This Italian surname was originally from the given name Quilico, an altered form of Quirico, borne by a (probably fictitious) 4th century infant saint, said to have been martyred at Tarsus, with his mother Julitta, who was honoured in the Middle Ages as a patron of children. The name is of uncertain origin. It seems to result from the crossing of two other names, both borne by several early saints. The Latin Quirinus, was originally a title borne by Romulus, foundling father of Rome, which is derived from the Sabine city of Cures, and from the Greek Kyriakos, a derivation of 'kyrios' meaning lord and master. 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. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in France. (Quilicu). It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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