A variety of distinguished and notable names have emerged from the beautiful and historical Italian region of Tuscany
, including the notable surname Martello. 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 Martello came from the Latin name Martinus, which is a derivative of Mars, who was the Roman god of fertility and war. The popularity of the name Martin is due to Saint Martin de Tours, who was one of the best known saints in the Western World. With the spread of Christianity, people named their children after saints in the hope that the children might enjoy that saint's patronage. Martin is also one of the few saints' names, other than the names of Old English saints, found in England
before the Norman Conquest
. The name Martelli is a diminutive of the name Martin, but it is also of occupational
origin. The occupational name Martelli is derived from the Italian wordmartello meaning hammer, and it referred to a person who was a carpenter or one who worked with a hammer.
Early Origins of the Martello family
The surname Martello was first found in Florence (Italian: Firenze), with Giovanni di Guglielmo Martelli, who moved with his family to Verona in 1333, where he became a lawyer. Martello towers (or simply Martellos) are small defensive forts built based on a design at Mortella (Myrtle) Point in Corsica. Two British warships, HMS Fortitude (74 guns) and HMS Juno (32 guns) in 1794 unsuccessfully attacked the tower at Mortella Point. Accordingly, the British adapted the fort's design to build over 70 such towers throughout the British Commonwealth.
Early History of the Martello family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Martello research. More information is included under the topic Early Martello History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Martello Spelling Variations
In comparison with other European surnames, Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms. They reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each with its own distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the typical Italian surname suffix is "i", whereas in Southern Italy it is "o". Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. The spelling variations
in the name Martello include Martelli, Martello, Martiello, Martella, Martela, Martellini, Martellino, Martellina, Martellotti, Martellotto, Martellotta, Martelloni, Martellani and many more.
Early Notables of the Martello family (pre 1700)
Prominent among members of the family was Ugolino Martelli, a silk manufacturer in Florence during the 14th century; of this family came 40 priests. Bernardo Martellini was Bishop of Cesena during the 14th century; The famous Monsignor Francesco Martello, Bishop of Reggio in the 16th century, is of this lineage. Ludovico... Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Martello Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Martello family to the New World and Oceana
Early records show that people bearing the name Martello arrived in North America quite early:
Martello Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Angelo Martello, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894
Martello Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Agastino Martello, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Carpineto Romano, in 1906
- Antonio Martello, aged 32, who landed in America from Giano Vetasta, Italy, in 1909
- Angela Martello, aged 1, who landed in America from Leutini, Sicily, in 1910
- Antonio Martello, aged 32, who landed in America from Scilla, Italy, in 1912
- Aniello Martello, aged 16, who settled in America from Cantalupo, Italy, in 1912
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Martello (post 1700)
- Leo Martello (1931-2000), American author, lecturer, gay civil rights activist
- Cesar Martello, Canadian NDP politician in Ontario
- Alan Martello (b. 1952), retired Australian rules football player