Show ContentsPapa History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Venice, one of the oldest and most beautiful island regions of Italy, is the esteemed birthplace of numerous prominent families, including the family that bears the surname Papa. 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 common type of family name found in Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's givenname, names derived from occupations are also found. Occupational surnames, which are less common than other types of surnames in Italy, date back to the feudal era. However, under the Feudal System, occupational names did not become hereditary until the offices themselves became hereditary. It was only after an occupation was inherited by several generations in lineal descent that occupational names came to be applied to entire families, and so became a hereditary surname. The surname Papa is a common occupational name for a person who was in some way associated with an ecclesiastical office, either as an employee or as a Father. The surname Papa is derived from the Italian word papa, which means Father or Pope.

Early Origins of the Papa family

The surname Papa was first found in 1116 in Mirandola with Guido Papazzoni.

Early History of the Papa family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Papa research. The years 1280, 1311, 1505 and 1623 are included under the topic Early Papa History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Papa Spelling Variations

Enormous variation in spelling and form characterizes those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. This is caused by two main factors: regional tradition, and inaccuracies in the recording process. Before the last few hundred years, scribes spelled names according to their sounds. Spelling variations were the unsurprising result. The variations of Papa include Papa, Lo Papa, Papotto, Papaccio, Papazzo, Papallo, Papadomenico, Papadonno, Papajanni, Pappaianni, Papaleo, Papaleone, papalenoi, Papalìa, Papaluca, Papandrea, Papapietro, Papazzoni, Papacoda, Papacizza, Papadia, Papafava, Papareschi, Papaivano, Paparusso, Papasergio and many more.

Early Notables of the Papa family

Prominent among members of the family was

  • Papa family in Piedmont, Counts of Costigliole in 1280
  • The Papacizza family was of Paduan nobility in 1311. The Papacoda family in Naples was of the noble class and possessed 30 feudal territories and much other land. Alfonso Papacoda was an Admiral under...
  • Artusio Papacoda founded the church of Saint Giovanni Evangelista and the chapel of San Nicol dei Papacoda
  • Sigismondo Papacoda was a Bishop and then Cardinal under Pope Clemente VII. Federico Papadia was a fiscal lawyer in Cordova in 1505
  • Enrico Papafava of Padua was an important arms manufacturer in the 17th century
  • of this family was a Bishop, Ubertino, in 1623. Two very prominent members of the Papa lineage of the Papareschi family of Rome were Pope Clemente III and Pope Innocenzo II

Papa Ranking

In the United States, the name Papa is the 6,849th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 1 However, in France, the name Papa is ranked the 5,393rd most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. 2

United States Papa migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Papa

Papa Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Josefa Papa, aged 30, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 3
  • William Papa, who landed in America in 1870 3
  • Alepandro Papa, aged 15, who immigrated to America, in 1894
  • Alfonso Papa, aged 55, who landed in America, in 1896
  • Ambrogio Papa, aged 13, who immigrated to the United States from Ailano, in 1899
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Papa Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Acholle Papa, aged 26, who settled in America from Napoli, in 1902
  • Abramo Papa, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States from Tortoreto, in 1906
  • Agostino Papa, aged 36, who immigrated to America from Caserta, Italy, in 1907
  • Alessandro Papa, aged 18, who settled in America from Ceroneo, Italy, in 1910
  • Alessandro Papa, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Senerchia, Italy, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Papa (post 1700) +

  • Matt Papa, American rock singer, guitarist and songwriter
  • John Paul Papa (b. 1940), retired American professional baseball player
  • John or Keoni Papa (1800-1870), 19th century American educator, politician and historian
  • Tom Papa, American comedian, actor and TV and radio host
  • Greg Papa, American sportscaster
  • Bob Papa (b. 1964), American sportscaster
  • Frankie Sue Del Papa, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nevada, 1996, 2000 4
  • Benigno Luigi Papa (1935-2023), Italian Roman Catholic prelate, Archbishop of Taranto from 1990 to 2011 and Bishop of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi from 1981 to 1990
  • Alfonso Papa (b. 1970), Italian politician, and a judge
  • Marco Papa (1958-1999), Italian Grand Prix motorcycle road racer
  • ... (Another 6 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.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from on Facebook