From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice
emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Fortis. 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 Fortis 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 Fortis family
The surname Fortis 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 Fortis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fortis research. More information is included under the topic Early Fortis History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Fortis 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 Fortis include Forti, Forte, Fort, Fortis, Lo Forte, Fortezza, Fortiboni, Fortini, Fortino, Fortin, Forteguerri and many more.
Early Notables of the Fortis 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... Another 156 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fortis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fortis family to the New World and Oceana
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Fortis:
Fortis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Celestino Fortis, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1893
Fortis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Nicola Fortis, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1902
- Maria Fortis, aged 2, who landed in America from Turi, Italy, in 1913
- Helena Fortis, aged 37, who settled in America, in 1921
- Vassilios Fortis, aged 60, who settled in America, in 1923