The distinguished surname Petrillo can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice
. 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. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice
is the patronymic
surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal
System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Petrillo came from the personal name
Pietro, or Peter, which is itself derived from the Greek word petrus meaning rock.
Early Origins of the Petrillo family
The surname Petrillo was first found in the city of Pavia, where records are found in 1040 with Manfredi and Arizzone Pietra, feudal
Lords of the territories of Pietra, Bissone, and Costa.
Early History of the Petrillo family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petrillo research. More information is included under the topic Early Petrillo History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Petrillo 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 Petrillo include Pietri, Petri, Petris, Pedri, Pieri, Pero, Pierri, Pierro, Perris, Peire, Peiro, Peyro, De Pietri, De Pietro, Di Pietro, Di Pietro, De Petris, De Pero, Depero, Di Pierro, Petrich, Petric, Petrovich, Petrovic, Perich and many more.
Early Notables of the Petrillo family (pre 1700)
Prominent among bearers of this family in early times was Cecco di Pietro, (c.
1330-1402), Italian painter of the Pisan School, date of birth cannot be confirmed, some mention of working with the painter Paolo di Lazzarino in 1350; Francesco Petrarca, or Petrarch, considered to be one of the four great... Another 201 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petrillo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Petrillo family to the New World and Oceana
Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Petrillo were Joseph Dipietro, who was a soldier Naturalized at Camp Pike, Arkansas in 1918, a Pieretto who arrived in New Orleans in 1822 at the age of 23, Lina Petri, who settled in Texas in 1861, Luigi Dipieto, who was Naturalized in Chautauqua County, New York in 1906, and August Petronella, who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1868.
Contemporary Notables of the name Petrillo (post 1700)
- Sammy Petrillo (1934-2009), born Sammy Patrello, American nightclub and movie comedian, best known as a Jerry Lewis lookalike
- James Caesar Petrillo (1892-1984), American labor leader, president of the American Federation of Musicians (1940-1958), eponym of the James C. Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Chicago
- Luigi Petrillo (1903-1964), Italian modern pentathlete who competed at the 1928 Summer Olympics
- Alessio De Petrillo (b. 1967), retired Italian football player
- Ferdinando De Petrillo (b. 1904), Italian boxer