The surname Cotugno was first found in Taranto a seaport in Apulia and capital of the province of Lecce. It is situated on a rocky island in the Gulf of Tranto. The cathedral is dedicated to an Irish Bishop San Cataldo. It has been completely modernized but has a crypt of the 6th century. There is a fine collection of relics in San Pasquale museum, formerly a convent. In those ancient times only persons of rank, the podesta, clergy, city officials, army officers, artists, landowners were entered into the records. To be recorded at this time, at the beginning of recorded history, was of itself a great distinction and indicative of noble ancestry. Undoubtedly, the family were originally Spanish of noble descent, they being described as the Cotugno of Toledo. Although the Spanish records are sparse it is apparent they sent military men or missionaries to both Friesland during the
, and also to Napoli in Italy at a much earlier time. The Taranto branch was descended from
Cotugno of Napoli who also had descendents in Abbruzzo.
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