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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

A variety of distinguished and notable names have emerged from the beautiful and historical Italian region of Tuscany, including the notable surname Giovanelli. 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 Giovanelli came from the personal name Giovanni, or John.


The surname Giovanelli was first found in Siena, an historically important city of Tuscany. However, the name has spread all over Italy and comes in many forms.

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 Giovanelli. These spelling variations include Giovani, Giovanni, Gioani, Di Giovanni, Della Giovanna, Giovanèlli, Giovanelli, Giovanella, Giovanétti, Giovanetti, Giovannini, Giovagnetti, Giovanitti, Gioannola, Giovannone, Giovanone, Giovanazzi, Giovannacci, Giovanaz, Giovannardi, Giovannla and many more.


Prominent among members of the family was Giovanni dalle Celle from Tuscany, born in 1310, was a monk noted for his excellent translations of ancient writers such as Cicero. His letters still exist and serve to illustrate the daily life of monks during this period. Giovanni de Udine was a painter...

Another 108 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Giovanelli Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Giovanelli were

Giovanelli Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Bortolo Giovanelli, aged 25, who settled in America from Italy, in 1902
  • Angelo Giovanelli, aged 1, who landed in America from Jaino. Italy, in 1905
  • Agostino Giovanelli, aged 38, who landed in America from Storo, Italy, in 1909
  • Attilio Giovanelli, aged 17, who landed in America from St. Severs, Italy, in 1909
  • Andres Giovanelli, aged 13, who emigrated to the United States from Oruano, Italy, in 1912
  • ...

  • Gordon "Gordy" Stephen Giovanelli (b. 1925), American gold medalist rower who competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics
  • Riccardo Giovanelli PhD., Italian-born Professor in Astronomy at Cornell University, recipient of the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences (1989)
  • Miriam Giovanelli (b. 1989), Italian actress and model
  • Massimo Giovanelli (b. 1967), former Italian rugby union player
  • Ronaldo Soares Giovanelli (b. 1967), Brazilian football goalkeeper

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    Other References

    1. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
    2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    3. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    4. Colletta, John P. Finding Italian Roots The Complete Guide for Americans. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2003. Print.
    5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    7. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
    8. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
    9. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
    10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    11. ...

    The Giovanelli Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Giovanelli 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 19 October 2011 at 12:56.

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