Names Santopadre and Santopietro

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jennabet
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Names Santopadre and Santopietro

Postby jennabet » 08 Jan 2015, 17:36

My deceased grand-father, Giovanni Di Eleuterio maintained that he is descended from Pope Eleuthere and nearly all of my grand-father's descendents except for the ones in the USA live in Teramo, Abruzzo. Out of curiosity I decided to look for the Di Eleuterio sur name in the Rome Paginebianche. I really didn't expect to find anything and was surprised when two listings came up in Rome. One is a man named Di Eleuterio Santopadre, Bruno. Since the first name Bruno IS one of our family names, I think this person must also be related -- and the Santopadre (Holy Father) in his name has me particularly curious.

Also, years ago in New York City, I had Italian-American friends who were brothers by the sur name of Santopietro (Saint Peter). The elder brother, a hair stylist, is the husband of Vanna White, the American woman who turned the letters on the TV game show Wheel of Fortune.

Hopefully, the researchers/historians here can give me some insight as to the real significance of Italians who still possess these kinds of sur names after nearly 2,000 years. Grazie mille.

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PippoM
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Re: Names Santopadre and Santopietro

Postby PippoM » 09 Jan 2015, 12:36

I don't think (and I guess experts don't, either) the "origin" of such surnames goes back 2k years.
It's the origin of vthe origin that goes back so far.
I try to explain: I sincerely don't think your GF descended from pope Eleuterio. But in the time when surnames began to be used, there were probably many people named Eleuterio after the pope or other saints. The patronimic became a surname, and their descendants, from then on, had "Eleuteri" or "di Eleuterio" as their surname.
As to "Santopietro" and "Santopadre", I am inclined to think they derive, the first from a place name, and the second from a nickname.
I have a book "Dizionario dei Cognomi Italiani", written by professor de Felice. I'll take a look at it, and let you know what it says about these surnames.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

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jennabet
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Re: Names Santopadre and Santopietro

Postby jennabet » 09 Jan 2015, 14:18

Hi Pippo, thanks for your response. It also occurred to me that Santopadre might be a nic name. I look forward to learning about any additional info regarding these names that may be available.

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PippoM
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Re: Names Santopadre and Santopietro

Postby PippoM » 18 Jan 2015, 19:17

I checked De Felice's book. I'm sorry it doesn't mention surnames Santopietro and Santopadre.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

Certificate requests and genealogical researches in Italy.
Translation of your (old) documents and letters.
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