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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Italian, Spanish

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

From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Catalan. 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 are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most traditional type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, local surnames are also found. Local names, which are the least frequent of the major types of surnames found in Italy, are derived from a place-name where the original bearer once resided or held land. Often Italian local surnames bore the prefix "di," which signifies emigration from one place to another, but does not necessarily denote nobility. The Catalan family lived in Bologna, where a member of the Catalano family was a military Commander in 1200.


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 Catalan include Catalano, Catalani, Catalàn, Catelani, Catalanotto and many more.

First found in Bologna (Latin: Bononia), where a member of the Catalano family was a military commander in 1200.


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


Another 207 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Catalan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Catalan:

  • Juan Catalan emigrated to Nombre de Dios, Panama in 1535
  • Anton Catalan settled in the Spanish Main in 1549

Catalan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Antonio Catalan, who arrived in America in 1814
  • Gonzalo Catalan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1834
  • Juan Catalan, who landed in Nombre de Dios, Panama in 1835
  • Pedro Catalan, who arrived in New Spain in 1836
  • Francisco Catalan, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1845


  • Eugène Charles Catalan (1814-1894), French and Belgian mathematician


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  1. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
  5. Di Crollalanza, G.B. Dizionario Storico-Blasonico Delle Famiglie Nobili e Notabili Italiane 3 volumes. Pisa. Print.
  6. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
  7. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Battilana, Natale, Ed. Genealogie Dello Famiglie Nobili di Genova. Genova: Fratelli Pagano, 1825. Print.
  10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Catalan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Catalan 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 14 January 2013 at 07:59.

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