The Italian surname of AIELLO was a habitation name from any of many places in southern Italy so called from the Latin AGELLUS, a diminutive of the Latin AGER, meaning field. The name is also spelt GELLIUS, D'AIELLO, D'AJELLO, A'AZEGLIO, GELLI and ZELLI. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Aulus GELLIUS (2nd century) was the Latin author, supposed to have been born in Rome. He is said to have practised law there after studying philosophy in Athens. He wrote 'Noctes Atticae' a medley of language, antiquities, history and literature. It contains many extracts from lost authors. As the agricultural depression of southern Italy worsened towards the end of the 19th century, people began to escape to the New World. The exodus started in earnest in 1887 with Brazil and other parts of Latin America being the original destinations. By 1893, the economy had improved in the United States and people headed there from Italy in greater and greater numbers. In 1898 there were more Italian immigrants to the USA than from any other country. In the post war era, more than a quarter of Italians left the country for a new life. They joined a flood of immigrants to America which was averaging a million a year in the pre war years.
The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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