The surname of OCHELTREE was an Italian and Rumanian nickname for a one-eyed man or for someone with some other defect of the eyes, such as squinting. The name is a derivative of the word OCHI (eye), and is applied to a one-eyed monster in Rumanian folk-tales. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form OCULUS. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. 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 name has numerous variant spellings which include OCCHI, OEUILLET, LEUILLOT, OCHIELLO, OCCILLO, OCCHINO, OCCHIUTO, OCCHIUTI,OCHINO and OCCHIONI. A notable member of the name was Bernardino OCHINO (1487-1564) the Italian Protestant reformer, born in Siena. He joined the Franciscans, but in 1534 changed to the Capuchins, becoming vice-general of the order after four years. In 1542 he was summoned to Rome to answer for evangelical tendencies, but fled to Geneva. In 1542 he became preacher to the Italians in Augsburg. He was invited to England, where he was pastor to the Italian exiles and a prebend in Canterbury.
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