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.
- 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.
|Surname||Variations and Alternative Spellings||Notes|
|Agosti||Agostini; Agostinelli; D'Agostin; Dagostin||Patronymic 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.|
|Albertini||One 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.|
|Aldrighetti||Aldrighetto, Andrighi||Patronymic 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.|
|Aliprandini||Aliprandi||The 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.|
|Aloisi||Patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Aloisio' or 'Aloyisius', which is the earlier Latin form of the name 'Luigi'.|
|Altenburger||Aitempergher; Altempergher; Altimpergher; Altembergher; Altimburger; others||Of 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.|
|Amadei||Amadio||Patronymic 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).|
|Andreolli||Andreoli, Andreollo||Patronymic 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).|
|Angelini||Angeli||Patronymic derived from the male personal name 'Angelo', meaning 'angel'. Widely dispersed throughout the province, including Val di Sole and the Arco/Drò areas.|
|Arnoldo||Arnoldi||Derived from the male personal name Arnaldo, its origins lie in Val di Non, and appears in places like Cles, Revò and Tuenno.|
|Ballardini||A 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'.|
|Bastiani||Sebastiani||Patronymic 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.|
|Benini||Benigni||The 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.|
|Bertagnoli||Bertagnolli||One 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.|
|Berte||Berti||One 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.|
|Bertelli||One 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'.|
|Berti||Berte||One 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.|
|Bertolini||One 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.|
|Bezzi||Bez||Originating 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.|
|Bisota||Bisotta; Bisotti||Not of Trentini origin, and most likely from Venezia; links to ennobled family; extinct in Trentino today|
|Bleggi||Very old, influential family of Bleggio, Val Giudicarie. Strong presence in Tignerone, Cilla' and Sesto.|
|Bonadiman||One 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.|
|Bonavida||One 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'.|
|Boni||One 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)|
|Bonomi||Bonami; Bonomo||One 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.|
|Caliari||Calliari; Caligliari; Caliary|
|Calovi||Calovin; Calovini||Bertoluzza 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.|
|Canestrini||Derived 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.|
|Cheller||Keller; Cheler; Chellari; Chelari||See 'Keller'|
|Chiocchetti||Chiochetti; Chiochet||While 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.|
|Clauser||Klauser||The 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.|
|Crosina||Crosna||Originally from Padova in Veneto, the Crosina are a very old ennobled family who settled in Balbido in Bleggio (Val Giudicarie) in the mid-1200s.|
|Daldos||Daldoss; Dal Dos; Dal Doss|
|Damolin||Da Molin; Dal Molin; Dalmolin; Daimolini||This 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.|
|Devilli||Devili; de Villi; de Vili; de Vigili; Vigili; Vili; Villi||Old ennobled family, probably of Mezzolombardian origin, and possibily indicating a person employed in the imperial guard.|
|Dominici||Domenego; Menego; Menghi; Meneghini||One 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.|
|Donati||Patronymic 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).|
|Ferrari||From 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.|
|Genetti||Very 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.|
|Gennari||January (in Latin)|
|Ghezzi||Probably of Lombardian origin; not a common name but can still be found scattered around Trentino|
|Giacomuzzi||One 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.|
|Giuliani||Juliani||Derived 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.|
|Gosetti||Gossetti; Gosette; Gossette|
|Grossi||Commonly found in parish of Vigo Lomaso (formerly called "Campo"), especially in the frazione of Comano.|
|Guarienti||Varienti||The 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.|
|Gusmerotti||Gosmero||Patronymic 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.|
|Iori||Jori; Juori; Iuori|
|Jori||Iori; Juori; Iuori|
|Keller||Cheller; Cheler; Chellari; Chelari||Often 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).|
|Maffei||Originally of Lombardian origin.|
|Navarini||Very old name in the parish of Piedicastello, in the city of Trento|
|Onorati||Honoraty; Honorato; Honorati||Very old ennobled family of Bono, in Bleggio, Val Giudicarie. Many were notaries going back well before parish records began.|
|Ottolini||Although not on the tree yet, this name appears in the frazione of Cavrasto in Bleggio around the year 1600.|
|Painelli||Painello||Patronymic 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.|
|Pancheri||A 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.|
|Parisi||A 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.|
|Pellegrinati||Pelegrinati||Patronymic 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.|
|Pelligrino||Peligrino||Patronymic surname derived from the male personal name 'Pellegrino', meaning a (religious) pilgrim.|
|Perantoni||A 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.|
|Rocca||Rocche; Roche; Rocchi|
|Salvaterra||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 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.|
|Sebastiani||Bastiani||Patronymic 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.|
|Serafini||Seraffini; Serafinn||Patronymic 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.|
|Simoncelli||Common around Rovereto|
|Vigili||Devilli; Devili; de Villi; de Vili; de Vigili; Vili; Villi||Old ennobled family, probably of Mezzolombardian origin, and possibily indicating a person employed in the imperial guard.|
|Zanetti||Zaneti||Derived from the male personal name 'Zan' (a short form of 'Gian' or 'Giovanni'). Some families with this surname in Val Giudicarie were originally 'Genetti' from Castelfondo in Val di Non.|