Medieval Naming Guides: Italian

Italian Names

Italy acquired a standard language only in the 19th century. Even today, very distinct dialects of Italian remain in common use. We have grouped our name lists into three sections: northern, central, and southern. You can look at a more detailed map of the primary dialects of Italy.

General Information

Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 3052
Discusses the names of married women in the fifteenth or sixteenth century in several different parts of Italy.

Surnames from a 16th-Century Italian Armorial, by Coblaith Muimnech
An index of surnames from 25 Italian cities, Ancona, Arezzo, Bologna, Cortona, Ferrara, Florence, Genoa, Lucca, Mantua, Milan, Naples, Padua, Perugia, Pesaro, Pisa, Pistoia, Rome, Sansepolcro, Siena, Urbino, Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Viterbo, and Volterra.

Northern Italian Names

Names from the Chronicon Spilimbergense, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
Names from a short Latin chronicle covering the 13th to 15th C. Not all of the people recorded in the chronicle are ethnically Italian.

Fourteenth Century Venetian Personal Names, by Arval Benicoeur and Talan Gwynek

Italian names from Imola, 1312, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Men's and women's given names from a tax roll written in Latin.

Fifteenth Century Venetian Masculine Names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A couple of hundred names of Venetian noblemen.

15th Century Italian Men's Names from Pavia and Ferrara, by Talan Gwynek
Two lists of names from mid-15th century documents.

Milanese Notaries 1396-1635, by Maridonna Benvenuti
A short list of masculine names.

15th & 16th Century Names from Trieste, by Maridonna Benvenuti.
A collection of names from Trieste, mostly masculine but a few feminine.

A Sample of Jewish Names in Milan 1540-1570, by Yehoshua ben Haim haYerushalmi
Several dozen full names, mostly masculine but a few feminine.

Names from Sixteenth Century Venice, by Juliana de Luna
Masculine and feminine names and bynames from 16th and early 17th C records.

Late Period Italian Women's Names, by Juliana de Luna.
Drawing on lists of nuns and other people mentioned in religious records, this article covers secular and religious names of women from Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome.

Personal Names from Early 17th C Bar, Montenegro, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
Bar was under the control of Venice during the 15th and 16th C, and the names in this article, which are taken from Latin records, show Italian influences. However, not all of the names will be appropriate for people originally from Italy.

Central Italian Names

Masculine Names from Thirteenth Century Pisa, by Juliana de Luna
An excellent analysis of more than 4000 masculine names that appear in an alliance signed in 1228, as transcribed by Enrica Salvatori.

Feminine Names from Thirteenth Century Perugia, by Arval Benicoeur
An analysis of 612 names from a 1285 census of this city in central Italy.

Italian Names from the Online Tratte of Office Holders 1282-1532, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
An index of masculine given names and surnames from the following source, sorted by frequency with variant forms grouped together.

Florentine Renaissance Resources: Online Tratte of Office Holders 1282-1532, edited by David Herlihy, R. Burr Litchfield, and Anthony Molho.
A scholarly study of masculine names recorded in government documents. It includes a list of given names and a list of family names, both with frequency counts; and a discussion of names that includes notes on naming customs in this period as well as explanation of the editors' methodology in preparing this database. They also give a list of place names mentioned in their data. Note that all names are truncated to 11 characters. While it is easy to complete some of them (e.g. Baldovinett and Antonfrance represent Baldovinetto and Antonfranceso), not all of them are obvious. Note also that the editors have translated Latinized names to standard Italian forms, and chosen one spelling for each name. They list variant forms of given names and family names; the former includes diminutitives and the latter includes alternate surnames used by the same family.

Italian Names from 1364 and 1441, by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada
An analysis of the names of 64 men and 1 woman from the statutes of two Renaissance confraternities.

Names from Arezzo, Italy, 1386-1528, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
The names of 271 men, officers of the city, with an analysis of naming customs.

Italian Renaissance Men's Names, by Ferrante LaVolpe.
Over 8000 men's names from the Catasto (census) of Florence taken in the years 1427-1429 sorted alphabetically and by frequency of use. Given names and patronymics are listed. The author worked from the Online Catasto of 1427. The full database is available at that site with an SQL interface. The authors have provided an index of family names appearing in the database.

Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427, by Arval Benicoeur
An index based on the same database as the previous article, with the names sorted by frequency and alphabetically.

Names in 15th Century Florence and her Dominions: the Condado, by Juliana de Luna
An index based on the data from the Catasto of 1427 compiled by David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber.

Italian Masculine Given Names from 15th- and 16th-century Viterbo, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael

Early 15th-Early 17th C Italian Names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of merchants, money changers, ship captains, and translators.

Names of 15th-early 17th C Italian Jewish Men, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of Jewish merchants living in Italian-held cities in Turkey and Cyprus.

Late Period Italian Women's Names, by Juliana de Luna.
Drawing on lists of nuns and other people mentioned in religious records, this article covers secular and religious names of women from Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome.

Southern Italian Names

A handful of early southern Italian feminine names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of women recorded in charters from southern Italy in the 9th through 11th centuries.

Jewish Names from 9th C Venosa, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of men and women. The forms have been modernized.

South Italian Names from the Norman Kingdom, 11th-12th Centuries, by Giano Balestriere
A collection of men's and women's names from Latin records from southern Italy. The bynames have in many cases been partially translated, but the data still provides information about both given names and name patterns.

Names from 15th Century Naples, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Names of men and women found in tax documents written in Latin.

1800 Surnames Recorded in 1447, by N.F. Faraglia
A list of surnames from the Sangro valley, taken from a census ordered by the King of Naples.

Italian Men's Names in Rome, 1473-1484, by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
A very detailed analysis of names and name construction in a couple hundred Italian masculine names. The main page leads the reader through a guide on how to construct names. For researchers, a more useful entry is the table of contents.

Names from an Early 16th C Census of Rome, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
This work in progress article contains frequential lists of masculine and feminine given names, an incomplete alphabetical list of bynames, and information about household names.

Names of Jews in Rome In the 1550's, by Yehoshua ben Haim haYerushalmi
An analysis of several hundred Jewish men's and women's given names from mid-16th century court records. The article also includes a short list of Christian men and women mentioned in these records.

16th and Early 17th C. Southern Italian Nicknames, by Maridonna Benvenuti.
A collection of Calabrese nicknames, mostly from the 16th and early 17th C, but some earlier.

Late Period Italian Women's Names, by Juliana de Luna.
Drawing on lists of nuns and other people mentioned in religious records, this article covers secular and religious names of women from Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome.

Maltese Names

Maltese Names from Attard, 1499 and 1502, by Constanza of Thamesreach.
A very small list of 7 masculine names from a Latin record from Malta.

Names from Switzerland
See also French and German, as appropriate.


The Medieval Names Archive is published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel and Sara L. Uckelman. It was historically published by Joshua Mittleman.
© 1997-2013. Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/italian.shtml