Show ContentsGigli History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Gigli can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice. 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 were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Gigli came from the female given name Elizabeth.

Early Origins of the Gigli family

The surname Gigli was first found in Ferrara, a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. One of the first records of the name was when Gigliolo Giglioli was listed there in 1185.

Early History of the Gigli family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gigli research. The years 1476, 1497, 1498, 1521, 1660 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Gigli History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gigli Spelling Variations

Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms in comparison with other European surnames because they reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each of which has its distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the most standard Italian surname suffix is "I", whereas in Southern Italy the most typical surname suffix is "O". Sardinian is very different from other forms of Italian and in fact, it is considered to be its own distinct language. Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes, church officials, and the bearers of names, spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. As a consequence of the major changes in the Italian language and in the local spellings of Italian surnames that occurred over the course of history, there are numerous variations for the surname Gigli. These spelling variations include Gigli, Giglio, Giglia, Ziglio, Zeggio, De Giglio, Giglietti, Giglietto, Giglietta, Gigliucci, Giglioli, Gigliotti, Giglione, Gigliano, Gigliuto, Zigliotto and many more.

Early Notables of the Gigli family

Prominent among members of the family was

  • Giacomo Giglioli, the Councillor to Nicol D'Este, who then gave him the title of Count. Malatesta Giglioli was governor of Melara in 1476; Desiderio Giglioli of Ferrara who was a bishop at this time...
  • Giovanni Battista Gigli was a composer during the 17th century among whose accomplishments were 2 oratorios and 6 trio sonatas. Girolamo Gigli (1660-1722), was an Italian writer and playwright
  • Giovanni de' Gigli (died 1498), was the first of three Italian absentees to hold the see of Bishop of Worcester, England (1497-1498.) [1]
  • Silvestro de' Gigli (died 1521), the second of three Italian absentees to hold the see of Bishop of Worcester (1498-1521.) He was a native of Lucca, and succeeded his uncle Giovanni, in the see of Wor...

United States Gigli migration to the United States +

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Gigli:

Gigli Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S. Gigli, aged 35, who arrived in America, in 1892
  • Giovanni Gigli, aged 26, who arrived in America from Montagano, in 1893
  • Rocco Gigli, aged 22, who arrived in America, in 1897
  • Giuseppe Gigli, aged 5, who arrived in America from Bazni di Guna, in 1898
Gigli Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Armando Gigli, aged 18, who arrived in America from Naples, in 1906
  • Domenico Gigli, aged 24, who arrived in America from Ceccano, Italy, in 1907
  • Giovanna Gigli, aged 23, who arrived in America from Montefino, Italy, in 1907
  • Pietro Gigli, aged 23, who arrived in America from Amatrice, Italy, in 1909
  • Narciso Gigli, aged 24, who arrived in America from Oneta, Italy, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gigli (post 1700) +

  • Giuseppe Cobolli Gigli (1892-1987), Italian politician, member of Benito Mussolini's fascist government from 1935 to 1939
  • Giovanni Cobolli Gigli (b. 1945), Italian lawyer and the former president of Juventus Football Club
  • Elena Gigli (b. 1985), Italian gold and two-time silver medalist water polo goalkeeper
  • Abel Gigli (b. 1990), Italian footballer
  • Leonardo Gigli (1863-1908), Italian surgeon and obstetrician who developed the Gigli saw
  • Romeo Gigli (b. 1949), Italian fashion designer
  • Angelo Gigli (b. 1983), Italian professional basketball player
  • Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957), Italian opera tenor

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook