, one of the oldest and most beautiful island regions of Italy, is the esteemed birthplace of numerous prominent families, including the family that bears the surname Defferrari. 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 common type of family name found in Venice
is the patronymic
surname, which is derived from the father's givenname, names derived from occupations are also found. Occupational
surnames, which are less common than other types of surnames in Italy, date back to the feudal
era. However, under the Feudal
names did not become hereditary until the offices themselves became hereditary. It was only after an occupation
was inherited by several generations in lineal descent that occupational names came to be applied to entire families, and so became a hereditary surname. The surname Defferrari comes from the Latin word ferro which means iron. The family likely were blacksmiths.
Early Origins of the Defferrari family
The surname Defferrari was first found in Modena (Etruscan: Mutna; Latin: Mutina; Modenese: Mòdna), where records can be found in 1271 of the Ferrari family living there at the Villa Mugnano.
Early History of the Defferrari family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Defferrari research. More information is included under the topic Early Defferrari History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Defferrari Spelling Variations
There are many variations of most of those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. Some of these come from regional differences, like the tradition of ending northern names in "o" and southern names in "i". Others come from inaccuracies in the recording process, which were extremely common in the eras before dictionaries standardized spelling. Some of the spelling variations
of Defferrari are Ferraro, Ferrari, Ferrario, Ferraris, Ferrai, Ferrero, Ferrarese, Ferreri, Ferrèri, Ferreli, Ferriero, Ferrieri, Ferrerio, Fevrero, Fevriero, Ferrer, Fer, Ferr, Fare, De Ferrari, Deferrari, Defferrari, De Ferraris, Ferrarello, Ferraretto, Ferrarini, Ferrarin, Ferrarotti, Ferrarone, Ferraron and many more.
Early Notables of the Defferrari family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Giovanni Matteo Ferrari, a doctor in Grado and the court physician to Francesco Sforza; Bartolomeo Ferrari was an ecclesiastic in Milan who studied law before dedicating his life to the church in 1499; Gaudenzio Ferarri (1471-1546), an Italian painter; Antonio Ferrero (died 1508), an... Another 134 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Defferrari Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Defferrari family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Defferrari were found: Giovanni and John Ferrari, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1860; and Antonio Ferrari arrived in Philadelphia in 1871.