica Tridentina. 
  • TABARELLI DE FATIS, Gianmaria; BORRELLI, Luciano. 2005. Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine.

I have also added some of my own observations, based on my research of the parish records for the diocese of Trento, as well as other documents such as pergamene (church and legal parchments),  notary documents, lists of diplomas of nobility, and other various source.

All of these resources are in Italian and/or Latin. For the sake of my English-speaking readers, I have translated and summarised key points in the table.

TIP: The term ‘patronymic’ which you will frequently see in the table means ‘father’s name’. This means the surname was originally derived from the personal name of the head of the family at some point in history.

SEARCH TIPS: 

  • To make it easy to read, I have set up this table to display only 20 surnames at a time.
  • To see more names, click “next” to see each page in succession OR use the drop-down menu to display up to 100 names at a time.
  • If you are looking for a specific name, use the “search” box at the top of the table.
  • There are MANY spelling variations of these names, so your name might not be spelled exactly as you are accustomed to seeing it. However, I try my best to enter spelling variations as I find them. These variations will show up if you do a search.
  • If you still can’t find the surname you are looking for, try typing in just the first 3 or 4 letters of it. You might find it listed as an alternate spelling.
  • THE BIGGER PLAN: Over time, I hope to link each surname to a separate index on THIS site. From that index, you will be able to find birth/marriage/death dates and additional information for all the people with that surname. This is a massive, ongoing project, and will take me several years to complete, so please check back regularly. If you subscribe to this blog, you will get news whenever new data has been entered.

Trentini Surnames

SurnameVariations and Alternative SpellingsNotes 
AgostiAgostini; Agostinelli; D'Agostin; DagostinPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name Agostino, meaning 'those descended from Agostino'. Aldo Bertoluzza says its orgins are in Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa, but it is found in many parts of the province including the village of Scanna, in the parish of Livo, Val di Non.
AitempergherAltenburgher; Altempergher; Altimpergher; Altembergher; Altimburger; othersOf German origin, the name means 'from the old mountain'. The reason why there are so many spelling variations is that Italian-speaking (or Italian dialect-speaking) priests were usually trying to spell the unfamiliar name phonetically as they heard it. Bertoluzza says it came into use in Trentino sometime in the 19th century, probably by way of Austria.
AlbertiniAlbertiOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc.
AldrighettiAldrighetto; Aldrighettoni; Andrighettoni; Andrighi; AndrigoPatronymic surname derived from the Germanic personal name 'Aldrigo' (sometimes seen as 'Adelrico') or 'Aldrighetto'. Bertoluzza says it originates in Val D'Adige, where it still appears in places like Aldeno and Rovereto. He also cites it as appearing in Volano in Vallagarina at least as early as the mid-1700s. I have found the surname prominently in Val Giudicarie Esteriore (particularly around Dorsino and Glolo) back to the 1500s. It also appears with less frequency in Giudicarie Interiore around the parish of Ragoli.
Alessandri
Alimonta
AliprandiniAliprandiThe Aliprandini (not Aliprandi) were a noble family from Livo in Val di Non, frequently from the village of Varollo (many Aliprandini are cited as nobility in the Livo parish records). While linguistic historian Aldo Bertoluzza says these two variants come from the Longobard male personal name 'Aliprando' (which means 'fights with a sharp sword'), nobility historian Gian Maria Rauzi says 'Aliprandini' is a permutation of the male name 'Riprando', as the family are descendants of Riprando Malosco, of the now-extinct family who were feudal lords in the province of Trento from around 200 A.D. until 1512. Either way, the roots of the surname predate the Holy Roman Empire. In 1704, Prince Bishop Giovanni Michele Spaur (also from a family of Counts) elevated the Aliprandini family to church nobility, at which time they were granted to right to use the crest above the ancient stemma of the Signori of Malosco.
AloisiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Aloisio' or 'Aloyisius', which is the earlier Latin form of the name 'Luigi'.
AltenburgerAitempergher; Altempergher; Altimpergher; Altembergher; Altimburger; othersOf German origin, the name means 'from the old mountain'. The reason why there are so many spelling variations is that Italian-speaking (or Italian dialect-speaking) priests were usually trying to spell the unfamiliar name phonetically as they heard it. Bertoluzza says it came into use in Trentino sometime in the 19th century, probably by way of Austria.
AmadeiAmadioPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Amadio' (or 'Amadeus' in Latin), it is a compound word (ama + dio) with the meaning 'he who loves God' as well as 'God is loved'. It is seen in various places in Val Giudicarie (e.g. Stenico, Rango).
Amistadi
Andermarch
Andognini
Andreis
AndreolliAndreoli, AndreolloPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Andrea'. One of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ ('Andrew' in English), the name means 'man of excellence'. The surname with the suffix '-olli' or '-oli' can be found in many parts of the province, including Val Giudicarie (e.g. Larido) and Val d'Adige (e.g. Meano, Gazzadina).
Andrighetti
AngeliniAngeliPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Angelo', meaning 'angel'. Widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val di Sole and the Arco/Drò areas.
AnselmiAnselm; Anselmo; AnselmaPatronymic derived from the male personal name Anselmo, which is of German origin. Its use is most likely inspired by Saint Anselmo d'Aosta. The word 'elmo' means 'helmet'; Bertoluzza says the name Anselmo means a magical helmet given by God.
AntoliniOne of many of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Antonio', and associated with S. Antonio (Saint Anthony) of Padova and/or S. Antonio Abate. Variations are widely spread throughout the province; early versions of the surname appear in records back to the 1300s. In my own research, I have found 'Antolini' exclusively in Tione in Val Giudicarie, back to at least the mid-1600s. Bertoluzza believes Antolini was most likely a variant of 'Antonini', which appears prominently south of Tione, in Val di Chiese. Bertoluzza says the original meaning of the name Antonio is unclear, but it was an Etruscan variant of the Latin name Antonius.
AntoniniOne of many of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Antonio', and associated with S. Antonio (Saint Anthony) of Padova and/or S. Antonio Abate. Variations are widely spread throughout the province; early versions of the surname appear in records back to the 1300s. 'Antonini' appears prominently in Val di Chiese, especially in Cimega. Bertoluzza says the original meaning of the name Antonio is unclear, but it was an Etruscan variant of the Latin name Antonius.
AntoniolloOne of many of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Antonio', and associated with S. Antonio (Saint Anthony) of Padova and/or S. Antonio Abate. Variations are widely spread throughout the province; early versions of the surname appear in records back to the 1300s. Bertoluzza says the original meaning of the name Antonio is unclear, but it was an Etruscan variant of the Latin name Antonius.
AppolloniAppoloni
Approvini
Ariasi
Arlanch
ArmanelliPatronymic derived from the Germanic male personal name 'Armano' or 'Armando', which means 'warrior', 'soldier' or 'free man of the army'. Bertoluzza says it shows up as early as 1437 in Smarano in Val di Non. The variant 'Armanelli' appears frequently in the parish of Vigo Lomaso, especially around Godenzo and Poia.
ArmaniPatronymic derived from the Germanic male personal name 'Armano' or 'Armando', which means 'warrior', 'soldier' or 'free man of the army'. The variant 'Armani' appears widely dispersed in many parts of the province. Bertoluzza says it shows up as early as 1437 in Smarano in Val di Non. Many prominent Armani notaries came from Fiavè in Val Giudicarie as early as the mid-1500s. I have also found this surname in the province of Verona.
ArmaniniPatronymic derived from the Germanic male personal name 'Armano' or 'Armando', which means 'warrior', 'soldier' or 'free man of the army'. The variant 'Armanini' appears prominently in Premione in the parish of Tavodo (Val Giudicarie).
ArnoldoArnoldiPatronymic derived from the male personal name Arnaldo or Arnoldo, which has the meaning 'powerful dominator like an eagle'. Its origins lie in Val di Non, and appears in places like Cles, Revò and Tuenno.
ArtelArtini; Artico; ArvediBertuluzza says this surname is derived from the ancient personal name 'Artuico', which comes from the gothic word 'hart', meaning 'strong', 'robust' or 'talented'. He says its origins are in Val d'Adige and Riva. I have found the variant 'Artini' in Tione di Trento.
ArtiniArtel; Artico; ArvediBertuluzza says this surname is derived from the ancient personal name 'Artuico', which comes from the gothic word 'hart', meaning 'strong', 'robust' or 'talented'. He says its origins are in Val d'Adige and Riva. I have found the variant 'Artini' in Tione di Trento.
AvanciniAvancini very old Trentino surname dating back to at least the beginning of the 1500s. Bertoluzza says it is derived from an ancient honourific 'Delavanzo', which means 'God accompanies him', but I think it is a patronymic taken from the now disused male personal name 'Avancino', which may have a similar meaning. Bertoluzza says the surname originated in Valsugana, but I have evidence of an annobled Avancini line in Val Giudicarie (in village of Villa in Santa Croce del Bleggio parish) in the early and mid 1500s. There, in 1555, an Avancino Avancini was ennobled by Carlo V, the then emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. This imperial title was then extended to his brothers Gregorio and Antonio. Later, Gregorio was awarded his own coat of arms (Gregorio is one of my ancestors). The original imperial diploma will be found in the State Archives in Innsbruck.
Azzolini
Bagozzi
BallardiniA very old surname found mostly in Val Giudicarie, especially around Preore. One of several surnames derived from the word 'ballare', which means 'to dance', Lorenzi says this particular variant comes from the male personal name 'Ballardo'.
Ballina
Barberi
Baroni
BastianiSebastianiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Sebastiano'. San Sebastiano was a Catholic saint who was martyred in Rome around the end of the 2nd century. He and San Rocco are invoked by the faithful for protection against the plague.
Battitori
BattochiBattocchiSurname derived taken from the word battocchio, meaning the clapper of a church bell. When used to describe a person, it has the meaning of someone who is mischievous or a rascal. Bertoluzza says its origins are in both Val di Non and Val Giudicarie. I have found Battochi prominently in the parish of Tione di Trento at least back to the early 1600s.
BattoclettiSurname derived taken from the word battocchio, meaning the clapper of a church bell. When used to describe a person, it has the meaning of someone who is mischievous or a rascal. Bertoluzza says its origins are in both Val di Non and Val Giudicarie. The variant Battocletti appears most frequently in the parishes of Sarnonico and Lavis.
BazzoliBazzeFrom the word 'bazza', referring to a large sheet made of hemp cloth that mountain farmers wrapped around bales of hay when they carried them on their shoulders to their barns. Bertoluzza says the surname originated in Val di Non, but I have seen it in Roncone in Val Breguzzo at least as far back as the early 1700s.
BellaBelloOne of many surnames derived from the soprannome 'bello' or 'bella' meaning beautiful or pleasing looking. Variants have appeared in diverse areas of the province as early as the 12th century.
BellottiBelottiOne of many surnames derived from the soprannome 'bello' or 'bella' meaning beautiful or pleasing looking. Variants have appeared in diverse areas of the province as early as the 12th century. 'Bellotti' appears frequently in Val Giudicarie. I have found it in parish records for Santa Croce del Bleggio back to the early 1500s, where the families most frequently lived in the frazioni of Comighello and Cavaione. Bertoluzza cites a 'Bellotus' of Tione in the 13th century.
BeltramiBeltrame, BeltramolliPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name of Germanic origin 'Beltramo' or 'Bertrando', meaning (according to Bertoluzza) means famous, or 'resplendent crow' ('corvo rispelendente'). Bertoluzza says it originates in Val D'Adige and Val Giudicarie, and that the Latin form 'Beltramus' appeared in Ala as early as 1216. I have, however, traced one Giudicarie Beltrami line back to Val Rendena, when a Cristoforo Beltrami (from Val Rendena) moved to Bleggio after marrying Domenica Gusmerotti of Vergonzo in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in 1618.
BenassutiBennassuti; BenasuttiBertoluzza says this surname is derived from the term 'bene natus' which means 'good birth', but I believe 'Benasutti' comes from the (now rare) male personal name 'Benasu', which may have the same meaning. I am basing this on the birth on 25 Mar 1559 of a Benasu Benasutti (son of Valentino) in Tignerone (in the present-day parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio). I believe this may have been a family name that went further back, although this is the earliest instance of 'Benasu' I have found of it so far. The surname appears mostly in the area of Tignerone (at least to the beginning of the 1500s), and the ancient families were affluent with many notaries and landowners.
BeniniBenigni; BeninoBertoluzza says this is one of many surnames derived from the root 'ben', which is a term of good wishes or congratulations, but I also believe it is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Benino.' Now widely dispersed around Arco, Riva, Tenno and throughout Val Giudicarie, its origins seem to be somewhere in the area just north of Lago di Garda, possibly in the area around Gavazzo. The earliest appearance of the name I have found so far is a notary referred to as 'Benino of Gavazzo' in 1358 (as per P. Remo Stenico's 'Notai Che Operarono Nel Trentino dall'Anno 845', page 52). Other early Benini notaries include Gioachino of Gavazzo (ca. 1544), Antonio of Arco (ca. 1580), Michele of Vezzano (ca. 1570) and another Benino Benini of Fiavè (ca. 1569). A Simone Andrea Benini from the flourishing Fiavè line transferred to Seo in the parish of Tavodo when he married Domenica Margherita Parisi in 1776, from which point the spelling of the surname (in Seo only) was changed to 'Benigni'. According to my research, the Benini line of Bivedo in parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) is descended from a Bartolomeo Benini (born ca. 1578), who was originally from Roncone, and moved to Bivedo when he married Margherita Jori of that village in 1640. I have not yet established if or how these various Benini lines are related, but it seems plausible that they may have had a common patriarch named Benino at some point in the past.
BenvenutiBenevenuti; BenvenutoPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Benvenuto', which means 'welcome'. It is widely dispersed throughout the province. Bertoluzza cites early versions of the surname appearing in records from the 1200s.
BerasiUnfortunately, Bertoluzza does not include the history of the surname Berasi in his 'Guida ai Cognomi del Trentino', and I cannot find an etymology for this surname in any my resources. Oddly, the only historical mention of the name I have found is from Sardinian linguistic historian Massimo Pittau, who says the surname appears in Sardinia -- some 500 miles away from Trentino -- as early as 1388. He also suggests it may be cognate with noble Latin name Verasius. In my own research, the surname Berasi appears almost exclusively in Marazzone in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie, with a few families settling in other parts of the 'Quadra' area of that same parish (Marazzone, Larido, Bivedo and Cavaione). There is another surname 'Belasi' that appears around Tione and Arco (not far from Bleggio), but I have no evidence so far that the two surnames are related. The earliest Berasi I have found so far is a Bernardino Berasi, born roughly around 1550, who had at least three children in the 1580s-90s with his wife, Domenica. His son Domenico Berasi – born 18 December 1583 in Marazzone – is cited as being a master builder/mason ('maestro muratore') in parchment 46 from the parish of Santa Croce, dated 5 August 1631. As his father Bernardino was frequently called 'Magistri' and 'Maestro' in various records, it seems possible he was also a master builder. Domenico also appears in the parchment and other records with his soprannome, 'Paletti', perhaps connected to the word 'paletta', meaning shovel or trowel, alluding to his occupation. From 1987-2008, Bleggio-born environmentalist, peacemaker and politician Iva Berasi served as a Councillor both for the Municipality of Trento as well as Autonomous Province of Trento.
Berlanda
BertagnoliBertagnolliOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. The surname Bertagnoli/Bertagnolli is frequently found in Val di Non, especially in Tret and Ruffré in the parish of Fondo.
BertarelliOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. The variant Bertarelli appears at least back to the early 1500s in Cavrasto in Val Giudicarie. I have also seen it in 19th century records in parts of Val Rendena.
BerteBertiOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. It is widely dispersed in different parts of the province, including Val di Non, and the parish of Tenno in Val Giudicare.
BertelliOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. This variant is a very old surname frequently found in the comune of Preore in Val Giudicarie, where many Bertelli were notaries. There is also a famous pasticceria (pastry shop) in the city of Trento called 'Bertelli'.
BertiBerteOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. It is widely dispersed in different parts of the province, including Val di Non, and the parish of Tenno in Val Giudicare.
BertiniOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. The surname Bertini is widely dispersed in various parts of the province.
BertoliniOne of dozens of surnames derived from the Germanic root 'Bert' (meaning 'splendid, illustrious, famous'), which appears in male personal names like Alberto, Adalberto, Roberto, Umberto, etc. The surname Bertolini is widely dispersed in various parts of the province, from Preore, Torbole and Tione in Val Giudicarie, to Romallo in Val di Non, and to the city of Trento itself.
BezziBezOriginating in Val di Sole, the surname appears mainly in Ossana and Cusiano. Bertoluzza says it may be derived from the male personal name 'Bezzo'. Other authors suggest it may have come from the word 'bezzo', which was the name of an ancient small coin.
BisotaBisotta; BisottiNot of Trentini origin, and most likely from Venezia; links to ennobled family; extinct in Trentino today
BleggiVery old, influential family of Bleggio, Val Giudicarie. Strong presence in Tignerone, Cilla'  and Sesto.
BombardaBombardi, Bombardelli, Bombardini, Bombieri, BombieroCognate with the English words 'bomb' or 'bombard', the word 'bombarda' refers to a military weapon like a cannon, used to hurls large stones or other projectiles in battle. Bertoluzza doesn't specify, but we might assume it was originally a soprannome given to a military person who worked with such weapons in some way. The surname is prominent in the frazione of Cares in Val Giudicarie, where it appears at least as far back as the early 1500s. Although Bertoluzza says it originates in Val Giudicarie, he cites it in Valternigo (in Val di Non) in 1430.
BonadimanOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character. A compound word, my person guess is that it means either 'good with his hands' (buona di mano) or is possibly a variant of 'buon domani' ('good tomorrow'). Bonadiman appears mostly in Val di Non and Val di Sole, most commonly in Cles and Revò.
BonavidaOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character. A compound word (bona + vida), it means 'good life'.
Bonazza
BondiBond; BontLorenzi says the surname is derived from the male personal name 'Abbondio', and that it has its origins in Val D'Adige. In my own research, I have found it to be a very old surname prevalent in the parish of Saone in Val Giudicarie, but it has also crossed into neighbouring parishes, such as Santa Croce, via marriage over time.
BonesiOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character.
BonentiOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character. While variants are widely dispersed throughout Trentino, 'Bonenti' seems to be most prominent in the parish of Bondo in Val Breguzzo.
BoniOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character. It is found in many parts of the province, including Val Giudicarie (e.g. Vigo Lomaso, Fiavè), and Val di Sole (e.g. Monclassico, Malè)
BonomiBonami; BonomoOne of dozens of surnames derived from the medieval male personal name 'Bono', which comes from the Latin word for 'good', i.e. being of good character. A compound word comprise of 'bon' plus 'omo' ('man'), it means 'a man of good character', although spelled with an 'a' (Bonami) it can also mean 'good friend'. Bonomi is a common surname in the frazione of Madice in the parish of Santa Croce Bleggio in Val Giudicarie. 'Bonomo' can be found in more northern parts of the province.
BorzagaBorz; Borzatti; Borzi; BorzoniBertoluzza says 'Borzaga' is derived from a place called 'Borzago' in Val Rendena. Ernesto Lorenzi is of the opinion that it (along with the surname 'Borz' and its variations) is derived from the antiquated male name 'Burcio', which is pronounced 'Borz' in Trentino dialect. He also suggests it might be a corruption of the German word/name 'Swartz' (having first been 'Sborz' and then 'Borz').
BosettiBosin, Boselli, Boso, BosinelliBertoluzza says this surname arose in Valsugana, and is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Boso' or 'Buoso', which is from the German word böse, which has the meaning 'evil, malevolent, hostile, enemy'. Variations of the surname are found as early as the 1200s.
BosinBoso, Boselli, Bosetti, BosinelliBertoluzza says this surname arose in Valsugana, and is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Boso' or 'Buoso', which is from the German word böse, which has the meaning 'evil, malevolent, hostile, enemy'. Variations of the surname are found as early as the 1200s.
BragadellaBragadellaBertoluzza says this surname is derived from the word 'braga' which means 'pantalone' or trousers. Sometimes seen spelled 'Bragadella', the surname Bragaldella appears prominently in Breguzzo.
Brena
BressaniBressan, BrescianiThis surname means 'from Brescia', a province in Lombardia (Lombardy). Thus, this surname indicates the family originally came from Brescia, although they may have lived in Trentino for many centuries. Its origins in Trentino are around Arco and Riva del Garda, which are closest to the province of Brescia. Bertoluzza cites a 'Brexanus ad Arco' ('Bresciani of Arco') as early as 1196.
BriosiBertoluzza believes this surname comes from dialect words 'bria' or 'braida', which have the same meaning as 'briglia', or a horse's bridle. Another theory comes from historian Ernesto Lorenzi, who believes the surname is derived from the male personal name Ambrogio (Ambrose in English), most frequently associated with Saint Ambrose, the 4th-century bishop of Milan regarded as one of the four original Doctors of the Church. Bertoluzza says the surname originates in the area around Arco and Riva del Garda, but I have also seen the surname prominently in the parishes of Cologna-Gavazzo, Tenno, Santa Croce del Bleggio and Vigo Lomaso. The earliest Briosi cited by Bertoluzza is a Michele Briosi, a canonico (cathedral priest who recites the liturgy) in the city of Trento, active around 1499. The earliest Briosi I have found so far in my own research is an Antonio Briosi, also referred to as 'fabroferraio' (a master blacksmith), who was born around 1520 in the frazione of Favrio in the parish of Vigo Lomaso, and later moved to Cavrasto in the parish Santa Croce del Bleggio, where his descendants still flourish today.
BrocchettiBrochetti, Brocchetta, Brochetta, BrocheteBertoluzza says the surname is derived from the dialect word 'broca' which refers to a small nail. Tabarelli says the family were probably originally from Val di Ledro but settled in Cavrasto in Val Giudicarie (the place with which they are most frequently associated) in present-day parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio, sometime in the second half of the 1400s, but notary records indicate they were probably in Cavrasto at least a century earlier. They were awarded the title of nobility prior to the year 1500. Orazio Brocchetti, Doctor of Law, was given citizenship of the city of Trento on 16 June 1612, and Francesco Girolamo Brocchetti was the Vicario of Stenico and Podestà of Riva del Garda in 1730. The title of imperial nobility was granted on 20 February 1766 by Holy Roman Emperor Josef II to the brothers Girolamo and Giuliano Brocchetti. The earliest Brocchetti men I have found from Cavrasto were Rocco, Antonio, Melchiore and Simone, all most likely born around the first decade of the 1500s. The Brocchetti name has also long been associated with the profession of the notary (notaio). P. Remo Stenico cites an Eleuterio, son of the late Antonio, son of the late Eleuterio 'Brocchetta' of Cavrasto, whose notary seal appears as early as 1468, meaning the elder Eleuterio of Cavrasto would have been born in the 1300s.
BrunatiBrunattiOne of many of surnames derived from the root 'brun'. Of Germanic origin, this word has the same meaning (and is linguistically related to) the word 'brown' in English. Bertoluzza offers two different possible origins of these surnames. He first suggests that it is derived from a soprannome used to describe someone who had a brownish complexion, hair or beard. The other possibility he offers is that it comes from the Germanic male personal name 'Bruno', which has the meaning 'armoured'. The specific surname Brunati appears prominently in the parish of Vigo Lomaso in Val Giudicarie, as well as in Tenno and Rovereto.
BrunelliBrunel; BrunelloOne of many of surnames derived from the root 'brun'. Of Germanic origin, this word has the same meaning (and is linguistically related to) the word 'brown' in English. Bertoluzza offers two different possible origins of these surnames. He first suggests that it is derived from a soprannome used to describe someone who had a brownish complexion, hair or beard. The other possibility he offers is that it comes from the Germanic male personal name 'Bruno', which has the meaning 'armoured'. While there are several surnames based on this root appearing throughout the province, the surname Brunelli appears predominantly in Val Giudicarie, especially in the parishes of Santa Croce del Bleggio and Tavodo, although it can also be found in and near the cities of Trento and Riva del Garda, and other diverse places. Bertoluzza cites a Manfredino Brunelli living in Bleggio in 1305. A woodland ordinance in the parish parchments for Santa Croce dated 19 April 1506 mentions a Nicolo' Brunelli, son of 'the late Brunello' of Rango (so this Brunello most likely lived in Rango sometime between 1440-1506). As families tended to repeat male names through the generations, perhaps the Rango Brunelli surname means 'the descendants of Brunello', referring to an ancestor of the Manfredino mentioned by Bertoluzza. I suspect the branch in Tavodo parish may also be related to the Santa Croce Brunelli, but I have not yet established this link. There were several historic Brunelli notaries, included Antonio Tommaso Brunelli of Senaso (in San Lorenzo in Banale), who operated between 1764–1806, and Giacomo Brunelli of Rango (son of Nicolo' mentioned above), who was also the Vicario and Judge of the County of Arco in the mid-1500s.
BuffiBuffoDerived from a soprannome referring to someone comical or amusing. While it appears in various parts of the province, Buffi is an important, ancient family in the village of Saone in Val Giudicarie, going back at least to the 1400s with Bonapace Buffi (born circa 1440). Author Silvia Speranza Marchiori wrote an important historical monograph about this family.
Buoninsegna
BurratiBurratti; Buratti
Caldera
Caldonazzi
CaliariCalliari; Cagliari; CaliarySurname derived from a soprannome related to arts and crafts, in particular that of the 'calzolaio', i.e. cobblers or shoe makers. As such, it is widely dispersed in various parts of the province. Bertoluzza says forms of the name show up in documents as early as 1205.
CaloviCalovin; CaloviniBertoluzza says he is unsure of the linguistic origins of this surname, but its place of origin is Val di Non. I have found it in the comune of Livo as early as the beginning of the 1700s, but it is most likely much older. Today the spelling 'Calovini' is extremely rare in the province of Trentino, but Calovi is still found in many places in the northern part of the province, especially around Faedo and Mezzocorona.
Calvetti
CanestriniDerived from the word 'canestro', meaning 'basket', Bertoluzza says it was most likely an occupational title given to an artisan who made various kinds of baskets. Originating in Val di Non, the surname is still found mainly in Revò and Cloz, but also appears other parts of the province, including Trento, Rovereto and Tenno.
Caresani
Carmellini
CarnessaliCarnesali
CasagrandaCasagrandeLiterally 'big house', the surname refers to someone who came from a big house, or was a person of means. Bertoluzza says it originates in Pergine and Civezzano, and can sometimes be seen in its Latin form 'Domo Magna'. It also appears prominently in the parish of Bedollo.
CasariCasariniA very old surname originating in Val di Non, appearing also in Valli di Fiemme and Fassa. Bertoluzza believes is derived from the word 'cascinaio', which means a cheesemaker. Lorenzi believes it a derived from the man's personal name Casario. In my own research, I have found it in the parish of Smarano.
CaturanaCatarana; Chatarana
CavadinoCavalino; Cavadini
CazzoliCazzolliBertoluzza presents three theories on the origins of this surname. Of these, I think there are two feasible hypotheses (I think the third is too far-fetched). One is by Lorenzi who proposes it is derived from the ancient personal name 'Cazzufo', which comes from the Celtic word cazzo, which refers to a kind of flatbread. Another thought is that it comes from the dialect word 'cazzol' which means 'ladle'. It if is the latter, 'Cazzoli' would refer to someone who made and/or sold ladles or other similar household tools. Personally, I think this latter theory is the most probable. The surname appears most prominently in the parish of Tione in Val Giudicarie, as well as in nearby Tenno and Riva del Garda.
Cenni
ChellerKeller; Cheler; Chellari; ChelariSee 'Keller'
Cherotti
ChiloviChelodiBertoluzza says this is one of a few surnames that were most likely derived from the antiquated male name 'Chelo', which was a variant of the name 'Michele'. The specific variation 'Chilovi' has its origins in Val di Non and appears most frequently in Taio. Bertluzza says it is related to the surname 'Chelodi', which was originally a soprannome from Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa (although 'Chelodi', he says, might have been derived from the name of a place.
ChemelliChemetti; Chemini; Cheminotti; Chemolli; Chemotti; Chimelli; Chiminolli; ChemuzziOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the root 'Chem', short for 'Jachem', which is the old Latin version of the male personal name Giacomo (equivalent of James in English). The suffix 'elli' makes it a diminutive form, meaning it may have referred to the descendants of a Giacomo who was either younger or smaller in stature than another Giacomo at the time. Other variations, widely dispersed throughout the province, include Chemetti, Chemini, Cheminotti, Chemolli, Chemotti, Chimelli, Chiminolli and Chemuzzi. Bertoluzza cites variants appearing in documents as early as 1438. In my own research, I have found the surname Chemelli in the areas of San Lorenzo in Banale (parish of Tavodo) and Pastoedo, (parish of Tenno) back to the 1600s, Chemotti in Zuclo (parish of Tione) back to the 1700s, and Chemuzzi in the frazione of Duvredo (parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio) in the late 1400s.
ChiocchettiChiochetti; ChiochetWhile historians disagree about the origins of this surname, Ernesto Lorenzi (quoted by Aldo Bertoluzza) says the surname Chiochetti was derived from 'Cloche', the name of a locality in Val di Fassa and/or Val di Fiemme, and refers to a family who came from that locality. In support of this theory, Beroluzza cites that there was a man named 'Bonaventura de Cloche' appearing in records for that area in the year 1378.
Ciliana
CilladiCilla' (also Endrici; see below)Surname of a wealthy, noble family derived from the homonymous locality and palazzo of Cilla' in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie. Bertoluzza says the name Cilla' first appears in documents around the beginning of the 1300s, but Lorenzi, in his Dizionario Toponomastico Trentino cites a document from 1223 that mentions an 'Orlando of Cilla'. The family were famous for their military contributions, and produced several captains and colonels, as well as one general in the imperial army. A diploma dated 1304 granted the title of nobility to 'Captain Gian Maria Cilladi' and to all 'the descendants of the house of Endrici of Bono (Bono is another frazione in the parish of Bleggio)'. Bleggio historian Livio Caldera cites a document from 1307 where the Bishop Bartolomeo Querini awarded a feudal property to a Giovanni of Cilla', where he also refers to the family as 'Endrici'. This is significant, as the Cilla' family were originally known as Endrici (occasionally spelled Endrizzi), and the palazzo of Cilla' was, built by this Endrici family. In my research, I have seen the names Cilla' and Endrici used almost interchangeably in records through the early 1600s, and some Cilla' branches of the family retained 'Endrici' as a soprannome into the 1700s. Caldera suggests that the surname was derived from the head of the family (from Bono) who was named Enrico. The earliest of the Bono Endrici I have found so far is the notary Guglielmo Endrici of Bono, born around 1440. A Colonel Lodovico Onofrio of Cilla' received another title of nobility on 17 April 1571 from Massimiliano II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, as a reward for his loyalty and services rendered. As Lodovico died without having any male heirs, the title of nobility was later transferred his son-in-law, a member of the family of Manincor. The family fortune seems to have been 'up for grabs' for a while, as we find the Carmellini family residing in the palazzo through the late 1500s, and Gaspare of the noble Genetti family of Castelfondo in Val di Non moved into the palace when he married Cattarina Carmellini in 1609. Tabarelli De Fatis says the Cilla'/Cilladi surname went extinct in the second half of the 19th century, but I know via personal correspondence that it still survives amongst families who immigrated to destinations outside of province of Trento, including Piemonte and the United States.
Civetini
ClauserKlauserThe suffix '-er' is a Germanic ending indicating someone is connected to or comes from a particular place (e.g. 'Berliner' means 'someone from Berlin'). Bertoluzza says Clauser is the German equivalent of the Italian words 'dalla chiusa', which means 'of the closed', referring to a 'closed or restricted villa', and thus means 'someone from the closed villa'. However, he also says the surname is connected to the comune of Cloz (Val di Non), and that the German farmsteads above that paese were called 'Clauser'. Knowing this, my personal thought is the most obvious meaning/origin of the name is simply 'a citizen/resident of Cloz'. Another theory is it is simply derived from the German male personal name 'Klaus'. While predominantly in Val di Non, variants (which may or may not be related) appear in other parts of the province. Despite the possible Cloz connection, the Clauser have lived many centuries in Romallo in Val di Non, with many Clausers (and their fathers) mentioned in the Carta di Regola (laws/rules) for the comune of Romallo on 24 April 1598.
ColliniOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Nicolo' or Nicola, meaning 'victorious or excelling among people'. The variant 'Collini' appeas frequently in Val Rendena, especially around Pinzolo, Borzago and Spiazzo.
Colo'ColaOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Nicolo' or Nicola, meaning 'victorious or excelling among people'. Bertoluzza suggests the variant 'Cola' could indicate descendants of a female named Nicoletta, most probably inspired by Saint Nicola da Bari. I have found the version 'Colo' most frequently appearing in Preore in Val Giudicarie, and in various places in Val di Ledro.
ColognaColonia, ColognatoOriginating in Val di Non, and especially prominent in the parish of Castelfondo, Bertoluzza says the surname is probably referred to someone from a locality referred to as 'colonia' (colony), which is 'cologn' in local dialect. While Bertoluzza does not provide further insight, author and historian Donato Clementi says in the book 'Castelfondo e La Sua Storia' that this 'colony' was originally called 'Colonia Caesaris' and dates back to the Roman era. He goes on to say that the 'House of Cologna', cited in documents as early as 1404, is considered to be a very ancient family line that has from 'time immemorial' enjoyed the privileges of 'rural nobility'.
Coltura
Comina
CornellaCornela
Corradi
CrosinaCrosnaOriginally from Padova in Veneto, the Crosina are a very old ennobled family who settled in Balbido in Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) in the mid-1200s, after escaping the tyranny of Emperor Ezzelino III da Romano. There, they founded the church of Santa Giustina, one of the patron saints of Padova. A branch of the family (headed by doctor Tommaso Crosina) later moved to Trento. Some later members married into Austrian nobility. The surname comes from the word for 'cross', and the original family crest is a red cross on a white background.
DallatorreDalla Torre; Dellatorre; Della TorreOften seen as two separate words (i.e. Dalla Torre), the name means 'from the tower'. It refers to someone who was either born in a tower, or who came from a place near a tower or high structure. It appeared as early as the 1400s, and is found mostly in Val di Sole and Val di Non, especially in Ossana, Mezzana, Livinallongo, Ravina, Mezzolombardo and Vigo di Ton.
DaldosDaldoss; Dal Dos; Dal Doss; DossiThe word 'doss' is Trentino dialect for a large hill/high ground, often one on the outskirts of a village or city. There is, for example, a 'doss' along the River Adige bordering the city of Trento called 'Doss Trento'. 'Dal' is a compound preposition ('da' + 'il') meaning 'of the' or 'from the'. This prefix is seen mostly in surnames from the northern part of Italy, especially Trentino. Thus, the term 'daldoss' (dal doss, dal dos, daldos) means 'from the doss', and would originally have referred to someone who lived on or near a doss. The surname 'Dossi' also means someone who came from the doss. According to Bertoluzza, the name 'Dosso' appears in documents related to the city of Trento as early as 1183. In the rural valleys, Bertoluzza says varieties of the surname appear in Val Giudicarie, Val di Non and Val di Ledro, and says there is one 'Dal Dos' variant that has its origins from a maso (homestead) of the same name in Val Gardena. The earliest Daldos I have personally found so far is a Zanin Daldos ('Zanin' is an antiquated form of Giovanni), who was born around 1500 in the frazione of Cares (pronounced 'CAH-ress') in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie. The surname is also prominent in San Lorenzo in Banale, also in Val Giudicarie.
DalfiorDal Fior; Dalla Fior; Flores; FioreThe word 'Fior' or 'Fiore' means 'flower' in Italian (from the Latin word 'flora'). 'Dalla' is a compound preposition ('da' + 'la') meaning 'from the'. It is seen mostly in surnames from the northern part of Italy, especially Trentino. Thus, the name 'Dalfior', 'Dalla Fior' or other variants literally mean 'of the flower(s)' or 'from the flower(s)'. Bertoluzza says some authors believe it was a soprannome given to someone of affected or 'flowery' character, but he also believes it could have been derived from a place name 'fiore', or from the female name Flora/Fiore. It appears predominently in the areas around Val Giudicarie, Arco and Riva. I have found early forms in the records where the prefix is omitted, i.e. 'Fiore' or 'Flores'.
DalpiazDal Piaz; Piazzi; de Plaza; de Plazo; PiazDerived from the Italian word 'piazzo', meaning a plain or a clearing, or a plazza or square in a village. The prefix 'dal' means 'of the' or 'from the'. In all cases, the surname refers to someone who originally came from or near a plaza or some such place. The surname is found in Van di Non and Valli di Fiemme, with early forms of it (e.g. 'de Plaza', 'de Plazo', etc.) appearing as long ago as the 1200s.
DalponteDal PonteLiterally 'from the bridge', this surname refers to a family whose home was located near a bridge.
DamolinDa Molin; Dal Molin; Dalmolin; DaimoliniThis surname is actually two words: 'da' and 'molin'. 'Molin' (with the stress on the second syllable) is a truncated dialect version of the Italian word mulino/molino, meaning a mill or mill house. 'Da' is a preposition meaning 'of' or 'from'. Thus, 'da molin' means 'from the mill' or 'from the mill house'. Aldo Bertoluzza says 'damolin' refers to someone lived at (and probably owned) a mill house, rather than someone who just works at a mill. There is also a comune called Molina a few miles southwest of Daiano in Val di Non, and the name could also refer to someone who lived in that locality.
Degasperide GasperiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Gaspare' or 'Gasparo'.
Dell'AnnaDelana; Delanna
DevilliDevili; de Villi; de Vili; de Vigili; Vigili; Vili; VilliOld ennobled family, probably of Mezzolombardian origin, and possibily indicating a person employed in the imperial guard.
DominiciDomenego; Menego; Menghi; MeneghiniOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the man's personal name 'Domenico', which means 'dedicated or consecrated to God'. Because of the pronunciation in dialect, some will change the 'c' to 'g', i.e. 'Domenego'. Others will drop the first syllable, resulting in the surnames 'Menego', 'Menghi', 'Meneghini', and many other variants. While surnames with this root are widely dispersed throughout Trentino (especially in Val di Cembra, Val di Sole and Val di Non), the variants tend to be in specific places. All of the 'Dominici' I have found to date were from Romallo in Val di Non. The earliest I have found is Mattia Dominici (who would have been born no later than 1573), son of the late Graziadeo Dominici, who was present at the drafting of the 'Carta di Regola' (laws/rules) for the comune of Romallo on 24 April 1598.
DonatiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Donato', meaning 'a gift' (from God). Widely dispersed in the province, it is especially prominent in Bleggio and Lomaso (Val Giudicarie), and in Male' (Val di Sole).
Dorna
Duchi
DusiDussati; Dusini
FailoniFailoBertoluzza says he 'dares' to make a hypothesis about the origins of this surname that it might have been derived from the dialect word 'faimalon' (further shortened to 'failon'), meaning someone who is messy or careless. He says the surname originates in Val Giudicarie and Cavedine. 'Failoni' seems to be indigenous of the parish of Tione, and I have seen it in records there at least into the 1600s.
FalagiardaThis surname is a compound of two words 'fala' (or 'fare', in Italian) and 'giarda', which literally mean 'to make (the) garden'. However, in practical use, the two words together can have the meaning of someone who is fond of cracking jokes or playing pranks. Either way, the surname comes from a soprannome, perhaps referring to an actual gardener, but more likely to someone who was a bit of a practical joker. I have seen this name prominently in the parish of Tavodo (Val Giudicarie), and Bertoluzza says there was a Domenico 'Falazarda' living in Dorsino in that parish in 1466 (the letter 'z' was frequently used interchangeably for a 'gi' back then, as they were pronounced similarly, much like the 'J' in the French name 'Jacques'). He suggests 'Falaguarda' is a variant of the same name, but I am inclined to think they are unrelated.
FalaguardaThis surname is a compound of two words: 'fala' (or 'fare', in Italian) and 'guarda', which means 'a guard'. Thus, the two words together mean 'to keep guard' or 'to work as a guard'. This surname, he says, may be derived from a soprannome referring to someone who was in charge of 'keeping watch' over something/someplace. Bertoluzza says the surname originated in Val di Cembra. He suggests 'Falagiarda' is a variant of the same name, but I am inclined to think they are unrelated.
Farina
FedrizziFedrici; Federici; FedrigaOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Federigo' or 'Federico', with the meaning 'powerful in peace' or 'a lord of peace'. Bertuluzza says the original surname (Fedriga) came from Val d'Adige. Fedrizzi appears in many places in the province, including Val Giudicarie (Ragoli, Preore, Montagne, etc), Val di Non (Lona, Vigo di Ton), and the city of Trento.
FeniceFiniceFenice' is the word for a phoenix, the mythical bird said to rise from its ashes. The surname originates in Salò in the province of Brescia in Lombardia, and was brought to Rango in the present-day parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie by Benvenuto Fenice, sometime in the mid 1500s.
FerrariFrom the latin root 'ferro' for 'iron', the surname it refers to a blacksmith, usually a master of the trade. The surname is widely dispersed in various parts of the province, from Revò in Val di Non to Comano and Poia in Val Giudicarie.
Ferretini
Festi
Fina
FiorioFlorio
Floriani
FolladoriFoladori; Folin; Follador; DalfolloSurname derived from the dialect word 'foladura' for felt (as in the cloth, made from wool). Thus, the term 'follador(e)' refers to a craftsman who made felt cloth. Bertoluzza says its origins are in Val D'Adige and Valsugana, with early forms of the name appearing back to the 1300s.
FontanaFontanariThe word 'fontana' means 'fountain', but it is much more than that in daily life. Every mountain village of Trentino is built around the 'sorgente': the 'source' or the mountain spring that supplies water to the community. A fontana is more akin to what we might call a 'well' in English, except that it is wide and flat with the water at street level, rather than narrow and deep like a well. The surname Fontana is derived from a soprannome referring to a family who lived near the village fountain or spring. 'Fontanari' (another variant of this surname) was the word used to refer to the people whose job it was to take care of the fountain. Because every community has a fontana, the surname (and variants of it) are widespread throughout the province, appearing in records back to the 1200s. I have found it in Saone (Val Giudicarie) at least as far back as the early 1500s, and in Prato in San Lorenzo into the 1700s, but really it shows up in too many places throughout the province to mention here.
ForadoriThe word 'forador' is Trentino dialect for a large gimlet or drill for boring holes. The surname 'Foradori', therefore was derived from a soprannome referring to someone who either made or sold these tools. The surname originates in Val Giudicarie, most likely in Seo, and is seen there as far back as the early 1500s. A branch of the family, headed by one Giovanni Foradori of Seo, sprang up in Bono in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio sometime around 1638, possibly in the aftermath of the great plague of 1630. During the 19th century, the surname spread from the Giudicarie to other parts of the province, including Rovereto, Mezzolombardo and the city of Trento. Arguably the most well-known Foradori alive today is biodynamic winemaker, Elisabetta Foradori of Mezzolombardo.
Forelli
FormainiBertoluzza says the meaning of this surname is uncertain, but he theorises that it might be derived from the word 'formai', or 'formaggio' in Italian, which means 'cheese'. Although Bertoluzza does not suggest it, the 'ai' in the word seems to me to indicate an occupation (many words ending in 'aio' indicate an occupation), so perhaps it referred to someone who made or sold cheese. This is just my own theory, however. The surname has its origins in Val Giudicarie, specifically in the parishes of Vigo Lomaso and Santa Croce del Bleggio. The earliest document I have found so far with this surname is a 1593 marriage record between a Pietro Formaini of Lundo (Vigo Lomaso parish), son of Cristoforo, and Lucia, daughter of Blasio Farina of Balbido (Santa Croce parish). I have also seen references to Formaini who were apparently living in Santa Croce parish well before this date.
FostiniFustini; Faustini; Fausti; FaustinelliPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Fausto' or 'Faustino', with the meaning of 'truly happy and fortunate'. Bertoluzza says it originates in Val Giudicarie (it is especially common in Santa Croce del Bleggo), but variants of the surname appear widely dispersed throughout the province.
FranceschiOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Francesco'.
FranchiOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Franco', having the meaning 'courageous, ardent and free'
FranchiniOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Franco', having the meaning 'courageous, ardent and free'. The specific variant 'Franchini' is especially prominent in Bolbeno, appearing in that frazione (in Tione parish records) back to the mid-1500s.
Frerotti
Frieri
Frizzi
Furlini
Fusari
GalvagniGalvagniniPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Galvano' or 'Galvagno'. Galvagni appears in many places throughout the province, including Malè in Val di Non (at least as far back as the late 1500s), and Preore in Val Giudicarie (at least as far back as the early 1700s) and Rovereto (at least as far back as the early 1600s).
Gargnani
Gasperinide GasperiniPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Gaspare' or 'Gasparo'.
GenettiGianetti; Gianeti; Geneti; ZanettiVery old surname from Castelfondo (originally known as Melango) in Val di Non, dating back to at least the early 1400s, and still prevalent there today. It is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Gian' (Giovanni), derived from the Hebrew name 'Yohanan' meaning 'graced by God (Yahweh)'. Bertoluzza believes it is a variant of the surname 'Senettin', which has its origins in Valli di Fiemme and Fassa. Genetti family historian Louise Genetti Roach says that 1265 is generally accepted as the year in which the Castelfondo family was established, as per mention of a Giovanni and his sons as 'freemen' in the 'Codice Clesiano' (Codex of Cles). An esteemed notary named Sebastiano Genetti of Castelfondo (b. circa 1495, son of Giovanni) was ennobled on 29 April 1573 by Maximilian II (Massimiliano Secondo), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, House of Hapsburgs. One of Sebastiano's grandsons, Gaspare Genetti, migrated from Castelfondo to marry Cattarina Carmellini of Cillà in the present-day parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (Val Giudicarie), where the surname morphed into 'Zanetti' (the letter 'z' was frequently used interchangeably for a 'gi' back then, as they were probably pronounced similarly, much like the 'J' in the French name 'Jacques'). I do not yet know if present-day Zanetti lines in Val Giudicarie are descended from the Castelfondo Genetti or from a local family of that name, as Zanetti is also an independent surname in many parts of the province.
GennariJanuary (in Latin)
Germani
GhezziProbably of Lombardian origin; not a common name but can still be found scattered around Trentino, including Val Giudicarie (especially the area around Arco and Tenno) and Val di Non.
GiacomuzziOne of many surnames derived from male personal name 'Giacomo', meaning 'protected by God'. Various surnames based on this root appear as early as the 1540s, and are widely dispersed throughout the province. While predominantly in Trentino-Alto Adige, the surname Giacomuzzi also appears in other Italian regions, especially the northern regions of Friuli, Veneto and Lombardia.
Gilberti
GiordaniGiordano; Zordan; GiordanellaPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Giordano' (Jordan). Bertoluzza says the name means 'the river that flows', referring to the River Jordan of the Bible. 'Giordani' means, therefore, 'the descendants of Giordano'. In Trentino, it has its roots in Val Giudicarie, appearing in records as early as the 1200s, where it is often spelled 'Zordan' (the letter 'z' was frequently used interchangeably for a 'gi' back then, as they were pronounced similarly, much like the 'J' in the French name 'Jacques'). The earliest Giordani I have found so far is a Nicolo' Giordani of Duvredo (parish of Santa Croce) in Val Giudicarie, who was most likely born around 1520. The surname also appears in such parishes as Villalagarina, Vezzano, Lavis, Vigo Lomaso, Molveno, Pomarolo, Rovereto and Tione.
Giovanelli
Giovanna
GiulianiGiuliano; Giugliani; Juliani; ZulianiPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Giuliano' (most likely derived from the Latin name 'Julius'), meaning 'the descendants of Giuliano'. Bertoluzza says some scholars believe 'Julius' meant 'born in July' but it is my understanding that the month was named for Julius Caesar, not the other way around. Found in various parts of the province, the surname is especially common in parishes west of Lago di Garda, such as Arco, Drò and Riva del Garda, but it can also be found in places like Brentonico and Sanzeno. I have also found it in the parish of Tavodo. Bertoluzza cites an early Latin form 'Zulicanus' appearing in documents in the 1200s (the letter 'z' was frequently used interchangeably for a 'gi' back then, as they were pronounced similarly, much like the 'J' in the French name 'Jacques').
GosettiGossetti; Gosette; Gossette
GraiffGraifGermanic surname derived from the word 'greif', meaning 'griffin', i.e. the mythical birdlike creature. It is found mostly around Romeno and Fondo. See also 'Greifenberg'
Grazzi
GreifenbergGraifemberg; Graifenberg; GraifimbergGermanic surname comprised of two words: greif ('griffin', i.e. the mythical birdlike creature) and berg (mountain). Bertoluzza says that the Greifenbergs were one of three families (along with the Offer and Schweizer families) to be delegated by the noble Thun family to cultivate the lands in Caldes and Terzolas. So far, I have seen the name Greifenberg solely in Terzolas. See also 'Graiff'.
GrossiCommonly found in parish of Vigo Lomaso (formerly called "Campo"), especially in the frazione of Comano.
GuarientiVarientiThe Guarienti are a very old noble family of Trentino. The surname, sometimes spelled 'Varienti', is derived from the Latin word 'Varientus', possibly meaning 'variant' or 'varied' (but I couldn't begin to guess what the true meaning would have been). Bear in mind that the Latin 'V' was pronounced more like an England 'W' and was thus not so different from the modern pronunciation of 'Gua' (like 'guava'). According to Rauzi, the noble titles for this family came from Prince Bishop Bernardo Clesio (1484-1539), as well as from the Holy Roman Emperors Carlo V (1500-1558), Ferdinando I (1503-1564) and Carlo VI (1685-1704). During the 16th century, they were the owners of the now-ruined Castello di Seregnano near Civezzano (about 5 miles east of the city of Trento), as well as Castel Malosco, located near Fondo. Originally built at least by the 12th century, ownership of Castel Malosco was granted to the Guarienti family in 1579, and it was rebuilt by Count Gerolamo Guarienti in 1593 (one source calls him a Count; another calls him an Earl). The fresco-adorned Casa Nesler, which can still be seen today, bears the coat-of-arms of the Guarienti family from 1576. While one source points out the noble line of the 'Lords of Castel Malosco' ended with the death of Geralamo, another adds that the castle itself remained in the Guarienti family's possession until their male line died out in 1820, at which time it passed into the hands of the Austrian empire. Oddly, Bertoluzza does not include an entry for the surname Guarienti in his book, possibly because it is now extremely rare in Trentino, with only two Trentino Guarienti families (one in Caldes and one in the city of Trento) showing up on the Cognomix website. Other Guarienti appear in other northern provinces.
Guidottini
GusmerottiGosmeroPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Gosmero'. The suffix 'otti' is applied to something large in size, so 'Gusmerotti' could either mean the branch of the family was larger or more significant in some way, or their patriarch Gosmero was the older, taller or more wealthy compared to another. Most common in Bleggio, Val Giudicarie.
IoriJori; Juori; Iuori
JoriIori; Juori; Iuori
KellerCheller; Cheler; Chellari; ChelariOften spelled with a 'Ch' instead of 'K' Trentino records (written by Italian-speaking priests), the surname is actually KELLER and is of German origin. According to Bertoluzza, when it appears in Trentino, it is seen almost exclusively in Cles. In German, the word 'keller' means a cellar, specifically referring to a 'cantina' used for cold storage of foods and wine, etc. Bertoluzza says as a surname it actually means 'cantiniere', a term for someone in charge of food stores and/or catering (such as in a monastery).
LeonardiOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Leonardo', meaning 'strong and valorous like a lion'. It is found in numerous places around the province, including the city of Trento, Rovereto, Tuenno, Brez, Arco, Riva del Garda, Civezzano and various other places including Val Giudicarie. In the Giudicarie, the surname seems to have originated in Preore, with a branch migrating to Saone around the late 1700s.
Levri
Litterini
Luchesa
Lutterini
Luzzati
MaffeiBertoluzza says this name is derived from the male personal name 'Matteo', which is also seen as 'Maffeo'. While the surname appears in many places in Trentino, once branch, headed by Vincenzo Maffei, migrated to Cavrasto in Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) from Armo, Valvestino (province of Brescia in Lombardia) sometime in the late 1700s.
MaijerhofMajerhof
MalacarneLiterally 'bad meat', this surname may originally have been a soprannome given to a butcher who sold or bad meat. It is a very old surname appearing in Val Giudicarie at least since the 1500s.
MantovaniMantoan, Mantovan, Mantovanelli, MantovanelloThe surname Mantovani means 'someone who comes from Mantova', which is commonly known as 'Mantua' in English. Mantova is a city in the province of the same name, in the region of Lombardia (Lombardy). Bertoluzza says the Trentino surname originated around Arco and Riva del Garda (which are close to the border of Lombardia) and nearby areas as early as the year 1268. P. Remo Stenico cites a 'Mantovano' who was a Trentino notary as early as 1302. Bertoluzza also mentions that there is a street in the city of Trento called 'Via della Mantovana' (not far from the present-day diocesan archives), running through a locality formerly called 'La Mantovana', where a community of farmers from Mantova cultivated crops in earlier centuries. While the name has been in Trentino a long time, anyone with this surname in their family history can be assured that they have Lombardian roots via this line. Although from Venice, not Trentino, arguably the most famous Mantovani of the modern era was Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980), the light-orchestral composer most known for his 'cascading strings' and movie themes, known worldwide simply as 'Mantovani'.
Marana
MarchettiOnce of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Marco', and having the meaning of 'dedicated to Mars'.
MarchiOnce of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Marco', and having the meaning of 'dedicated to Mars'.
MarchioriMelchioriFrequently seen in its original form 'Melchiori', this surname is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Melchiore', which Bertoluzza says means 'God is my king'. It is also the name of one of the three Magi from the Bible. As with many patronymics, the name appears (in both spellings) widely dispersed in many parts of the province, and the common surname does not necessarily indicate these families are related to each other. 'Marchiori' has been prominent for many centuries in Giudicarie Esteriore, most notably in the parish of Saone, where it is still quite common. I have also found it in Campo Lomaso and Bleggio (particularly the frazione of Bivedo) in records from the 1500s, but it appears to have died out in those parishes in more recent centuries. It also has a long history in Val di Non and Val di Sole, where several noble families with this surname appear. The noble 'Melchiori' family from Cles in Val di Non is descended from a notary named Melchiore Benassuti, whose sons were ennobled in 1437, after which the family adopted the surname from their patriarch's personal name. Historian Tabarelli De Fatis theorises that the noble Melchiori family from Zuanna in Val di Sole might be a branch of that family from Cles. There is also Melchiori family (sometimes spelled Marchiori) from Moena who were ennobled in 1577. A merchant from Trento named Giovanni Pietro Marchiori and his brother Gaspare were ennobled by emperor Carlo VI in 1737, after which they adopted the suffix '(Marchiori) von Terlaghoff'.
MarcollaOnce of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Marco', and having the meaning of 'dedicated to Mars'. While the variations are widespread throughout the province, 'Marcolla' is found prominently in Val di Non, especially in Vigo di Ton.
MarconiOnce of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Marco', and having the meaning of 'dedicated to Mars'.
Maresia
MarinelliPatronymic derived from the Etruscan male name 'Marino', having the meaning 'living and/or working by the sea'. The surname Marinelli is native to Val di Non, in the Sanzeno area. It is also found in Val Giudicarie, via one Francesco Marinelli (son of Giacomo) who, circa 1749, moved from Val di Non first to Tenno, and later to the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio.
MartinelliOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Martino'.
MartiniOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Martino'.
MatelliBertoluzza says this surname is most likely derived from the dialect word 'matel', which means a boy child. Indigenous to Saone in Val Giudicarie, the name can be found in records for that parish as far back as the late 1500s. The surname also appears to a lesser degree in nearby Preore.
Mattana
MazzaBertoluzza proposes this surname is one of many derived from the root 'mazza' (meaning a 'mace', 'sledgehammer' or 'club'), appearing first in Val Giudicaire. Thus, it could have referred to a craftsman or perhaps someone engaged in the art of war. On that note, some authors have suggested that it is a soprannome, used in jest, derived from the word ammazzare, which means 'to kill' or 'to slay'. Others say it is from a male personal name 'Mazzo'. The Mazza surname is one of the earliest appearing in parish records in Val Giudicaire. An Alberto Mazza' lived (and had a family) in the frazione of Madice in the present-day parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in 1570-80s, although it is unclear if he was born there. A Segna Mazza (who was probably related to Alberto) moved from Sclemo (in San Lorenzo in Banale) to Madice by 1600, when he married Dorotea Sicheri of that village.
MazzoliMazzolli; Mazzolini; MazzolaBertoluzza proposes this surname is one of many derived from the root 'mazza' (meaning a 'mace', 'sledgehammer' or 'club'), appearing first in Val Giudicaire. Thus, it could have referred to a craftsman or perhaps someone engaged in the art of war. On that note, some authors have suggested that it is a soprannome, used in jest, derived from the word ammazzare, which means 'to kill' or 'to slay'. Others say it is from a male personal name 'Mazzo'.
MazzoniBertoluzza proposes this surname is one of many derived from the root 'mazza' (meaning a 'mace', 'sledgehammer' or 'club'), appearing first in Val Giudicarie. Thus, it could have referred to a craftsman or perhaps someone engaged in the art of war. On that note, some authors have suggested that it is a soprannome, used in jest, derived from the word ammazzare, which means 'to kill' or 'to slay'. Others say it is from a male personal name 'Mazzo'. The variant Mazzoni appears predominantly in Tione (at least as far back as the 1600s), as well as nearby parishes of Tenno, Pranzo and Bolbeno. One branch of Mazzoni arose in Cavrasto (Santa Croce del Bleggio) in the mid-1700s, when an Antonio Mazzoni from Tione married Lucia Bleggi of Cavrasto, where they apparently stayed and raised their family.
MelchioriMarchioriFrequently seen in its original form 'Melchiori', this surname is a patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Melchiore', which Bertoluzza says means 'God is my king'. It is also the name of one of the three Magi from the Bible. As with many patronymics, the name appears (in both spellings) widely dispersed in many parts of the province, and the common surname does not necessarily indicate these families are related to each other. 'Marchiori' has been prominent for many centuries in Giudicarie Esteriore, most notably in the parish of Saone, where it is still quite common. I have also found it in Campo Lomaso and Bleggio (particularly the frazione of Bivedo) in records from the 1500s, but it appears to have died out in those parishes in more recent centuries. It also has a long history in Val di Non and Val di Sole, where several noble families with this surname appear. The noble 'Melchiori' family from Cles in Val di Non is descended from a notary named Melchiore Benassuti, whose sons were ennobled in 1437, after which the family adopted the surname from their patriarch's personal name. Historian Tabarelli De Fatis theorises that the noble Melchiori family from Zuanna in Val di Sole might be a branch of that family from Cles. There is also Melchiori family (sometimes spelled Marchiori) from Moena who were ennobled in 1577. A merchant from Trento named Giovanni Pietro Marchiori and his brother Gaspare were ennobled by emperor Carlo VI in 1737, after which they adopted the suffix '(Marchiori) von Terlaghoff'.
MerliMerloThe word 'Merlo' means 'blackbird' in Italian ('Merli' is plural). As a surname it has the semantic meaning of someone who is clever or sly, as was most likely derived from a soprannome used to describe someone considered to be very crafty or ingenious. It can be found as far back as the 1200s, and is found in Val Giudicarie, Val di Ledro, Cavedine and Vezzano. Personally, I am quite sure the name 'Merlin' from traditional British legends is cognate with the same root and originally had the same meaning.
MicheliniOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Michele'.
MochenMochem; MocheniWith its origins in Dimaro and Malè, Bertoluzza says this surname was first used as a word to describe the Germanic people who settled in Valle dei Mocheni. He suggests the original place name was derived from the German word machen, which means 'to make'.
MolariMollariSurname attributed to someone who came from or near the locality of Mollaro in Val di Non. Lorenzi says it may originally have come from the root 'mole', meaning a wheel for sharpening knives (the word for knifegrinder is 'moleta').
MorelliOne of many surnames derived from the root 'mor-', meaning brown or chestnut-coloured (much like 'marrone' in modern Italian). It is cognate with the word 'More', which refers to people from the Iberian Peninsula of Muslim descent, who were typically thought to be darker skinned. Surnames based on this root most likely evolved from a soprannome originally given to someone who had a tanned or bronze complexion. Most surnames with this root are found in the southern parts of Trentino, such as Valsugana, Arco, Riva and Val Giudicarie.
MoscaIn Italian, the word 'mosca' means 'a fly' (as in the insect). The surname is most likely derived from a soprannome originally given to a person who was small in stature.
NardinNardo; Nardelli; Nardi; Nardini; Nardon; Nardoni; Nardotto; NarduzziPatronymic derived either from the male personal name 'Bernardo' or 'Leonardo', with the respective meanings 'courageous bear' or 'courageous lion'. Variants appear in many parts of the province, although 'Nardin' specifically appears mainly in Val di Cembra, especially in the parishes of Cembra, Faver and Segonzano.
NavariniNavarriniBertoluzza suggests this surname may have possibly been derived from Spanish surnames 'Navarro' and 'Navarra', from the Spanish region of Navarra. Navarra, he says, means 'a flat plain dominated by (or surrounded by) mountains'. In Trentino, the surname has its origins in Val D'Adige, and it appears as early as the 1500s in Ravina in the city of Trento. I have also found it in very old records in the parish of Piedicastello, also in the city of Trento.
NegherbonThe surname Negherbon has its origins in Val di Non and Val D'Adige. The word 'negher' is a Nones (dialect) word equivalent to the Italian word 'negro' for black/dark. 'Bon' is short for 'bono' which is the Latin word for good (it appears in many Trentino surnames). 'Negher+bon' translates into Italian as 'negro buono' in Italian, and has the meaning of someone with very dark (nearly black) hair or a dark complexion that is very pleasing. The surname goes back to the 1200s in Trentino.
NicoliniNicolodi; Nicolo'One of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Nicolo' or Nicola, meaning 'victorious or excelling among people'.
Nicolo'NicolaOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Nicolo' or Nicola, meaning 'victorious or excelling among people'. Bertoluzza suggests the variants 'Nicola' or 'Cola' could indicate descendants of a female named Nicoletta, most probably inspir
NulliNolli
OnoratiHonoraty; Honorato; HonoratiMeaning 'the honoured', Onorati is the surname of a very old ennobled family of Bono, in Bleggio, Val Giudicarie. One ennobled branch is descended from Domenico Onorati (son of Matteo, born 19 Jan 1577), who was ennobled by the Archduchess Claudia di Medici on 18 April 1643. Many were notaries and court officials, possibly going back to the 1200s.
OrlandiOrlando; OrlandoniPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Orlando', meaning 'to the glory of the country'. It is found mainly in Val Giudicarie, especially around Fiavè, Vigo Lomaso and Dorsino. I have seen the Dorsino Orlandi mentioned in the records for the parish of Tavodo back to at least the 1600s.
OttoliniThis name appears in the frazione of Cavrasto in Bleggio around the year 1600.
PainelliPainelloPatronymic derived from the obscure medieval male personal name 'Paino'. Painelli is a very old family of Duvredo, in Bleggio, Val Giudicarie. A local legend there relates a story of a Painelli beheading one of the counts of Arco, as a protest against the practice of 'prima notte'. The surname became extinct in Duvredo when the last Painelli died at the age of 100 in 2003, but it still survives amongsts descendant of American immigrants.
PalanchBertoluzza says this surname comes from the dialect word 'Palanc' for a large shovel (related to the Italian word pala). He says it originates in Val d'Adige, appearing in the city of Trento as far back as the late 1200s.
PalettiBertoluzza says Paletti is a variant of the surname 'Palanch', which comes from the dialect word 'Palanc' for a large shovel (related to the Italian word pala). Although he says 'Palanch' originates in Val d'Adige (appearing in the city of Trento as far back as the late 1200s), I have found 'Paletti' exclusively in Preore in Val Giudicarie, at least as far back as the early 1700s.
PancheriPancherA patronymic derived from a patriarch named Panchero in the 1300s, this surname originated in Val di Sole, but later became widely dispersed in Val di Non. Bertoluzza says the man's name (also spelled 'Pancherio' and 'Pancario') means 'completely graceful/charming'. Found especially in Romallo (in the parish of Revò), Samoclevo, Cis, Cles, Bresimo and Livo. The Pancheri surname appears in notary records in and around Samoclevo from 1412, and various Pancheri are named in parchments from Altaguardia from 1538 through the late 1600s. Pancheri also appear in the Carte di Regola for the villages of Romallo (1598) and Samoclevo (1618). Some branches were ennobled (there is, for example, a noble Antonio Pancheri living in Romallo in the early 1600s), but historian Gianmaria Tabarelli de Fatis says the precise date on which they received noble status is unknown. There were also many Pancheri notaries over the centuries; the earliest Pancheri notary recorded by historian P. Remo Stenico is Bartolomeo (son of Pietro and grandson of Martino/Marino Pancheri), originally from Samoclevo but later living in Romallo, whose signature appears in records as early as 1534. However, some evidence infers there may have been Pancheri notaries before this date. Family historian Gene Pancheri has been conducting an extensive genealogical and Y-DNA study of this family for many years and has co-authored a book with Andrea Pojer entitled 'Pancheri: Our Story'. Gene and I are also currently collaborating on a large-scale Pancheri research project.
Pantezza
PaoliPoli; Pouli; PolliOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Paolo'. As such, it appears widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val Rendena, Val Giudicarie, Val di Non, Valsugana and Val D'Adige.
ParisiA patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Paride' ('Paris' in Latin). It appears in many parts of the province (especially Val Giudicarie), and is also a very common surname throughout the Italian peninsula.
ParolariParolaro; Parolin; Parolini; ParoloParolari' was the old dialect word for craftsmen who made 'paioli', or copper cooking vessels, typically associated with making polenta. Additionally, the word 'paroloti' referred to coppersmiths and those who repaired paioli. Bertoluzza says the surname arose in both Val di Non and Val Giudicarie. He says the Latinised version of the surname appears in the city of Trento as early as 1441 ('Antonius Parolarius') and cites evidence of an Ambrogio Parolari(s) of Tione in 1537. In addition to these places, I have found the name in Premione back to the late 1600s, and in Seo back to the early 1700s (both in the parish of Tavodo). A colleague has also reported seeing the surname in Pomarolo (Vallagarina) in the 1500s.
PasiPasini
PasquaPascha; Pasquali; Pasqualini; Pasqui; PasquiniPasqua' is the word for Easter and is also a female personal name. The surname might have been derived from a matriarch of that name, or as a patronymic derived from the (less common) male equivalent name 'Pasquale'. Bertoluzza says its use as a surname originated in Val Giudicarie and Valsugana.
PellegrinatiPelegrinatiPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Pellegrino', meaning a (religious) pilgrim. There was a very old line of Pellegrinati in Bleggio, Val Giudicarie (mostly in Duvredo and Bivedo) dating back to at least the 1400s, but it appears to be extinct.
PelligrinoPeligrinoPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Pellegrino', meaning a (religious) pilgrim.
Pener
Penna
PerantoniA patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Perantonio', a commonly used short form of the compound name 'Pietro Antonio' ('Per' = Pietro). Thus, the surname means 'the descendants of Pietro Antonio'. This is one of hundreds of names built on the root 'Ped'/'Per', one of the most common roots of Trentino surnames.
Pernici
PetriPedri
PiazziDal Piaz; Dalpiaz; de Plaza; de Plazo; PiazDerived from the Italian word 'piazzo', meaning a plain or a clearing, or a plaza or square in a village. The prefix 'dal' means 'of the' or 'from the'. In all cases, the surname refers to someone who originally came from or near a plaza or some such place. The surname is found in Van di Non and Valli di Fiemme, with early forms of it (e.g. 'de Plaza', 'de Plazo', etc.) appearing as long ago as the 1200s.
PichlerLorenzi says this Germanic surname (and all its variants) is derived from the German word 'Eck', which evolved into 'Echen' and 'Echel'. He says it is equivalent to the Italian surname 'Dal Doss', but I have not yet found the etymological link for this. He says the name originated in Lauregno, Proves, Senale, and San Felice.
PiechenstainPiechensteinLorenzi says this Germanic surname (and all its variants) is derived from the German word 'Eck', which evolved into 'Echen' and 'Echel'. He says it is equivalent to the Italian surname 'Dal Doss', but I have not yet found the etymological link for this. He says the name originated in Lauregno, Proves, Senale, and San Felice. This variant of the name is found mostly in Val di Non, especially in Fondo and Malosco.
PizziniPiccinini, Piccini, Piccirillo, Pisin, Piz, Pizzo, PizzutiAccording to historian Aldo Bertoluzza, the surname Pizzini is derived from 'Piccinini, which is a soprannome given to someone of small physical stature or slender build. He goes on to cite linguistic historian Lorenzi, who believes this surname originates in Val Badia in the present-day province of Bolzano (also called South Tyrol). Lorenzi believes it is derived from the Ladin dialect word 'pisching', which is pronounced 'pisin', and means the same as the Italian word 'piccino' (meaning 'little'). Over time, the soft 'c' or 's' evolved into a more Italian sounding 'z'. Another theory is that it may be related to the surname 'Piz' (originating in Val di Non, with variants like Pizzi, Pizzo and Pizzuti), which comes from the male personal name Pizio or Pizo, which is a dialect word for lace or for a kind of fruit with a nut-like shell. Bertoluzza cites early versions of the surname (Picinus, Pizenino, Pizenini) appearing in records in the 1300s. Researcher and author Katia Pizzini is currently head archivist at diocesan archives of Trento. The surname Pizzini is common to two noble families: The Pizzini of Rovereto, and the Pizzini of Ala. Originally from the province of Brescia in present-day Lombardia, the Rovereto Pizzini were awarded the title of noble dignitaries in 1652 by Emperor Ferdinand III, with the predicate of 'Thürberg'. Later, in 1754, they also received the title of Barons. The stemma (coat-of-arms) of the noble Pizzini of Rovereto is an eagle clenching a carnation in each of his claws and wearing a gold crown on his head. The second Pizzini line is descended from Odorico of Castel Pizzino in Bergamasco in present-day Piemonte, who took refuge in Vallagarina in Trentino sometime before 1540 and settled in Ala around 1600. Two brothers, Francesco and Nicolo' Pizzini, received their noble title in 1714, with the predicate 'Hohenbrunn', from Emperor Carlo VI. Their stemma contains four six-pointed gold stars, three of them above, and a larger one in the middle.
Poletti
PoliPolli; Paoli; PouliOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Paolo'. As such, it appears widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val Rendena, Val Giudicarie, Val di Non, Valsugana and Val D'Adige.
Porri
PouliPaoli; Poli; PolliOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Paolo'. As such, it appears widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val Rendena, Val Giudicarie, Val di Non, Valsugana and Val D'Adige.
Prati
Pugnetti
Quarta
Ragnotti
RecchiaRecchi; ReclaBertoluzza says this surname originated in Valsugana and Val di Non, appearing in records as far back as the 1300s. He says it was originally a soprannome, derived comes from the Italian word for 'ears' (orecchie). Thus, 'Recchia', 'Recla' and all other variants refer to someone who had very prominent ears.
ReclaRecchia; RecchiBertoluzza says this surname originated in Valsugana and Val di Non, appearing in records as far back as the 1300s. He says it was originally a soprannome, derived comes from the Italian word for 'ears' (orecchie). Thus, 'Recchia', 'Recla' and all other variants refer to someone who had very prominent ears. Recla appears in many places in Trentino, mostly in the north, including the parishes of Smarano and Ronzone.
ReversiRiversi
RiccadonnaRiccadona; Ricadona; RichadonnaMeaning 'rich lady', this is a common surname in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie, especially in the frazione of Rango, where is is found as far back as the 1500s. It also appears in Val di Fiemme from the 1600s. Lorenzo believes it may be derived from the surname 'Cadonna' or 'Cadona'. Bertoluzza points out that there are early variants of the surname in records of noble families in Bologna before the year 1200.
Righi
RigottiRigattiOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male nickname 'Rigo', a diminutive form of name 'Odorico' or 'Uldarico', which itself is a derivation of the old German name 'Od-Rik'. Bertoluzza says it might also be derived from the name 'Arrigo', which has the meaning 'extremely wealthy'. Rigotti appears widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val di Non, Valle di Laghi, Valsugana and Val Giudicarie. In my own research, I have found the surname in records from Santa Croce, San Lorenzo in Banale and Tavodo parishes (Val Giudicarie) back to the 1600s, but at least one branch appears to have originated in Valsugana, with an Andrea (son of Tommaso) of Pergine, who had relocated to Stenico, and then married a woman from Cillà in Santa Croce in 1672.
RoccaRocche; Roche; Rocchi
RossiRubeis (Latin)Derived from the Italian the word 'rosso' meaning 'red', the original name could have referred to someone who had red hair or a reddish complexion. In early records you will often see the Latin form of the surname, i.e. 'Rubeis', which comes from the word 'Rubens', and has the same meaning. 'Rubeis' appears in records as early as 1,086, with Ubaldo Rubeis of Lodrone. The surname Rossi is found in many places throughout the region and in other parts of Italy.
RossattiRosatti, RossatiDerived from the Italian the word 'rosso' meaning 'red', the original name could have referred to someone who had red hair or a reddish complexion.
RuajaRuajeThis surname does not appear in any of my reference books, but I have found it many times in the parish records for Dimaro in Val di Non. The family to which it refers are said to come from the locality of Ruaie in Val di Rabbi toward the end of the 1600s. Thus, the surname in Dimaro records is most likely a designation of the family's place of origin. 'Ruaja' or 'Ruaje' also appears as a soprannome in later centuries. As a surname, it is now extinct, but it is possible it evolved into the surname 'RUATI' in the same parish.
RuattiRuatiOriginating in Val di Rabbi, this surname also shows up in Val di Sole (notably in Dimaro).
RubeisRossiOne of several surnames derived from the Latin word 'Rubens', to indicate the colour red. It could have referred to someone who had red hair or a reddish complexion. 'Rubeis' appears in records as early as 1,086, with Ubaldo Rubeis of Lodrone. The surname 'Rossi' is often written as 'Rubeis' in older records.
RubinelliOne of several surnames derived from the Latin word 'Rubens', to indicate the colour red. It could have referred to someone who had red hair or a reddish complexion. To date, I have found 'Rubinelli' exclusively in Breguzzo, going as far back as the mid-1500s.
Saggiante
SalizzoniSalizoniSurname of a very old noble family from the frazione of Cares (pronounced 'CAH-ress'), in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (Val Giudicarie). I have found them in records at least as far back as the early 1500s, and authors Tabarelli and Borelli say they were ennobled prior to the year 1500. Bertoluzza suggests the surname is derived from the name of a plant 'salcio' (I cannot find a translation for this).
SalvaterraAn ancient surname comprised of two words 'salva' (to save) and 'terra' (the earth/the land), it has the combined meaning of 'he who saves/protects the earth/land/world'. The surname shows up in many places throughout the province, with apparently no familial connection. I have found it to be especially prominent in two disparate parishes of the province: Revò in Val di Non (particularly in Romallo, the records for which were kept in Revò prior to the 20th century), and Tione in Val Giudicarie, both going back to before the beginning of the parish records. A Nicolo' Salvaterra of Tione (son of Gaspare, who was son of Antonio), was an imperial notary by 1544. P. Remo Stenico cites a 'Salvaterra' who was a notary for the Emperor Federico I (also known as Frederick Barbarossa) in 1182; Bertoluzza gives an earlier date of 1166 for this same man.
Sansoni
Santorum
Sartori
ScalfiScalfanaThe surname Scalfi appears prominently in Preore in Val Giudicarie (Giudicarie Interiore), and to a lesser degree in nearby parishes such as Saone, Ragoli, Tione and Vigo Lomaso. Bertoluzza tentatively suggests the surname might be derived from the Trentino dialect word 'scalfodro' (which means a 'scoundrel'), but I am more confident in the suggestion by Paolo Scalfi Baito in his book 'Preore in Giudicarie'. On page 48 of that book, the author says the Scalfi of Preore were known to have originally come from Valle di Scalve in the province of Bergamo in Lombardia, but they had already spent many years in Preore by the year 1658. The earliest mention of the surname I have found so far is Matteo Scalfi from the parish of Vigo Lomaso, who was most likely born around 1515, whose descendants also brought the surname to Madice (and possibly Rango) in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio.
Scalvini
ScandolaA 'scandola' (plural: scandole) was a kind of flat shingle that was, in the past, used throughout the province of Trentino to cover roofs of houses and other buildings. The word scandolari, therefore, referred to those craftsmen who made/prepared these scandole. The surname, therefore, infers someone in the family's past had the profession of a shingle maker. Bertoluzza says the surname originates in Val Giudicarie. While the variant 'Scandolari' seems to be fairly limited to the area in and around Tione, 'Scandola' appears in the parish of Ala in Vallagarina.
ScandolariA 'scandola' (plural: scandole) was a kind of flat shingle that was, in the past, used throughout the province of Trentino to cover roofs of houses and other buildings. The word scandolari, therefore, referred to those craftsmen who made/prepared these scandole. The surname, therefore, infers someone in the family's past had the profession of a shingle maker. Bertoluzza says the surname originates in Val Giudicarie, and it seems to be fairly limited to the area in and around Tione. I have found Scandolari in the records for the parish of Tione at least to the beginning of the 1700s, but it probably goes back further.
ScanzoniScansoniIn 1759, an excavation in the parish of San Stefano in Revò (Val di Non) led to the discovery of a Roman era funerary stone for a veteran named 'L. Scanzio Crescens' of the Papiria clan, an ancient patrician family that flourished between 400 B.C. and 200 A.D. Bertoluzza suggests the surname (which originates in Val di Non) is a patronymic derived from this ancient Roman personal name, and possibly from this very man. I have not yet done extensive research on this surname, but it appears prominently in the parish of Fondo at least back to the early 1700s.
SebastianiBastianiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Sebastiano'. San Sebastiano was a Catholic saint who was martyred in Rome around the end of the 2nd century. He and San Rocco are invoked by the faithful for protection against the plague.
Seia
SerafiniSeraffini; SerafinnPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Serafino', which is the name of a type of archangel. The surname is widely dispersed throughout the province. In Val Giudicarie, it has been present in Ragoli parish since before parish records began. It came to Santa Croce del Bleggio in 1685. "Serafinn" is only in North America, as the result of a name change.
Sicheri
SimoncelliPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Simone'. This variant is common around the city of Rovereto.
SottoviaThis surname is comprised of two words: 'sotto' (which means 'under' or 'below') and 'via' (which means 'way' or 'street'). Thus, the combined meaning is 'under the street', but it could also mean 'below' (such at the bottom of a hill). As a surname, it would have originally referred to a family whose house was located somewhere 'below' the road, whatever that may have pertained to in its day. Bertoluzza says the surname originates in Val Giudicarie, and indeed it seems to be indigenous and exclusive to the area in and around San Lorenzo in Banale. I haven't researched this surname extensively, but I have found it in records from San Banale back to the mid-1700s.
SperanzaThe word 'speranza' means 'hope' (more to follow).
TarolliTaroli
Tasini
TassoTassi; Taxis
TeciniThe surname Tecini is derived from the dialect verb 'tesser' ('tessere' in Italian), meaning 'to weave'. Thus, it started as a soprannome of someone who was a weaver by profession. The family were originally from Tesino in Valsugana but settled in the city of Trento before the year 1528. A branch of the family, led by an Antonio Tecini, developed in Val di Non, after having fled a terrible plague epidemic that struck the city of Trento in 1575. One branch of the family returned to Trento sometime afterwards. The Tecini were recognised as episcopal noble dignitaries in 1675 by the Prince Bishop of Trento, Sigismondo Alfonso Thun. Later, a Giovanni Antonio Tecini of Sarnonico (possibly the one born 30 July 1633, son of Salvatore and Anna) was also awarded the diploma of episcopal nobility in 1698. Their surname is sometimes seen with the suffix 'von Kreuzfeld' (in German) or 'di Campocroce' (in Italian), meaning 'field cross'. A Francesco Tecini of Sarnonico (1763-1853) was a renowned Latinist and professor of logic and metaphysics.
TerziTerza
TomasiniPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Tommaso' or 'Tomaso' (equivalent of Thomas, in English). Bertoluzza says the personal name comes from the name 'Taoma' in the Aramaic language, meaning 'twin'. Variants appear widely dispersed throughout the province. I have found the surname Tomasini in Vergonzo in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) at least as far back as the early 1500s.
TommasiTomasiPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Tommaso' or 'Tomaso' (equivalent of Thomas, in English). Bertoluzza says the personal name comes from the name 'Taoma' in the Aramaic language, meaning 'twin'. Variants appear widely dispersed throughout the province. I have not yet researched 'Tommasi' in depth, but I have so far found it in Dorsino in the parish of Tavodo (Val Giudicarie) at least as far back as the early 1700s.
TomazzoniPatronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Tommaso' or 'Tomaso' (equivalent of Thomas, in English). Bertoluzza says the personal name comes from the name 'Taoma' in the Aramaic language, meaning 'twin'. Variants appear widely dispersed throughout the province. I have found the surname Tomazzoni in Bono in the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) at least as far back as the early 1500s.
ToniniOne of many of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Antonio', and associated with S. Antonio (Saint Anthony) of Padova and/or S. Antonio Abate. Variations are widely spread throughout the province; early versions of the surname appear in records back to the 1300s. Bertoluzza says the original meaning of the name Antonio is unclear, but it was an Etruscan variant of the Latin name Antonius. The variant 'Tonini' appears prominently in the village of Fiavè' in Val Giudicarie, where I have found it in records at least as far back as the late 1600s (but it is probably much older).
Torresani
TosiTos
TrentiniTrenti
TroggioTroggi; Troggia
Turri
Valletti
Venturini
VigiliDevilli; Devili; de Villi; de Vili; de Vigili; Vili; VilliOld ennobled family, probably of Mezzolombardian origin, and possibily indicating a person employed in the imperial guard.
Vigne
VisentiniVesentin; Vesentini; Vicentin; Vicentini; Visentin; Visintin; Visintini; VisintainerDerived from a soprannome attributed to a person who originally came from either the city or the province of Vicenza in the region of Veneto. Bertoluzza says its origins as a Trentino surname are in Val d'Adige and Val Giudicarie, however, he cites a Pietro, son of Giovanni Visentini of Nanno (Val di Non) as appearing in a record dated 1536. In my own research, I have also seen surname prominently in the frazione of Amblar in the parish of Romeno (Val di Non) in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bertoluzza cites a Lorenzo Visentini of Trento as being a renowned 18th century engraver (I assume he means for illustrations in books).
VisintainerVesentin; Vesentini; Vicentin; Vicentini; Visentin; Visintin; Visintini; VisentiniFrom a soprannome attributed to someone originally from the city or the province of Vicenza. Bertoluzza says it can be found in Val d'Adige (e.g. the city of Trento) as early as the 1500s, as well as in Val Giudicarie.
ZadraAccording to Bertoluzza, 'Zadra' comes from the Veneto dialect word 'zadro', which means a piazza (plaza) in which there was a theatre. Thus, the surname would have referred to a family who lived in or near such a piazza. Although its linguistic origins tell us 'Zadra' is not originally from Trentino but from Veneto, it has existed as a surname in Val di Non for many centuries. Bertoluzza cites it in the parish of Cis back to the early 1700s, and in my own research, I have so far found it in the parish of Tres back to the beginning of the 1600s.
ZambaniniOriginally a soprannome indicating the family came from the paese of Zambana. The surname originates in Val Giudicarie, mostly in the parish of Tavodo, and dates at least as far back as the early 1500s in Stenico.
ZamboniZambonOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Giovanni. In this form, 'Giovanni' is shortened to 'Gian' (transformed to 'Zan') and then joined with the word 'bono' (meaning 'good'). The letter 'z' was often used interchangeably with 'gi' and was most likely pronounced more softly than an Italian 'z' is pronounced today (more like a French 'j' as in 'Jacques'). Linguistically, an 'n' typically changes to an 'm' before the letter 'b', as it is easier to say. The combined meaning of the word 'Zan(m) + bono' means 'Giovanni the good'. The surname Zamboni appears in places as far from each other as Tione and San Lorenzo in Banale (in Val Giudicarie), Arsio-Brez (in Val di Non), and Vezzano (in Valle dei Laghi). A Luigi Zamboni from Vezzano married a woman from Cavrasto in Santa Croce del Bleggio in Val Giudicarie in 1793, starting a new branch of this surname there. The Trentino-American entrepreneur Frank J. Zamboni (1901-1988) is famed for inventing the 'Zamboni' resurfacing machine used on ice rinks. Other examples of this linguistic combination and meaning are the surnames Zambotti in Castelfondo (Val di Non) and in Fiavè (Val Giudicarie), and Zambanini (in Tavodo parish, Val Giudicarie).
ZambottiOne of dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Giovanni. In this form, 'Giovanni' is shortened to 'Gian' (transformed to 'Zan') and then joined with the word 'bono' (meaning 'good'). The letter 'z' was often used interchangeably with 'gi' and was most likely pronounced more softly than an Italian 'z' is pronounced today (more like a French 'j' as in 'Jacques'). Linguistically, an 'n' typically changes to an 'm' before the letter 'b', as it is easier to say. The combined meaning of the word 'Zan(m) + bono' means 'Giovanni the good'. The combined meaning of the word 'Zan(m) + bono' means 'Giovanni the good'. Another example of this combination is the surname Zamboni. Zambotti appears in places as far from each other as Castelfondo (Val di Non) and Fiave' (Val Giudicarie), but the Castelfondo family are said to have originated in Fiave'.
ZanellaOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name Giovanni. In this form, 'Giovanni' is shortened to 'Gian' (transformed to 'Zan'). The letter 'z' was often used interchangeably with 'gi' and was most likely pronounced more softly than an Italian 'z' is pronounced today (more like a French 'j' as in 'Jacques'). 'Zanella' appears in many parts of the province, but is especially prominent in Magras and Malè in Val di Sole.
ZanettiZanetiOne of many dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the root 'Zan', which is an alternative spelling of the male personal name Gian (i.e. Giovanni). You will often see 'Z' and 'Gi' treated interchangeably in Trentino names, as they were pronounced similarly, and probably sounded more like the letter 'J' in the French name 'Jacques'. The man's name comes from the Hebrew word 'Johanen' which means 'gift of the Lord'. In Val Giudicarie this spelling was sometimes used for the GENETTI family, who were originally from Castelfondo in Val di Non, although the surname may have existed as 'Zanetti' prior to the arrival of a Castelfondo Genetti in 1609.
ZanolliZanolliOne of many dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the root 'Zan', which is an alternative spelling of the male personal name Gian (i.e. Giovanni). You will often see 'Z' and 'Gi' treated interchangeably in Trentino names, as they were (in the past) pronounced similarly, and probably sounded more like the letter 'J' in the French name 'Jean/Jeanne'. The man's name comes from the Hebrew word 'Johanen' which means 'gift of the Lord'. The version 'Zanolli' appears prominently in and around the area of Tenno in Val Giudicarie.
ZanoniZannoniOne of many dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the root 'Zan', which is an alternative spelling of the male personal name Giovanni (shortened to 'Gian'), derived from the Hebrew name 'Yohanan' meaning 'graced by God (Yahweh)'. You will often see 'z' and 'gi' used interchangeably in Trentino names, as they were (in the past) pronounced similarly, possibly more like the 'J' in the French name 'Jacques' than a modern Italian 'z'. The version 'Zanoni' appears prominently in and around the areas around Lake Garda, such as Riva, Arco, Tenno and Cologna, as well as in Vigo Lomaso in Val Giudicarie, and places much further north, such as Cles and Cloz in Val di Non. There were many Zanoni notaries throughout the centuries, most prominently from Vigo Lomaso, Tenno and Arco. The earliest Zanoni notary cited by P. Remo Stenico was Antonio Zanoni of Vigo Lomaso, son of Giovanni, whose signature appears in the pergamene (parchments) for San Lorenzo in Banale as early as 1452, and whose son Nicolo' apparently followed in his footsteps by 1477.
ZeniOne of many patronymic surnames derived from the male personal name 'Zeno' or 'Zenone', with the meaning 'gift of Zeus'. The surname Zeni appears in numerous places throughout the province. To date I have found it as far back as the late 1500s in the villages of Poia (Vigo Lomaso parish) and Fiavè.
ZiniBertuluzza says this surname is derived from the male personal name Zino (or Azzino), and that it appears in Cavareno records at least as far back as the 1530s. While he says the name is native to Cavareno, other sources tell us the Zini family (also called 'Zini di Zinaburg') were orginally from Moravia, and were already an ancient, noble family, powerful and rich in both land and castles, when they moved to Trentino sometime in the 15th century. For more information about this, see the books 'Cavareno: spunti di paesaggio di storia e di vita' (1967) by Cristoforo Endrizzi, and 'Stemmi e Notizie di Famiglie Trentine' (2005) by Gianmaria Tabarelli de Fati and Luciano Borrelli.
ZoanettiOne of many dozens of patronymic surnames derived from the root 'Zan', which is an alternative spelling of the male personal name Gian (i.e. Giovanni). You will often see 'Z' and 'Gi' treated interchangeably in Trentino names, as they were (in the past) pronounced similarly, and probably sounded more like the letter 'J' in the French name 'Jean/Jeanne'. The man's name comes from the Hebrew word 'Johanen' which means 'gift of the Lord'. The specific version 'Zoanetti' appears mainly in and around the Tione area, especially in around Zuclo, where I have found it in records as far back as the late 1500s.
Zocchio
ZucalZucol; Zucoli; Zuccoli
Zuchelli
Zurla

Ancestry, family trees, research, translations, genealogy advice for those with ancestors from the province of Trento, Italy (formerly Tyrol, Austria)