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From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Forlani. 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 traditional type of family name found in the region of Venice 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 Forlani family lived in Friuli, in the northeast of Italy.

Early Origins of the Forlani family


The surname Forlani was first found in the town of Sabbionetta, where records show Vitaliano Furlani was a military Captain under Pope Clemente VII. It was at this time, during the early 1500's, that Vitaliano and his family moved to the larger city of Ferrara.

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Early History of the Forlani family

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Early History of the Forlani family


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

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Forlani Spelling Variations

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Forlani 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 Forlani include Furlani, Forlani, Furlano, Forlano, Furlan, Forlan, Furlanis, Furlanich, Furlanetti, Furlanetto, Furletti, Furlotti and many more.

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Early Notables of the Forlani family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Forlani family (pre 1700)


Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Forlani Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Forlani family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Forlani family to the New World and Oceana


Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Forlani or a variant listed above: Alfredo Furlani, age 25 who arrived in American in 1893 aboard the "Weser"; Pasquale Furlano, age 30 and Francesca Furlano, age 5, arrived in New York on April 4, 1893 aboard the "Kaiser Wilhelm II".

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Contemporary Notables of the name Forlani (post 1700)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Forlani (post 1700)


  • Arnaldo Forlani (b. 1925), Italian politician, the 43rd Prime Minister of Italy (1980-1981)
  • Remo Forlani (1927-2009), French writer and screenwriter
  • Claire Antonia Forlani (b. 1972), English actress, best known for her roles in Mallrats, Basquiat and Meet Joe Black

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Forlani Family Crest Products

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Forlani Family Crest Products



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