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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Montagna. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt 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 Venice 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 Montagna family lived on a mountain or near a mountainous area. The name Montagna is derived from the Italian word montagna or montano, which means a mountain. Sometimes the name was used for someone who came from Montagna.

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The surname Montagna was first found in numerous regions, although Venice is the city of origin for both Montagna and Montan branches. Montana was widespread in Sicily, Montano and Montani in Liguria, Montanelli in Tuscany, and Montanari in Emilia Romagna. The name and its variants all stem from people who lived in or near mountainous regions.

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 Montagna include Montagnano, Montagnini, Montagnoni, Montan, Montanari, Montanarini, Montanaro, Montanelli, Montani, Montano, Montana, Montagnino and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Montagna research. Another 31 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1523, 1633, 1687, 1406, 1608 and 1440 are included under the topic Early Montagna History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 243 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Montagna Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

Montagna Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Angelo Montagna, aged 37, who arrived in America from Redasalla, Italy, in 1893

Montagna Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Angela Montagna, aged 50, who arrived in America from Bernalda, Italy, in 1907
  • Agusta Montagna, aged 53, who arrived in America from Rour, Italy, in 1909
  • Antonino Montagna, aged 17, who arrived in America from Naro, Sicily, in 1912
  • Antonio Montagna, aged 29, who arrived in America from Lubriano, Italy, in 1920
  • Bartolomeo Montagna, aged 17, who arrived in America from Rocca Pia, Italy, in 1920


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  • Paolo Montagna (b. 1976), Sammarinese footballer
  • Leigh Montagna (b. 1983), Australian rules footballer


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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Guelfi Camajani, Piero. Dizionario Araldico 1940 Reprint Arnoaldo Forni. Milan: 1978. Print.
  8. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
  9. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
  11. ...

The Montagna Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Montagna 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 2 July 2014 at 07:27.

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