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Caltagirone Family Crest / Caltagirone Coat of Arms

This surname was a metonymic occupational name for a tinker or a maker of large cooking vessels, originally rendered in the Latin form of CALDARIUM (meaning hot bath). The name in various spellings has spread throughout Europe. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupational names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Early records of the name mention Stephen Caldron, who was documented in the year 1289 in County Yorkshire, and Richard Cawdron appears in Lancashire in 1379. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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