This Italian and French surname of SANTINI was a nickname or given name bestowed on someone who was born on All Saint's Day, 1st November. The name was originally rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form SANCTORUM. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name is also spelt TOUSAUNT, SANTA, SANTORIO, SANTORUM, SANTORELLI, SANTORIELLO and SANTORINI. A notable member of the name was Pierre Dominique TOUSSAINT (1746-1803) the Haitian black revolutionary leader (the surname derives from his bravery in once making a breach in the ranks of the enemy.) Born of African slave parents in Haiti, he was freed in 1777. In 1791 he joined the black insurgents and in 1797 was made commander-in-chief of the island by the French Convention. He drove out the British and Spaniards, restored order and prosperity, and about the year 1800 began to aim at independence. Napoleon proclaimed the re-establishment of slavery but TOUSSAINT declined to obey. He was eventually overpowered and taken prisoner. He died in France. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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