Forte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Forte. 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 Forte family lived in Ferrara, one of the more prosperous cities at this early time. Records are found in 1322, when the Fortiboni family moved from Ferrara to Cesena.
Early Origins of the Forte family
The surname Forte was first found in Ferrara, a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. History dates the city back to 753. Records are found in 1322, when the Fortiboni family moved from Ferrara to Cesena.
Early History of the Forte family
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Forte Spelling Variations
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 Forte include Forti, Forte, Fort, Fortis, Lo Forte, Fortezza, Fortiboni, Fortini, Fortino, Fortin, Forteguerri and many more.
Early Notables of the Forte family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Niccol Forteguerri, a Cardinal and diplomat in Pistoia born in 1419. He earned his degree in canon law at the University of Bologna and went on to become an ecclesiastic. Antonio Forteguerri was a man of letters in Pistoia around 1465, who is famous for his sonnets and canzoni which are modeled on the style of Petrarch. Scipione Forteguerri was a Humanist in Pistoia around this time and was fluent in Greek and Latin. Paolo Fortiboni was a secretary in Cesena for the Malatesta family. Pietro Fortini was a Sienese writer of novelle and...
In the United States, the name Forte is the 2,864th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name.  However, in France, the name Forte is ranked the 5,113rd most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. 
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Forte:
Forte Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
Forte Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Forte Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Forte Settlers in United States in the 20th Century