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From the historical and fascinating Italian region of Venice emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Diani family. 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. Although the most common type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, the nickname type of surname is also frequently found. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Diani came from person employed as a Dean, who was an ecclesiastical official. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form "decanus," which originally meant a leader of ten men, which comes from the word "decem," which means ten. The name has traveled widely in many forms throughout Europe.

Early Origins of the Diani family


The surname Diani was first found in Piacenza, one of the more prosperous cities at this early time, and earliest records date back to 1152, when Pietro Diani was extremely dedicated to the church, with desires to rise one day to the Papal throne. Although he became a very influential member in the church, this ascension was not made.

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Early History of the Diani family

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Early History of the Diani family


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

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Diani Spelling Variations

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Diani Spelling Variations


Surnames that originated in Italy are characterized by an enormous number of spelling variations. Some of these are derived from regional traditions and dialects. Northern names, for instance, often end in "o", while southern names tend to end in "i". Other variations come from the fact the medieval scribes tended to spell according to the sound of words, rather than any particular set of rules. The recorded variations of Diani include Degani, Degano, Deganis, Degān, Degan, De Gan, Deān, Diano, Diani, Dal Degan, Deganutti, Deganųt, Deganut and many more.

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Early Notables of the Diani family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Diani family (pre 1700)


Prominent among members of the family was Gaspare di Diano, born in Caserta in 1390, who owned many castles in Terra di Lavoro and in 1431 was called to Rome by Pope Eugenio IV to reform the Roman clergy. Nicola di Diano was a nobleman and ecclesiastic from Caserta in the...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Diani Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Diani family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Diani family to the New World and Oceana


An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Diani:

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