From the historical and fascinating Italian region of Venice
emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Balla family. 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. Although 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, the nickname
type of surname is also frequently found. Nickname
surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Balla came from a person who was nicknamed a "rascal" deriving its origin from the Italian word balosso.
Early Origins of the Balla family
The surname Balla was first found in where the Ballone branch of the family date back to the 11th century.
Early History of the Balla family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balla research. More information is included under the topic Early Balla History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Balla Spelling Variations
Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms in comparison with other European surnames because they reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each of which has its distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the most standard Italian surname suffix is "I", whereas in Southern Italy the most typical surname suffix is "O". Sardinian is very different from other forms of Italian and in fact, it is considered to be its own distinct language. Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes, church officials, and the bearers of names, spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. As a consequence of the major changes in the Italian language and in the local
spellings of Italian surnames that occurred over the course of history, there are numerous variations for the surname Balla. These spelling variations
include Balli, Ballo, Balla, Balletti, Balletto, Ballini, Ballotti, Balloni, Ballone, Ballon, Ballandi, Ballanti, Ballante, Ballantini, Balleri, Ballero, Ballerini, Ballerino, Ballarini, Ballarin, Ballaro, Ballatore, Balladore, Ballacchi, Ballada, Ballai, Ballardi, Bellarini, Ballaroto, Ballonio, Ballotta and many more.
Early Notables of the Balla family (pre 1700)
Prominent among bearers of this family in early times was Guido Ballacchi, a Bishop of Rimini in 1278, and Lorenzo Ballacchi, who took the position in 1301; in 1398 Giacomo and Lorenzo Ballo were Barons of Avola in Sicily; in 1403 Giacomo and Agostino Balliani were councillors of Casale; Francesco and Giacomo Balliani were made counts in 1469 and their ancestor Antonio Balliani later took the title... Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balla Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balla family to the New World and Oceana
Ballas were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Alfonso Balletti, aged 32, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Licata, Italy, in 1920; Angelo Balletti, aged 23, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Licata, Girgentii, in 1913.
Contemporary Notables of the name Balla (post 1700)
- Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), Italian artist
- Jean-Marie Benoît Balla (1959-2017), Cameroonian Roman Catholic prelate, Bishop of Bafia (2003-2017)
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