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

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

The distinguished surname Petrillo can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt 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 were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice 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 Petrillo came from the personal name Pietro, or Peter, which is itself derived from the Greek word petrus meaning rock.

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In comparison with other European surnames, Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms. They reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each with its own distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the typical Italian surname suffix is "i", whereas in Southern Italy it is "o". Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. The spelling variations in the name Petrillo include Pietri, Petri, Petris, Pedri, Pieri, Pero, Pierri, Pierro, Perris, Peire, Peiro, Peyro, De Pietri, De Pietro, Di Pietro, Di Pietro, De Petris, De Pero, Depero, Di Pierro, Petrich, Petric, Petrovich, Petrovic, Perich and many more.

First found in the city of Pavia, where records are found in 1040 with Manfredi and Arizzone Pietra, feudal Lords of the territories of Pietra, Bissone, and Costa.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petrillo research. More information is included under the topic Early Petrillo History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 483 words(34 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petrillo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Petrillo were Joseph Dipietro, who was a soldier Naturalized at Camp Pike, Arkansas in 1918, a Pieretto who arrived in New Orleans in 1822 at the age of 23, Lina Petri, who settled in Texas in 1861, Luigi Dipieto, who was Naturalized in Chautauqua County, New York in 1906, and August Petronella, who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1868.

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  • James Caesar Petrillo (1892-1984), American labor leader, president of the American Federation of Musicians (1940-1958), eponym of the James C. Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Chicago
  • Sammy Petrillo (1934-2009), born Sammy Patrello, American nightclub and movie comedian, best known as a Jerry Lewis lookalike
  • Ferdinando De Petrillo (b. 1904), Italian boxer
  • Alessio De Petrillo (b. 1967), retired Italian football player
  • Luigi Petrillo (1903-1964), Italian modern pentathlete who competed at the 1928 Summer Olympics


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  1. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana 56 volumesr. Print.
  2. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
  3. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
  4. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
  5. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial Général by J.B. Rietstap. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today, 1967. Print. (ISBN 0-0900455-209).
  6. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
  7. Battilana, Natale, Ed. Genealogie Dello Famiglie Nobili di Genova. Genova: Fratelli Pagano, 1825. Print.
  8. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
  9. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Petrillo Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Petrillo 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 10 March 2014 at 19:37.

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