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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

A variety of distinguished and notable names have emerged from the beautiful and historical Italian region of Tuscany, including the notable surname Digiovanni. During the Middle Ages, as populations grew and travel between regions became more frequent, the people of Tuscany, who were originally known only by a single name, found it necessary to adopt a second name to identify themselves and their families. This process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries, but it was not completed until the modern era. The development of Italian hereditary surnames followed general principles and were characterized by derivatives from one's given name. The patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, was one of the most common name types found in the region of Tuscany. This system of name-making was widely used because it linked well with the existing Feudal System and during the Christian era, many people named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Digiovanni came from the personal name Giovanni, or John.


The surname Digiovanni was first found in Siena, an historically important city of Tuscany. However, the name has spread all over Italy and comes in many forms.

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 Digiovanni include Giovani, Giovanni, Gioani, Di Giovanni, Della Giovanna, Giovanèlli, Giovanelli, Giovanella, Giovanétti, Giovanetti, Giovannini, Giovagnetti, Giovanitti, Gioannola, Giovannone, Giovanone, Giovanazzi, Giovannacci, Giovanaz, Giovannardi, Giovannla and many more.


Prominent among members of the family was Giovanni dalle Celle from Tuscany, born in 1310, was a monk noted for his excellent translations of ancient writers such as Cicero. His letters still exist and serve to illustrate the daily life of monks during this period. Giovanni de Udine was a painter...

Another 108 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Digiovanni Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Early records show that people bearing the name Digiovanni arrived in North America quite early:

Digiovanni Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Angel DiGiovanni, aged 9, who emigrated to America from Atello, in 1902
  • Angelo DiGiovanni, aged 21, who landed in America from Roma, in 1906
  • Anna DiGiovanni, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Napoli, in 1907
  • Benedetto DiGiovanni, aged 34, who emigrated to America from Marsala, Sicily, in 1907
  • Carmine DiGiovanni, aged 20, who landed in America from Maranola, Italy, in 1907
  • ...

  • John DiGiovanni, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 22nd District, 1974
  • Debra DiGiovanni, Canadian stand-up comedian of Italian descent

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    Other References

    1. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
    2. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
    4. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
    5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    7. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
    8. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
    9. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
    10. Guelfi Camajani, Piero. Dizionario Araldico 1940 Reprint Arnoaldo Forni. Milan: 1978. Print.
    11. ...

    The Digiovanni Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Digiovanni Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 15 January 2016 at 13:50.

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