The distinguished surname Benelli 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 Benelli came from the Italian personal name
"Beno." Further research showed the name was derived from the Latin word bene which means well, in good health.
Early Origins of the Benelli family
Benelli Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Beni, Bene, Del Bene, Benelli, Benella, Benini, Benigni, Benucci, Benuzzi, Benussi, Benocci, Benozzi, Benolli, Benoli, Benotti, Benotto, Benoni, Benone, Benacci, Benassi, Benazzi, Benazzoli, Benacchio, Benaglio, Benaglia, Benanti, Benati, Benato, Bennato and many more.
Contemporary Notables of the name Benelli (post 1700)
- Sem Benelli (1877-1949), Italian dramatist