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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Italian Russo family come from? What is the Italian Russo family crest and coat of arms? When did the Russo family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Russo family history?

The name Russo is derived from the Italian word "Rosso," which comes from the Latin words "Rubius and Rossius," which mean "red." As a surname, Russo was originally a nickname for a person with red hair or a reddish complexion. Nickname surnames usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. Although the most common type of family name found in Tuscany is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, the nickname type of surname is also frequently found.


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 Russo include Rosso, Rossa, Rossi, Del Rosso, De Rossi, De Russi, Lo Russo, Lorusso, La Russa, Larussa, Rosselli, Rossello, Rossellini, Ruggiu, Ruiu, Ruju, Rubiu, Rossillo, Rossetto, Rossit, Rossini, Rossitti, Rossitto, Rossotto, Russotti, Russello, Russetti, Russino, Russiani, Rossoni, Rossetti, Roussini, Rosselino, Rossato, Della Rossa, DeRossi, De Rubeis, Russo and many more.

First found in the cites of Trento, Udine, Vicenza, Venice, Savigliano, Pisa, Ravenna, and Rome. Some of the family migrated as far south as Sicily. This southern branch of the family descended from Count Ugone Rosso of Sicily, whose ancestors were Normans.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Russo research. Another 59 words(4 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1197, 1204, 1325, 1564, 1439, 1507, 1602, 1656, 1659, 1715 and 1783 are included under the topic Early Russo History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 311 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Russo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Russo were found:

Russo Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Antonino Russo, aged 12, who emigrated to the United States from Italy, in 1892
  • Antonio Russo, aged 26, who landed in America from Italy, in 1892
  • Alessi Russo, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Polizzi, Italy, in 1893
  • Alfonso Russo, aged 11, who landed in America from Forino, in 1893
  • Alfonso Russo, aged 24, who settled in America from Piedmonte, in 1893

Russo Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Agostino Russo, aged 35, who settled in America from Borgetto, in 1902
  • Agostina Russo, aged 17, who landed in America from Termini, in 1905


  • Anthony Russo, Emmy Award-winning film and television director
  • David C. Russo (b. 1953), American Republican Party politician
  • Louis Giovanni "Gianni" Russo (b. 1943), American actor
  • Marisabina Russo, American award-winning children's book author and illustrator
  • Richard Russo (b. 1949), American author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002
  • Rene Marie Russo (b. 1954), American film actress and one of the most successful fashion models during the 1970s
  • Vincent James "Vince" Russo (b. 1961), American creative writer and author and former wrestler
  • William "Bill" Russo (1928-2003), American jazz musician and arranger
  • James Vincent Russo (b. 1953), American Western Heritage Award winning film and television actor
  • Paul Russo (1914-1976), American racecar driver




  1. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial Général by J.B. Rietstap. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today, 1967. Print. (ISBN 0-0900455-209).
  2. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
  3. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana 56 volumesr. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Di Crollalanza, G.B. Dizionario Storico-Blasonico Delle Famiglie Nobili e Notabili Italiane 3 volumes. Pisa. Print.
  9. Battilana, Natale, Ed. Genealogie Dello Famiglie Nobili di Genova. Genova: Fratelli Pagano, 1825. Print.
  10. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  11. ...

The Russo Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Russo Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 December 2014 at 01:23.

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