This Italian surname of DISABATINO was a nickname or given name bestowed on someone born on a Saturday, which was considered a good omen. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form SABBATUM. The name has numerous variant spellings which include SABAT, SHABATH, SHABATT, SABATINI, SABBATELLI and SABBADINI. As the agricultural depression of southern Italy worsened towards the end of the 19th century, people began to escape to the New World. The exodus started in earnest in 1887 with Brazil and other parts of Latin America being the original destinations. By 1893, the economy had improved in the United States and people headed there from Italy in greater and greater numbers. In 1898 there were more Italian immigrants to the USA than from any other country. In the post war era, more than a quarter of Italians left the country for a new life. They joined a flood of immigrants to America which was averaging a million a year in the pre war years. 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. A notable member of the name was Rafael SABATINI (1875-1950) the Italian-born novelist, born of Italian and British parentage in Jesi. Writing in English, he first made his name as an author of historical romances with 'The Tavern Knight' (1904) which he followed after he settled in England in 1905, with many other tales including 'The Sea Hawk' (1915) and 'Captain Blood' (1922). In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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