Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. The Italian surname of PATZER was a baptismal name 'the son of Patrick' a once great North-English font name, leaving many descendants. This was the name of a 5th century Romano-Britain who became the apostle of Ireland, and it was largely as a result of his fame that the given name was so popular in the Middle Ages. The name was first introduced in its Latin form PATRICIUS, meaning the son of a noble father, a member of the patrician class, and a member of the Roman hereditary-aristocracy. The name has spread widely into France, Italy and Portugal in many forms which include PATRICK, PATRICE, PATRIS, PATRIX, PATRY, PADAN, PATRICOT and PATRIGEON, to name but a few. St. PATRICK (5th century) the Apostle and patron saint of Ireland, born perhaps in South Wales, less probably at Boulogne-sur-Mer, or Kilpatrick near Dumbarton. His father was a Romano-British deacon named Calpurnius. His own Celtic name or nickname was Succat. According to legend he was seized by pirates in his l6th year, carried off to Ireland and sold to an Antrim chief called Milchu. After six years he escaped and probably after a second captivity, went to France, where he became a monk, first at Tours and afterwards at Lerins. He was consecrated a bishop at 45, and in 432 it is thought he was sent by Pope Celestine I as a missionary to Ireland. He landed at Wicklow, thence he sailed north to convert his old master Milchu. In Down he converted another chief, Dichu. At Tara in Meath he preached to the king of Tara, Laoghaire. Thence he proceeded to Croagh-Patrick in Mayo, to Ulster, and as far as Cashel in the south. He addressed himself first to the chiefs, and made use of the spirit of clanship. After 20 years spent in missionary labours, he fixed his see at Armagh (454).
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