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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Italian

Where did the Italian Durso family come from? What is the Italian Durso family crest and coat of arms? When did the Durso family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Durso family history?

The distinguished surname Durso originated in an area of Italy, known as the Papal States. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adapt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most traditional type of family name found in the region of the Papal States is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Durso came from the name Orso, which is derived from the Latin name Ursus, meaning bear.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Orsi, Orso, Ursi, Urso, Dorso, Ursich, Ursic, Orselli, Orsetti, Orsatti, Ursini, Ursino, Orsoni and many more.

First found in Forli (Latin: Forum Livii), a comune and city in Emilia-Romagna, capital of the province of Forli-Cesena. The Church of S. Mercuriale is notable. In those ancient times only persons of rank, the podesta, clergy, city officials, army officers, artists, landowners were entered into the records. To be recorded at this time was in itself a family honor.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Durso research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1520, 1725, 1328, 1598, 1650 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Durso History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Durso Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Juanni Francesco Orsi, who was naturalized in Mississippi in 1891.

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  • Robert Durso (b. 1959), Italian-American pianist
  • Joseph P. Durso (1924-2004), American sportswriter
  • Joe Durso (b. 1955), American handball player
  • Barbara D'Urso (b. 1957), Italian television host and actress
  • Giuseppe D'Urso (b. 1969), former Italian 800 metres runner
  • Andrew Paul D'Urso (b. 1963), English football referee


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
  5. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
  6. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
  7. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. Finding Italian Roots The Complete Guide for Americans. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2003. Print.
  9. Guelfi Camajani, Piero. Dizionario Araldico 1940 Reprint Arnoaldo Forni. Milan: 1978. Print.
  10. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana 56 volumesr. Print.
  11. ...

The Durso Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Durso Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 October 2013 at 13:07.

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