Show ContentsNapolitano 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 Napolitano. 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 Napolitano family lived in the city of Naples.

Early Origins of the Napolitano family

The surname Napolitano 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 Napolitano family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Napolitano research. The years 1881, 1906, 1911 and 1972 are included under the topic Early Napolitano History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Napolitano 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 Napolitano include Napoletano, Napoli, Napolitano and others.

Early Notables of the Napolitano family

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 Napolitano Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Napolitano Ranking

In the United States, the name Napolitano is the 5,813rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 1

United States Napolitano migration to the United States +

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Napolitano arrived in North America very early:

Napolitano Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Guillermo Napolitano, who landed in America in 1816 2
  • Rodrigo Napolitano, who landed in America in 1816 2
  • Pedro Napolitano, who arrived in Veragua in 1835 2
  • Antonio Napolitano, who arrived in Veragua in 1835 2
  • Aiello Napolitano, aged 18, who settled in America from Forchia, in 1893
Napolitano Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Abario Napolitano, aged 50, who landed in America from Saviano, in 1900
  • Alfonso Napolitano, aged 25, who landed in America from Pagliara, in 1906
  • Alfonso Napolitano, aged 33, who settled in America from Mola, Italy, in 1908
  • Alfonso Napolitano, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States from Nola, Italy, in 1908
  • Afsunta Napolitano, aged 16, who landed in America from Ciano, Italy, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Napolitano (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Ralph "Joe" Napolitano (1948-2016), American film and television director
  • Michael Napolitano, American politician, former mayor of the city of Cranston, Rhode Island
  • Art Napolitano (b. 1956), retired American soccer player
  • Joe Napolitano (b. 1948), American film and television director, writer and producer
  • Johnette Napolitano (b. 1957), American singer, songwriter and bassist
  • Andrew Paolo Napolitano (b. 1950), former New Jersey Superior Court Judge
  • Graciela Flores Napolitano (b. 1936), American politician U.S. Representative for California
  • Janet Napolitano (b. 1957), the third United States Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Janet Napolitano (b. 1957), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Attorney for Arizona, 1993-97; Arizona State Attorney General, 1999-2003:Governor of Arizona, 2003-09; U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, 2009-
  • Grace Flores Napolitano (b. 1936), American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Norwalk, California, 1989-90; Member of California State Assembly, 1992-98
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook