Napoleon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the ancient and beautiful Italian island of Sicily emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Napoleon. 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 were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most traditional type of family name found in the region of Sicily 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, and does not necessarily denote nobility. The Napoleon family lived in the city of Naples.

Early Origins of the Napoleon family

The surname Napoleon was first found in the province of Salerno, just south of Naples. The Napoli family in this region had the noble status continued from hundreds of years earlier.

Early History of the Napoleon family

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

Napoleon 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 Napoleon include Napoletano, Napoli, Napolitano and others.

Early Notables of the Napoleon family (pre 1700)

Prominent among bearers of this surname in early times was Enrico Caracciolo di Napoli was made governor of the city of Troina by the King Frederick II of Aragona. The family stayed in Sicily for centuries, predominantly settling in the city of Palermo, and the attachment di Napoli was passed along throughout the generations. Eventually the lineage rose to the status of nobility and by the 18th century 4 main branches had developed, each made up of princes, barons, and dukes of various towns and regions. Later, Gennaro Napoli, born...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Napoleon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Napoleon Ranking

In the United States, the name Napoleon is the 8,901st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Migration of the Napoleon family

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Napoleon arrived in North America very early: Anna Napoli, aged 6, who arrived at Ellis Island from Pietradefusi, in 1893; Antonia Napoli, aged 1, who arrived at Ellis Island from Camporeale, in 1898.


Contemporary Notables of the name Napoleon (post 1700) +

  • Benny Napoleon (1955-2020), American attorney, law enforcement officer, and politician who served as the Sheriff of Wayne County, Michigan
  • Benny N. Napoleon, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 2008
  • George Napoleon Epps (1815-1874), English homœopathic practitioner, born on 22 July 1815, half-brother of Dr. John Epps [2]
  • Claud Napoleon Sapp (b. 1886), American Democratic Party politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1912-14, 1920-24; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936
  • Louis Napoleon Trudel (1912-1971), American professional NHL ice hockey player who played for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks from (1932-1954)
  • Brigadier General Richard Napoleon Batchelder (1832-1901), United States Army Officer, the 18th Quartermaster General of the United States Army, recipient of Medal of Honor in 1891
  • Jasper Napoleon Tincher (1878-1951), American politician, U.S. Representative from Kansas
  • Joseph Napoleon Guyon (1892-1971), professional American football player
  • Major-General Harold Napoleon Gilbert (1896-1966), American Director of Military Personnel Procurement Service, Office of the Adjutant-General (1945-1946) [3]
  • John Napoleon Norton (1858-1916), Australian (English-born) journalist, editor and Member of the New South Wales Parliament


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  3. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 5) Harold Gilbert. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gilbert/Harold_Napoleon/USA.html


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