The distinguished surname Dona 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. Although 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, local
surnames are also found. Local
names, which are the least frequent of the major types of surnames found in Italy, are derived from a place-name where the original bearer once resided or held land. Often Italian local surnames bore the prefix "di," which signifies emigration from one place to another, but does not necessarily denote nobility. The Dona family lived in the city of Assisi in 1160.
Early Origins of the Dona family
The surname Dona was first found in the region of Umbria, where earliest records show that a Donato lived in the city of Assisi in 1160 and was of the Guelph faction.
Early History of the Dona family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dona research. More information is included under the topic Early Dona History in all our PDF Extended History products
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Dona Spelling Variations
Italian surnames come in far more variations than the names of most other nationalities. Regional traditions and dialects are a decisive factor in this characteristic. For example, northern names tend to end in "o", while southern in "i". Also important, but not unique to Italy, was the fact that before dictionaries and the printing press most scribes simply spelled words according to their sounds. The predictable result was an enormous number of spelling variations
. The recorded spellings of Dona include Donato, Donati, Dona, De Donato, De Dona, Di Donato, Donatelli, Donatello, Donatini, Donadini, Donatoni, Donadoni and many more.
Early Notables of the Dona family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Corso Donati, involved in the Florentine government during the 13th century, who was considered to be one of the most popular and reformist politicians for 25 years. Simone Donati of Florence was an outspoken members of the Guelph faction in Florence at this time... Another 110 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dona Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dona family to the New World and Oceana
Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Dona or a variant listed above:
Dona Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Martin Dona, who arrived in America in 1812 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Dona Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Clement Dona, aged 22, who landed in America from Austria, in 1900
- Fedele Dona, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Fondo, Italy, in 1908
- Germano Dona, aged 20, who landed in America from Brez, Italy, in 1908
- Francesco Dona, aged 42, who emigrated to the United States from Fondo, Italy, in 1909
- Attilio Dona, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States from Garbagna, Piedmont, in 1909
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Dona (post 1700)
- Cristina Donà (b. 1967), Italian singer and songwriter
- Davy Dona (b. 1981), French gold medalist karateka at the 2003 European Karate Championships