The surname of ROSSI is of Italian origin, a nickname given to one 'with red cheeks and a ruddy complexion'. The name is also spelt as ROSSETTO, ROUSE, DE ROSSI, ROSSONE, ROSSON, RUSSINO and ROSSETTI, to name but a few. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. 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. Gabriel ROSSETTI (1783-1854) was an Italian refugee in England who had a number of remarkable children. Dante Gabriel (1828-82) the poet and painter, Michael (1829-1919) a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Christina (1830-94), also a poet. Their father, born in Vasto, was an opera librettist who was sentenced to death for his revolutionary activities and became a professor of English at King's College, London. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
The Rose depicted in the arms is used as a distinction for the seventh son. The Distinction of Houses are used to distinguish the younger from the elder branches of a family, and to show from which line each is descended.
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