The Italian surname of MOLINO was an occupational name for a miller. The mill, whether powered by water, wind or (occasionally) animals, was an important centre in every medieval settlement; it was normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and individual peasants were compelled to come to him to have their corn ground into flour, a proportion of the ground corn being kept by the miller by way of payment. The name is also spelt MOULER, MOLLER, MOLNER, DE MOLDER, MOLNAR, MUELLER and MOLITOR. A notable member of the name was Luis de MOLINA (1535-1600) the Spanish Jesuit theologian, born in Cuenca. He studied at Coimbra, was professor of theology at Evora for 20 years, and died in Madrid. His principal writings are a commentary on the 'Summa of Aquinas' (1593); a treatise 'De Justitia et Jure' (1592); and the celebrated treatise on grace and free will. 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. Central Italian heraldry has been much influenced by the church. Families deriving their titles from popes have incorporated papal insignia in their arms, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys. The heraldry is reflected by the history of the country which has been used as a battlefield for successive German, French, Spanish and Austrian invaders. Italian heraldry has however developed certain characteristics shown by the use of horse-head shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses at tournaments. Crests are rare but when they do appear are quite ostentatious. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.
Orders over $85 qualify for Free Shipping within the U.S. (Use coupon code: FREESHIP).