Tuscany, one of the oldest and most beautiful island regions of Italy, is the esteemed birthplace of numerous prominent families, including the family that bears the surname MacHelli. 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; 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 common type of family name found in Tuscany is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's givenname, names derived from occupations are also found. Occupational surnames, which are less common that other types of surnames in Italy, date back to the feudal era. However, under the Feudal System, occupational names did not become hereditary until the offices themselves became hereditary. It was only after an occupation was inherited by several generations in lineal descent, that occupational names came to be applied to entire families, and so became a hereditary surname. The surname MacHelli is a name for a person who worked as a stainer, one who stained materials, or perhaps removed stains. The surname is derived from the Italian word macchia.
Early Origins of the MacHelli family
Early History of the MacHelli family
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MacHelli Spelling Variations
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 MacHelli include Macchi, Macci, Macchio, Maconi, Machi, Maccio, Macchione, Macchioni, Macch Iona, Maccolini, Machelli, Machirelli, Machinghi and many more.
Early Notables of the MacHelli family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Ser Andrea Macci of Florence, a priest in 1286; Bello Maciotti was Councillor of the Commune in 1347 in Velletri; Stefano di Corrado Maconi, born in Tuscany in 1424, was the disciple and secretary of...
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Migration of the MacHelli family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name MacHelli were found: Mani Machi, who arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1835; Alfio Machi, aged 32, who arrived at Ellis Island from Mirto, Sicily in 1909; Anna Machi, aged 49, who arrived at Ellis Island from S. Elia in 1898.
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