The Italian surname of FICARRA was an Italian and Spanish nickname, derived from the old Italian word CARO, meaning dear, beloved and was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CARUS. The name has many variant spellings which include FIACRE, CARRO, CARI, CARICO, CARELLOW, and CARULLI. 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. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. St. FIACRE (died 670) was the Irish hermit who founded a monastery in France on the site of the village of Saint-Fiacre-en-Brie, near Paris. In 1640 one Nicholas Sauvage, a hirer of hackney carriages, lived at the Hotel St. Fiacre in the Rue St Martin, Paris; hence the name 'fiacre'. He is the patron saint of cab drivers and gardeners. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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