This Spanish and Italian surname of GRANA was of two-fold origin. It was an occupational name for a grower and seller of pomegranates, or a locational name for one who came from GRANADA (the place where pomegranates grew) in Spain. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The name is also spelt GRANATA, GRANATELLI, GRANADOS, GRANADO and GRANADA. 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. 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 Enrique GRANADOS Y CAMPINA (1868-1916) the Spanish composer and pianist, born in Lerida. He studied at Barcelona and at Paris. A composer of Spanish dances, his 'Goyescas' for piano are his most accomplished works. He was drowned when the 'Sussex' was torpedoed by the Germans in the English Channel. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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