Catalani History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Catalani. 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 Catalani family lived in Bologna, where a member of the Catalano family was a military Commander in 1200.

Early Origins of the Catalani family

The surname Catalani was first found in Bologna (Latin: Bononia), where a member of the Catalano family was a military commander in 1200. One of the earliest records of the family was Jordanus Catalani ( fl. c. 1321-1330), French Dominican missionary and explorer in Asia known for his Mirabilia describing the marvels of the East. He was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quilon, the first Catholic diocese in India.

Important Dates for the Catalani family

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

Catalani Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Catalani family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the family was Carlo Catalan of Cagliari, who was a nobleman and was given the investiture of the reign of Sardinia by Pope Boniface VIII in the 13th century. Ottavio Catalani was a talented organist in 1550. Antonio Catalano also called Catalani or il Siciliano, (1560-1630) was an Italian painter of the late- Renaissance and early-Baroque periods. He was born in Messina, Sicily, where he probably received some training from his father Antonio Catalano the Elder. Antonio Catalani also called Il Romano (c. 1596-1666 ) was...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Catalani Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Catalani migration to the United States

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

Catalani Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Filippo Sabatini Catalani, aged 5, who landed in America from Mombaroccio, Italy, in 1904
  • Elia Catalani, aged 32, who settled in America from Norma, Roma, in 1909
  • Alfonso Catalani, aged 40, who landed in America from Rocco S. Maria, Italy, in 1910
  • Angelo Catalani, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States from Tomta D Simialea, Italy, in 1910
  • Clemente Catalani, aged 29, who landed in America from Norma, Italy, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Catalani (post 1700)

  • Angelica Catalani (1780-1849), Italian opera singer
  • Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893), Italian operatic composer, best known for his operas Loreley (1890) and La Wally (1892)
  • Adelina Catalani (1818-1832), Franco-Italian soprano
  • Antonio Catalani Siciliano (1560-1630), Italian painter of the late- Renaissance and early- Baroque periods
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