The surname NOCERA is found principally in Tuscany and neighbouring regions and is extremely common in Florence, where it was given as a surname to all foundlings received into the 'SPEDALE DEGLI INNOCENTI', an orphanage established in the 15th century. Occasionally the surname may derive from a given name, borne by a 4th century bishop of Tortona, and a 6th century bishop of Le Mans. The name was also adopted by a number of influential popes, including INNOCENT I (360-417), who helped established the jurisdiction of the Roman see over other churches and Innocent III (1160-1216) whose pontificate is regarded as the culminating point of the temporal and spiritual supremacy of the Roman see throughout Christendom, where even powerful monarchies submitted to his directives. 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. 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. The name is also spelt NOCENTI, INNOCENTINI, NOCENTINI, NOCENTINO and INCZE. A minor notable of the name is Robert H. NOCE, born on the 19th February, 1914. He is a Neuropsychiatrist and his appointments include director of Clinical Services from 1950 until 1952 at the Pacific State Hospital, California, and Superintendent of Psychiatric Services at the Modesto State Hospital, California, from 1952. He has also contributed to many American medical journals.
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