Mastroianni Coat of Arms / Mastroianni Family Crest
The surname MASTROIANNI was derived from the Old French word 'maistre', a superior, a teacher. The name was originally rendered in the Latin form MAGISTER. In early instances this name was often borne by people who were franklins or other substantial freeholders, presumably because they had labourers under them to work their lands, and unlike smaller free tenants did not just till their property themselves. In Scotland the eldest sons of barons had this title, and the name may also have been acquired as an occupational nickname by a servant who worked in the household of the eldest son of a baron. The name is also spelt MASTER, MEYSTRE, MAISTRE, LEMAITRE, MESTER and MASTERSON, to name but a few. Marcello MASTROIANNI, born in 1924 is the actor from Fontano Liri, Italy. A survivor of a wartime Nazi labour camp, he studied at the University of Rome, was involved in amateur dramatics, and, sponsored by the university, joined a leading theatrical troupe. He made his film debut in 1947, and by 1960 was established as an international star. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. America was colonized by peoples from all over the world in a very short period of time, and mostly, in the case of French immigrants they have stayed together in Louisiana. Of the early immigrants to America the French have fared the worst in respect of their names, chiefly because of the difficulties experienced by the Americans in pronouncing them correctly. Many have been translated into English names. French heraldry bears a close relationship to British. From the Renaissance people tended to place only their coronets of rank upon their helmets. By the 18th century the helmet had also been abandoned and coronets were placed directly above the shield. After the French Revolution of 1789, heraldry was abolished, being replaced some 15 years later by a new Imperial heraldry, characterised by weapons and images of Napoleonic campaigns, crests, helmets and mottoes being removed.
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