Ferrara History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Venice, 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 Ferrara. 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 System, occupational 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 Ferrara comes from the Latin word ferro which means iron. The family likely were blacksmiths.

Early Origins of the Ferrara family

The surname Ferrara 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 Ferrara family

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

Ferrara 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 Ferrara 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 Ferrara 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 Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal; Lodovico Ferrari was a famous mathematician in Bologna in 1530; Benedetto Ferrari of Reggio (1603-1681) was a composer and in 1653 to 1662 was maestro of the chapel to the Duke of Modena; Giovanni Baptista (Battista)...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ferrara Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ferrara migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Ferrara were found:

Ferrara Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andre Ferrara, aged 28, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [1]
  • Jose Ferrara, aged 20, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1842 [1]
  • Maria Ferrara, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1851 [1]
  • Adamo Ferrara, aged 1, who landed in America, in 1897
Ferrara Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A. Andrea Ferrara, aged 17, who landed in America from Tufino, in 1903
  • Agostino Ferrara, aged 2, who landed in America from Palena, Italy, in 1904
  • Abele Ferrara, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Sarno, Italy, in 1906
  • Achille Ferrara, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Lucera, Italy, in 1907
  • Alessandro Ferrara, aged 56, who landed in America from Pianella, Italy, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ferrara (post 1700) +

  • Napoleone Ferrara, Italian-American molecular biologist awarded a Lasker Award in 2010
  • Adam Ferrara (b. 1966), American actor and comedian
  • Abel Ferrara (b. 1951), American movie screenwriter and director
  • Peter Ferrara, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from St. Louis City 3rd District, 1943-44; Defeated, 1944 (St. Louis City 3rd District), 1946 (St. Louis City 11th District), 1948 (St. Louis City 11th District)
  • Joseph J. Ferrara, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly 14th District, 2008
  • Donna Ferrara, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly 15th District, 1993-2001
  • Dominick H. Ferrara, American Democratic Party politician, First Selectman of East Haven, Connecticut, 1956-57
  • Concetta M. Ferrara, American politician, Representative from New York 18th District, 1996
  • Andrea J. Ferrara, American politician, Independent Candidate for justice of Michigan State Supreme Court, 1986; Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1997
  • Giuseppe Ferrara (1932-2016), Italian film director and screenwriter
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ 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)

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