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Galea Coat of Arms / Galea Family Crest

Galea Coat of Arms / Galea Family Crest

The Spanish surname of GALEA was originally a medieval Catalan female given name. It was also a locational name for someone who lived by the 'via GALLIANA' 'Gaulish path' the pilgrim route from France to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. The word GALIANA later came to have the meaning 'cattle-track'. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form GALLIUS, and is also spelt GALIA, GALIANI and GALLUS. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A notable member of the name was Ferdinando GALIANI (1728-87) the Italian economist, born in Chieti. He lived in Paris (1760-69) as a Neapolitan secretary of legation on close terms with the Encyclopedistes, and then was minister of the King of Naples, working on economic policy. He wrote against both extreme protection and complete free trade in 'Della moneta' (1750) and 'Dialogues sur le commerce des ble' (1770). In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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