An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Genovese family can trace its noble origins to the Italian region of Piedmont. 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 Piedmont 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 Genovese family lived in Genoa in Liguria. Genoa was one of the greatest seaports along the Mediterranean in the medieval era. Interestingly, the name was also a nickname for someone who was born or baptized in January and may have been derived from the Latin Janus.
The surname Genovese was first found in the 13th century, when Giovanni Genoese moved his family from Genoa to Reggio-Calabria. Genua, is the ancient Ligurian name for the modern Italian city of Genoa.
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 Genovese include Genova, Genua, Genovese, Genovesi, Genoese, Genuardi, Genoino, Genoves and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Genovese research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1370, 1491, 1563 and 1731 are included under the topic Early Genovese History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 267 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Genovese Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the first North American settlers with Genovese name or one of its variants:
Genovese Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Genovese Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
The Genovese Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Genovese Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 17 November 2015 at 13:16.