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A variety of distinguished and notable names have emerged from the beautiful and historical Italian region of Tuscany, including the notable surname Ghirardelli. During the Middle Ages, as populations grew and travel between regions became more frequent, the people of Tuscany, who were originally known only by a single name, found it necessary to adopt a second name to identify themselves and their families. This process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries, but it was not completed until the modern era. The development of Italian hereditary surnames followed general principles and were characterized by derivatives from one's given name. The patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, was one of the most common name types found in the region of Tuscany. This system of name-making was widely used because it linked well with the existing Feudal System and during the Christian era, many people named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Ghirardelli came from the personal name Gerard, which was itself derived from the Old German Gerhard, which means spear-brave.

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The surname Ghirardelli was first found in Tuscany (Italian: Toscana), a region in central Italy, in the northern area of the Garfagnana. Records can be found as early as 970, with the Gherardinghi family who owned the castles of Verrucola, Bibbiano, Bogli, San Romano, and Sommacologna.

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 Ghirardelli include Gherardi, Gherardo, Gherardis, Ghirardi, Ghirardo, Gherlardi, Ghelardo, Ghilardi, Gerardi, Gheraldi, Ghiraldi, Ghiroldi, Geraldi, Geraldo, Geroldi, Giraldi, Giraldo, Ciraldo, Giraudo, Giraud, Girod, Giroldi, Gherardelli, Gherardini, Gherardinghi, Gerardini, Gerardello, Gherarducci, Gherardeschi, Della Gherardesca, Ghirardelli, Ghilardini, Ghelardini, Girardini, Girardin, Girardoni, Girardone, Girardengo, Geraldini and many more.


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

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Another 301 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ghirardelli Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Ghirardelli were found: Donarto Gerardi, who arrived in Boston in 1822, Antoine Gerardin, who came to New York in 1849, and Joseph Gerardi, who was Naturalized in Shiawassee county Michigan in 1882..

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  1. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  2. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  3. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
  4. Di Crollalanza, G.B. Dizionario Storico-Blasonico Delle Famiglie Nobili e Notabili Italiane 3 volumes. Pisa. Print.
  5. Guelfi Camajani, Piero. Dizionario Araldico 1940 Reprint Arnoaldo Forni. Milan: 1978. Print.
  6. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
  7. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
  8. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
  9. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
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The Ghirardelli Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ghirardelli 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 5 September 2013 at 13:15.

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