The associated coat of arms for this name GUAY are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This name QUAY was originally derived from an Old Norman personal name WARIN, and was a popular font name in France and Italy during the Middle Ages. It is also the Americanized shortened version of the name GUAYAQUIL, a name applied to a native of this city and port of Ecuador. The name is also spelt GUAY, WAREING, WARRING, WERRING, WHARIN and GERAN. 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 Giovanni Battista GUARINI (1538-1612) the Italian poet, born in Ferrara. He was entrusted by Duke Alfonso II with diplomatic missions to the pope, the emperor, and was sent to Venice and Poland. His chief work was the famous pastoral play 'Il Pastor Fido' (1585). 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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