Prato History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Prato surname comes from the word Latin "praetor," and was a term used for a reeve, the chief magistrate or bailiff of a district. Additionally, the name could have meant "leader." The Pretorius variant is a common Afrikaans surname which is unique to South Africa.

Early Origins of the Prato family

The surname Prato was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The family name was first referenced in the year 1150 when Willelmus Pretor held estates in that shire. Later, Robertus Preter was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1208. [1]

By the 16th century, early spelling variations of the name appeared in Germany including Jacob Praetorius the Elder (c. 1520-1586), the German organist and composer. He was the first of many listed in this century, but how the English and German families are related is unknown. Moreover how the South African variant Pretorius became so popular there is again unknown.

Early History of the Prato family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prato research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Prato History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prato Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Prater, Preater, Prather, Pretor, Prether and many more.

Early Notables of the Prato family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Prato Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Prato migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Prato Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alberto Prato, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Comuneglia, Italy, in 1910
  • Angelo Prato, aged 4, who immigrated to the United States from Crescentino, Novara, Italy, in 1910
  • Andrea Prato, aged 26, who landed in America from Atrani, Italy, in 1912
  • Andrea Prato, aged 32, who settled in America from Genoa, Italy, in 1913
  • Angela Prato, aged 36, who landed in America from Cigiano, Italy, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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