Mai History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Mai originated in an area of Italy, known as the Papal States. 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 the Papal States 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 Mai family lived in the Italian town of Maiolo, in Pesaro in central Italy.

Early Origins of the Mai family

The surname Mai was first found in the ancient city of Orvieto, with Lorenzo Maitani, born in 1275.

Early History of the Mai family

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

Mai 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 Mai include Maiolo, Maione, Majo, Majone, Mai, Maitani, Maineri, Maio, Maioli, Maiolo, Majoli, Majolo and many more.

Early Notables of the Mai family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the family was Giovanni Francesco de' Maineri, a painter from Parma whose work can be seen today in the Uffizi in Florence, and in various galleries in New York and in Rome. Members of the Maio family of Naples were officially recognized as nobility in Naples, Montagna, Tramonti, Capua, Benevento, and in many other cities. Martino De Majo was Bishop of Bisaccia and then of Bisceglie in 1494; Giuseppe Di Maio was Rector of the Saint...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mai Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mai Ranking

In the United States, the name Mai is the 6,692nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Mai is ranked the 3,918th most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [2]

United States Mai migration to the United States +

Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Mai or a variant listed above:

Mai Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Friederic Mai, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [3]
  • Christoph Mai, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [3]
Mai Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Maria Margaretha Mai, who landed in North America in 1838 [3]
  • Philipp, II Mai, who arrived in North America in 1838 [3]
  • John Mai, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843 [3]
  • Joh Anton Mai, who arrived in America in 1849 [3]
  • Jakob Mai, who landed in New York, NY in 1852 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mai (post 1700) +

  • Angelo Mai (1782-1854), Italian Cardinal and philologist
  • Mai Shanley (b. 1963), American beauty queen and pageant holder, Miss New Mexico USA 1984
  • Mai Zetterling (1925-1994), Swedish actress/film director
  • Mai F. Surran, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1948 [4]

  • Fritz Mai (1919-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [5]

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from
  5. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook
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