The distinguished surname Delfini originated in an area of Italy, known as the Papal States. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adapt 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. The most traditional type of family name found in the region of the Papal States 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 Delfini came from the personal name
Delfino, which is derived from the Latin name Delphinus or delphinus, which means dolphin.
Early Origins of the Delfini family
The surname Delfini was first found in 982 Calocino Delfina served in the Byzantine administration as Captain of the area of southern Italy.
Early History of the Delfini family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Delfini research. More information is included under the topic Early Delfini History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Delfini 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 Delfini include Delfino, Delfini, Dalfino, Delfina, Dolfin, Dolfinone, Dalfini, Dolfino, Dolfini and many more.
Early Notables of the Delfini family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Baldovino Dolfin, a member of the Venetian government in 1275; Francesco Dolfin was a Venetian nobleman and was the Roman military captain around 1350; Federico Delfino was a prominent mathematician in Padua about 150 years later; Egidio Delfini of Terni dedicated his life to... Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Delfini Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Delfini family to the New World and Oceana
Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Delfini or a variant listed above: Anna Delfino, aged 20, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Valguarnera, Sicily
, in 1920; Annunziata Delfino, aged 36, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Villa S. Giovanni, in 1902.