De morra History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The distinguished surname De morra can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Sicily, which is located off Southwestern Italy and incorporates the island of Sicily itself, the area of Naples, and the southern part of the Italian peninsula. 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 were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Sicily 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 De morra was derived from the place named Morra De Sanctis, in the province of Avellino.
Early Origins of the De morra family
The surname De morra was first found in Naples, (Italian: Napoli, Latin: Neapolis.) One branch of the Morra family, who had owned land for centuries, received the honor of seeing one of its members, Gregorio VIII, elevated to the papal throne in 1187 by Alberto, monk and cardinal. Twelve years later, in 1198, Pietro Morra was made Cardinal. He was also famous for his compilation of decrees, or 'Epistole Decretali'.
Early History of the De morra family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our De morra research. More information is included under the topic Early De morra History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
De morra 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 De morra. These spelling variations include Morra, di Morra, Mora, Di Mora and others.
Early Notables of the De morra family (pre 1700)
Prominent among bearers of this surname in early times was Dionisio Morra who was a Cardinal, and Lucio Morra who was the Chaplain of King Philip III of Spain and was made Archbishop of Otratanto.
Isabella di Morra (ca. 1520-1546) was an Italian poet of the Renaissance; she was forced by her brothers to live in isolation, which estranged her from courts...
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Migration of the De morra family
A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name De morra: Giuseppe Morra, who arrived in New Castle County, Delaware, in 1853; Adele Marra, aged 12, who arrived at Ellis Island from Solofra, Italy, in 1920; Afuete Marra, aged 62, who arrived at Ellis Island from Alafuano, Italy, in 1911.
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