Trentino Surnames – Searchable Database

Surnames of Trentino - Cognomi di Trentino
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 Guida ai Cognomi del Trentino by Aldo Bertoluzza, various works by linguistic historian Ernesto Lorenzi in the early part of the 20th century, and (for noble families) Araldica Tridentina by Gian Maria Rauzi. All of these books are in Italian; for the sake of my English-speaking readers, I have translated and summarised key points in the table.

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), Carte di Regola (official laws of the comuni), notary documents, lists of diplomas of nobility, and other various source.

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, AndrighiPatronymic surname derived from the Germanic personal name 'Aldrigo' (sometimes seen as 'Adelrico'). It appear in Val D'Adige at least as early as the mid 1700s.
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).
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.
AntoniniOne of dozens patronymics derived from the male personal name 'Antonio'.
AntoniolloOne of dozens patronymics derived from the male personal name 'Antonio'.
AppolloniAppoloni
Appolloni
Approvini
Ariasi
Arlanch
Armanelli
ArmaniPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Armano' or 'Armando'. 'Armani' appears in many parts of the province.
ArmaniniPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Armano' or 'Armando'. The surname 'Armanini' appears frequently in Premione in 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.
ArtiniFound in Tione in Val Giudicarie.
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
Battochi
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.
Bella
BellottiBelotti
Beltrami
BenasuttiBennassuti; Benassuti
BeniniBenigniThe Benini were originally from Fiave' in Val Giudicarie. Toward the end of the 18th century, a branch of the Fiave' family changed the spelling of the surname to Benigni when they moved to Seo in the parish of Tavodo.
BenvenutiBenevenuti
Berasi
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.
Bertarelli
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.
Bombarda
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 arouse 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 arouse 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
Bressani
Briosi
BrocchettiBrochetti
BrunatiBrunatti
Brunelli
Buffi
Buoninsegna
BurratiBurratti; Buratti
Caldera
Caldonazzi
CaliariCalliari; Caligliari; Caliary
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
CaturanaCatarana; Chatarana
CavadinoCavalino; Cavadini
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.
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
Cilla' Cilla; Cilladi
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.
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.
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
DalfiorDal Fior
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
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
Fontana
Foradori
Forelli
Formaini
Fostini
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'.
GenettiVery old surname from Castelfondo in Val di Non. A patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Gian' (Giovanni). Sebastiano Genetti of Castelfondo was ennobled on 29 April 1573 by Maximilian II (Massimiliano Secondo), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, House of Hapsburgs.
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
Giordani
Giovanelli
Giovanna
GiulianiJulianiDerived from the male personal name 'Giuliano', and meaning 'the descendants of Giuliano'. Found in various parts of the province, and especially common in parish of Drò; often from the frazione of Ceniga.
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.
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. The surname appears in many parts of Trentino, and not all of them are related to each other. The surname ‘Melchiori’ is common to two noble families: one from Cles in Val di Non, and one from Zuanna in Val di Sole. The spelling ‘Marchiori’ appears prominently in Saone in Val Giudicarie.
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
Mazza
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. The surname appears in many parts of Trentino, and not all of them are related to each other. The surname ‘Melchiori’ is common to two noble families: one from Cles in Val di Non, and one from Zuanna in Val di Sole. The spelling ‘Marchiori’ appears prominently in Saone in Val Giudicarie.
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.
Nardin
NavariniVery old name in the parish of Piedicastello, in the city of Trento
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
Nulli
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.
OrlandiPatronymic derived from the male personal name 'Orlando', meaning 'to the glory of the country'. It is found mainly in Val Giudicaire, especially around Fiave' and Vigo Lomaso.
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.
PancheriA 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. Found especially in Romallo (Revò), Samoclevo, Cis, Cles, Bresimo and Livo. Some branches were ennobled, and there were also several notaries. Members of the Pancheri family are named in parchments from Altaguardia in the 1400s, and in the Carta di Regola for the village of Romallo in 1598.
Pantezza
PaoliPoli; Pouli
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.
PasiPasini
PasquaPascha
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
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.
Poletti
PoliPaoli; Pouli
Porri
PouliPaoli; Poli
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
Riccadonna
Righi
Rigotti
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
SalizzoniSalizoni
SalvaterraComprised 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 is especially prominent in two disparate parts of the province: Revò in Val di Non, and Tione in Val Giudicarie. So far, these seem to be independent appearances of the surname, with no apparent familial connection.
Sansoni
Santorum
Sartori
ScalfiThe 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
Scanzoni
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
SimoncelliCommon around Rovereto
Sottovia
Speranza
TarolliTaroli
Tasini
TassoTassi; Taxis
Terzi
Tomasini
Tonini
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
Zadra
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.
ZamboniZambon
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 (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’. In Val Giudicarie this spelling was sometimes used for the GENETTI family, who were originally from Castelfondo in Val di Non.
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.
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.
ZiniA very old noble family from Cavareno in the parish of Sarnonico.
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

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