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The Maltese surname is derived from the name of the island of Malta. As such it is classed as a local name, 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, and does not necessarily denote nobility. This island is situated south of Sicily and, beginning in the 16th century BC, it was ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthagenians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs. After the Norman Conquest of Malta in July 1090, the island became part of the Kingdom of Sicily. While a subject of this kingdom from the 11th to 16th centuries, Malta had many rulers, including the Normans under the House of Hauteville, the Germans under the House of Hohenstaufen, the French under the House of Anjou, the Spanish under the House of Aragon, and the Austrians under the House of Hapsburg. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Malta was still nominally under the Kingdom of Sicily and was ruled by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. From 1798 to 1800, Malta was under the French Republic and, from 1800 to 1964, it was part of the British Empire. The surname Malta is found in almost all the countries of the Mediterranean basin.


The surname Maltese was first found in Sardinia (Italian: Sardegna, Sardinian: Sardigna), the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The original inhabitants were Sicels. Research shows that records of the Maltese family date back to the noble Maltese family in Sicily, where Remigio Maltese was a castleowner in Lentini and Paolino Maltese obtained the castle of Stafenda in 1230. The Greeks colonized in 735 B. C. Phoenician settlements began in 6th century. Carthaginians arrived 410. Romans arrived, then the Saracens. Then the Norman Conquest said to be Sicily's brightest hour, 1057 A.D. and taking 35 years. They made Sicilians the leading Maritimes power in the Mediterranean, and King Roger of Sicily one of the greatest Kings in Europe. From Sicily they invaded Greece. In those ancient times only persons of rank, the podesta, clergy, city officials, army officers, artists, landowners were entered into the records. To be recorded at this time, at the beginning of recorded history, was of itself a great distinction and indicative of noble ancestry.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Malta, Maltese, Maltesi, Maletto, Malvezzi and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maltese research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1571, 1610, 1670 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Maltese History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among bearers of this surname in early times was Cristofano Malvezzi, a composer and editor born in 1547 in Luc ca. He became Maestro di Cappella to the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1571. Adriano Malta was...

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maltese Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Maltese Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Salvatero Maltese, who was naturalized in Oregon in 1860

Maltese Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Angela Maltese, aged 27, who landed in America from Rosolini, in 1905
  • Angela Maltese, aged 32, who emigrated to the United States from Palermo Sicily, in 1906
  • Andrea Maltese, aged 20, who landed in America from Cinisi, Palermo, in 1907
  • Accursio Maltese, aged 5, who emigrated to America from Sciacca, Sicily, in 1907
  • Anna Maltese, aged 4, who landed in America from Partanna, Sicily, in 1907
  • ...

  • Serphin R. Maltese (b. 1933), American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 9th District, 1984; Member of New York State Senate 15th District, 2003-08
  • Nick Maltese, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1952
  • Betty Loren Maltese, American former town president of Cicero, Illinois
  • Serphin R. Maltese (b. 1932), American politician, a member of the New York State Sen
  • Michael Maltese (1908-1981), American long-time story board artist and screenwriter for classic animated cartoon shorts
  • Joseph Flores Maltese (b. 1907), judge and politician from Malta

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    Other References

    1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    2. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
    3. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    4. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    5. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. 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. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    8. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
    9. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    11. ...

    The Maltese Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Maltese 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 8 October 2015 at 13:29.

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