The Italian surname of NARRON was of two fold origin. It was a name given to 'one from Genoa' in Liguria. Genoa was one of the greatest seaports of the Mediterranean in medieval times, and merchants and master mariners from there were found in all the coastal and trading towns of Europe. The Genoese traded much with England both in silks and in spices. The name was also a nickname for someone who was born or baptised in January, or having some connection with that month. It got its name originally from the Latin Janus, who was the God of gateways and entrances. In some cases the name may reflect the Latin personal name of Januarius, which was borne by a number of early Christian saints, most famously a 3rd century bishop of Benevento who became the patron of Naples. The name was altered by folk etymology into many variant forms. 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. Other spellings of the name include JANAWAYS, JANVIER, JANER, GINER, GINE, NARI, and ZONARI, to name but a few. Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. The Church played a very important role in Central Italian heraldry and many Italian families who derived their titles from popes incorporated elements of the papal insignia, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys, on their Coats of Arms. As in the rest of Europe, the turbulent history of Italy in the Middle Ages is reflected in its heraldry. Traces remain from the successive invasions of the Germans, French, Spanish and Austrians. Certain characteristics, such as the use of horse-shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses during tournaments, remain uniquely Italian.
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