Pili History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pili family can trace its noble origins to the Italian region of Tuscany. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adapt 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 Tuscany 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 Pili family lived near a column or post that often served as a landmark for travelers. The surname Pili is derived from the Italian word pila, which means pillar or column.

Early Origins of the Pili family

The surname Pili was first found in Florence (Italian: Firenze), where in 1172 Pilli was Councillor in the government of Florence. The powerful Pilli family of Florence were Lords of many castles and territories, and avid supporters of the Ghibeline faction.

Important Dates for the Pili family

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

Pili 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 Pili include Pili, Pilis, Pilli, Pilo, Pillo, Pilona, Piloni, Pileggi and many more.

Early Notables of the Pili family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the family was Gaetano Pilli was mayor of Orvieto in 1229; Ranieri Pilli took over this position in 1298. From this family came 7 priests between 1288 and 1524...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pili Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pili family

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Pili were found: Teresa Pillonati, age 32, who arrived in America on June 26, 1893, aboard the "Werra".

Contemporary Notables of the name Pili (post 1700)

  • Falemao Pili, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from American Samoa, 2008 [1]
  • Alice Pili, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from American Samoa, 2008 [1]


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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