The name is Biblical in origin, coming from the Virgin Mary. The fact that the prefixes "De" and "Di" are often added to it suggest that it could be metronymic, that is, a surname originally derived from the name of the first bearer's mother, and meaning "son of Maria." This is rare in Italian names, generally such names were taken from the name of the father (patronymics). In some cases the children of widows or the illegitimate children of noblemen's mistresses took the mother's name for their surname.
The surname Maria was first found in Genoa (Italian: Genova), and elsewhere throughout Italy. As surnames began to come in to usage in Italy, this name emerged independently in different parts of the peninsula.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maria research.Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1665, 1669, 1654, 1450, 1503, 1489, 1623, 1690, 1609 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Maria History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Prominent among bearers of this family in early times was Lorenzo Cybo de Mari (c.1450-1503), an Italian Catholic cardinal, Archbishop of Benevento, was made cardinal in 1489; Francesco di Maria... Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maria Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.