The distinguished surname Gatta 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, the nickname
type of surname is also frequently found. Nickname
surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Gatta came from a person who was agile, cunning or perhaps sly.
Early Origins of the Gatta family
The surname Gatta was first found in the city of Gaeta, with the noble Gattola family in 1091.
Early History of the Gatta family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gatta research. More information is included under the topic Early Gatta History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Gatta 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 Gatta are Gatti, Gatto, Gatta, Gatte, Gattola, Gattinara, Gattamelata, Lo Gatto, La Gatta, Gattelli, Gattini, Gattoli, Gattolin, Gattulli, Gattullo, Gattai, Gattei, Gatteschi and many more.
Early Notables of the Gatta family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Erasmo Gattamelata who was Commander of the Papal armies in 1431, and from this gained noble status in the Venetian Republic. Bernardino Gatti, a painter in Pavia around 1500, was known as "Il Solaro" and was dependent on famous painter Correggio for much of his style. Mercurino Gattinara was Grand Chancellor of Charles V and Count of Valenza, and in 1522 was made Duke of Milan by Francesco Sforza. He eventually became Bishop and then Cardinal. Simone Gatto was a Venetian composer... Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gatta Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gatta family to the New World and Oceana
Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Gatta or a variant listed above: Antonio L.F. Gatte, who arrived in New York City in 1820 at the age of 17; Adamo Gatti, aged 38, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Sandrio, Italy, in 1905.
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