Show ContentsSpinelli History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Spinelli surname is derived from the Latin "spina," meaning "thorn bush," and was most originally born by someone who lived by a large or unusual thorn bush.

Early Origins of the Spinelli family

The surname Spinelli was first found in Naples, (Italian: Napoli, Latin: Neapolis) where the first bearer of the name on record is Ugone Spinelli in 1094. The name is also became common quite early in Emilia-Romagna and Venetia. The spelling variations of Spinelli which end in "i" are much more common and appear in records mostly in the north, whereas the rarer variations which end in "o" are from the south.

One of the first records of the name appears as both a forename and surname, Spinello Aretino (c. 1350- c. 1410), the Italian painter from Arezzo, who was active in Tuscany at the end of the 14th and the first decennium of the 15th century. He was born Spinello Di Luca Spinelli.

Early History of the Spinelli family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spinelli research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1094, 1387, 1453, 1475, 1546, 1594, 1628, 1646, 1659, 1694, 1699, 1719 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Spinelli History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Spinelli Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Spinelli, Spinello, Spiniello, Spinella, Spinetti, Spinozza, Spinozzi and many more.

Early Notables of the Spinelli family

Prominent among members of the family was

  • Parri Spinelli (ca. 1387-1453), an Italian painter of the early Renaissance from Tuscany
  • Ugone Spinelli, who fought for Christianity in 1094 and was rewarded generously for his valor by Pope Urban II, who granted him 99 baronies, 8 count hoods, 9 marquishoods and 8 duchies
  • Giuseppe Spinelli (1694-1763), Italian Cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

Spinelli Ranking

In the United States, the name Spinelli is the 6,338th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 1 However, in France, the name Spinelli is ranked the 5,349th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. 2

United States Spinelli migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spinelli Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antonio Spinelli, who arrived in New Orleans in 1858
  • Antonio Spinelli, aged 33, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1858 3
  • Carmela and Maria Spinelli, two female farmers who arrived in New York onboard the "SS Vincenze Florio" in 1881
  • Angela Spinelli, aged 1, who landed in America from Casalinhio, Italy, in 1893
  • Guiseppe Spinelli, who arrived in New York in 1898 aboard the "SS Alsatia" from Naples
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Spinelli Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Andrea Spinelli, aged 42, who landed in America from Monte di Procida, Italy, in 1908
  • Andrea Spinelli, aged 30, who immigrated to America from Sammichele, Italy, in 1909
  • Achille Spinelli, aged 27, who landed in America from Mottosollone, Italy, in 1909
  • Alessandro Spinelli, aged 39, who settled in America from Castellabase, Salerno, in 1909
  • Angelo Spinelli, aged 8, who landed in America from Canicotti, Sicily, Italy, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Spinelli (post 1700) +

  • Martin J. Spinelli, American Directors Guild of American nominated director
  • Katie Spinelli, American Visual Effects specialist, best known for her work on Thor (2011) and 2012 (2009)
  • Jerry Spinelli (b. 1941), American Newbery Award-winning children's author
  • Peter P. Spinelli, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1944 4
  • Louis Spinelli, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960 4
  • Brunello Spinelli (1939-2018), Italian gold medalist water polo player at the 1960 Summer Olympics
  • Gennaro Spinelli (1780-1851), Prince of Cariati, an Italian politician and diplomat
  • Elisabetta Spinelli (b. 1968), Italian voice actress
  • Niccola Spinelli (1865-1909), Italian composer of operas from Turin
  • Altiero Spinelli (1907-1986), Italian citizen and advocate of European federalism, considered one of the founding fathers of the European Union

USS Indianapolis
  • John Anthony Spinelli (1923-2001), American crew member on board the ship "USS Indianapolis" when she was on a top secret trip for the first nuclear weapon, she was sunk by Japanese Navy on 30th July 1945, he survived the sinking 5

  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, November 11) . Retrieved from
  5. Final Crew List, retrieved 2021, October 30th Retrieved from on Facebook