The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

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The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby judydennisi » 18 Feb 2015, 20:35

I can find "I" Surnames that are somewhar similar; ie, Iacobucci, Iacoboni, etc. This makes me wonder if the Surname Iaciofano is made up of (2) groups of letters such as "Iaco-" or "iaci" and "-fano". Most of my relatives were from Busso, so it would not appear that our surname is derived from the town. Any thoughts on were this name came from? There have been records of Iaciofanos going back to the lated 1700's so it was derived before then. Any Ideas? Dennis

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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 18 Feb 2015, 20:54

The name Iaciofano comes from Busso, before the 1700s likely still Busso - whether it has a progenitor who gained the name as some nickname or descriptive word, or for some other reason, or whether it came from just an orphan and the name was made up by the town officials is not known. The best way would be to trace it through normal genealogy. It is so uncommon today that I suspect you could eventually find the first person with this name.

The "Iac" beginning and its similarity with those other names are meaningless. That implies and means nothing, no connection at all in any way. Iaco- is pronounced almost like "Yako" while Iacio- is pronounced "Ya-chi-oh." Italian names are interesting, and similar names never means association. Sometimes you could have a name like (hypothetically) "Camelli" or "Cameli" and they could come from two different ends of Italy with no relation, or they could be from the same area and just one family changed the spelling in 1689, and the other kept the original.

The only answer I think you can find for Iaciofano is to trace it to the original person who had the name if the person was an orphan or it branched off another name or something.

Sometimes Italian names simply don't "mean" anything, or their meaning was so specific (like a nickname, or a pet name, or a made up Italianization of an ancient immigrants name, etc.) that taken out of the exact context in which it was created, the meaning is totally lost forever. For instance, one of my lines if "Fronzi" which would mean nothing unless you trace it back to the original italian owner of the name, a Dalmation trader in the 1400s who lived in Pesaro as Lauren Fronti.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby judydennisi » 19 Feb 2015, 04:39

How can I find the first person who had this name. I know of Iaciofano as early as 1795. How can I find earlier records than that? dennis

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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 19 Feb 2015, 07:21

Earlier records than that are Parish records. You must search the local churches for baptismal, marriage, and death records, which will almost certainly be in latin (but the basics as far as those records are concerned aren't hard to learn).

These may be at the churches, are the main parish church, or in the diocese archives. It all depends on the town.

You find the first person with the name until you find someone whose parent had a different last name, an orphan ancestor, or until you get to the 1400s because before that there were no records at all in which case you may never know. (which may not be so bad, because I've seen some "tell me what my name means" threads on here, and they are full of BS a lot of the time lol).
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby judydennisi » 19 Feb 2015, 17:30

I believe the parish in Busso is San Lorenzo Martyr. Do I need to pay a surogate to visit the parish to research their records or is there a website I can access? How should I proceed? Thanks for your help! Ciao!

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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby JohnArmellino » 19 Feb 2015, 23:12

I was at San Lorenzo Matire in 2006 and inquired about the church records. Unfortunately, we were told that there were no records that predated the civil records. Occasionally you do get wrong information from a parish priest, who may be unaware of the extent of records available. However, in this case, the records were in a bookcase right behind the priest and we could read the spines and see that the records did not go back further than the mid-1800s. We even took a picture of the bookcase and records when the priest left the room for a moment so that we could double-check later. Unfortunately, there were no older records.

The earliest Iaciofano I've encountered is Gio: Andrea Iaciofano, born in Busso circa 1700. He married Elisabetta Piaccio of Campobasso and they had at least four children in that comune between 1723 and 1743.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby JohnArmellino » 19 Feb 2015, 23:13

You might be able to find some older Iaciofano records in the notary records that are held at the provincial archives in Campobasso.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 19 Feb 2015, 23:18

JohnArmellino wrote:I was at San Lorenzo Matire in 2006 and inquired about the church records. Unfortunately, we were told that there were no records that predated the civil records. Occasionally you do get wrong information from a parish priest, who may be unaware of the extent of records available.



In this case the priest is 100% wrong, unless he means that they were destroyed or the church wasn't built yet (make sure you go to the right church! You will need to check them all, its sometimes kept at the "main" church). Churches were required by church law to keep those records from about the 1500s, EVERY church kept the records.

If the records for the early 1800s or back are not there, and they were not destroyed, then they are held at the diocese archives. But I assure you, unless destroyed, records exist.

How you find them I cannot say. Priests are usually unable and unwilling to help, but the diocese archives might be more willing (though they usually had limited weekly hours).

I have only done such searches manually, by going to Italy myself and trying to get access to the records but this is hard and time consuming. Paying someone is an option, but you will be overcharged and there is no guarantee that another person will show as much dedication to ensuring the records they find are the RIGHT records (I search parish records in Supino, found 2 women both with the same name, both with the same father's name, so they only way to be sure was to the find HER marriage to locate a mothers name - be diligent and careful!)

And yes, as mentioned above there are other records like census and notary records.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby JohnArmellino » 19 Feb 2015, 23:42

In this case the priest is 100% wrong, unless he means that they were destroyed or the church wasn't built yet (make sure you go to the right church! You will need to check them all, its sometimes kept at the "main" church). Churches were required by church law to keep those records from about the 1500s, EVERY church kept the records.


Although records were kept by all churches after the Council of Trent, not all of those records have survived. In this case, the priest at San Lorenzo Matire (which is the "main" church of Busso) said he was unaware of any other, older records. Who knows if they still exist in some hidden cubbyhole. The problem is that no one knows where they are or if they still exist.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 20 Feb 2015, 00:07

JohnArmellino wrote:
In this case the priest is 100% wrong, unless he means that they were destroyed or the church wasn't built yet (make sure you go to the right church! You will need to check them all, its sometimes kept at the "main" church). Churches were required by church law to keep those records from about the 1500s, EVERY church kept the records.


Although records were kept by all churches after the Council of Trent, not all of those records have survived. In this case, the priest at San Lorenzo Matire (which is the "main" church of Busso) said he was unaware of any other, older records. Who knows if they still exist in some hidden cubbyhole. The problem is that no one knows where they are or if they still exist.


Which is why I said IF the record was not destroyed or lost. Just because the priest doesn't know where it is, doesn't mean its not there or been moved to the diocese archives. I'd check the diocese archives.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby judydennisi » 20 Feb 2015, 04:50

Anizio: I know what I am proposing you will consider BS; however I will choose to call it a Hypothesis. I took all the names starting with ("Ia-") from families in the towns of Camposso Province and put them in alphabetiacal order with Surname "Iaciofano". A sampling is: Iacadoro, Iacampo, Iacapraro, Iaciero, Iacierno, Iaciofano, Iacobacci, Iacobelli, Iacobucci, Iaconianni, Iacoponi, Iacovino, Iacovone, Iacovantuono, Iacovetta,etc. What appears to me is a thread that is common; the last part of the name; -campo, -cadoro, -capraro,-bacci, -bucci, -coponi, -ciofano.
Could it be that the family name ; for example, Iacobucci, was derived from the name Bucci? Or that the name Iaciofano was derived from the Surname "Ciofano". I researched the name "Ciofano" and found an Ercole Ciofano (1545-1591) who lived in Abruzzo , in the town of Sulmona. This must have been his home town since they have named a street after him. he was a a writer and humanist. He had a family with (3) children. So my Hypothesis is that the Ciofano became the Iaciofano family and migrated from Abruzzo to Busso sometime between 1600 and 1700 .
If this is a possible scenario; how could it be proven?

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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 20 Feb 2015, 05:22

You are right, I think it is ridiculous. But not so much that I'd call it impossible.

But if you want to try and prove it, there is only 1 way - trace the paternal line 1 generation at a time using documentary proof until you reach a time when someone named Iaciofano is born of someone named Ciofano or someone is born Ciofano and dies Iaciofano (same way Italian-American names changed when a lot of the moved). That is the only way, as I told you already the only way is tracing the line.

There are no shortcuts. You can come up with 20 theories, there's still only 1 way to find out.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 20 Feb 2015, 22:44

Came across this today in searching in Abruzzo, talking about how some names in one of my families towns came about according to the province's historical society. Definitely relevant to your theory and why I say there is no pattern.
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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby judydennisi » 21 Feb 2015, 13:56

Could it be that the parish priest is interpreting the name from the sound he hears from the family and writing it down in the record? Because the family is not literate ? Dennis. I want to tell you that I have written to the secretary for the Archdiocese of Campobasso-Boiano asking if they have records that precede 1806 from Busso and before 1806. I used the online translator to write my message in italian.

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Re: The meaning and souce of Surname Iaciofano

Postby Anizio » 21 Feb 2015, 19:22

No, a mistake does not cover. Plus, although there were not civil records, towns were small, there were enough people who could write and enough written documents that names were known. But what this could suggest to you is that a man named Jacobo Ciofano, or something similar (maybe Bonifacio Ciofano, who knows), could have been the founder of your last name. Again no way to know without tracing it back.

Pre-1400s a lot of the times names were not "official" (which is why you can't really trace back from that unless its a very prominent or noble family). People went by nicknames, ie. son of x, or some other nickname. Many people has aliases at that time. Some turned into surnames like Jacoboczo turned into Iacobucci FOR THAT TOWN (not for ALL Iacobucci's everywhere). However, some did not.

Ie. In this area Amico de Baptista (son of Baptista) was called Amicuccio, like a nickname, which founded the name Amicucci for that town. But there were plenty of other nicknames that did not turn into last names: Antonello Sfardella was called Tretteca, but that did not become a surname for the family.

As I have a tried to tell you several times, there may not be any logic to how a nickname formed. Without knowing this, how could anyone know their Iacoboni family from Tagliacozzo came from a man named Jacobo de Nuccio. Or even more, that the last name Tocci came from a man named Heredi de Mattheo. Only one way to find out.

Also, YIKES! Do not use online translators for letters to Italy! Ask for help! Things don't translate perfectly, and Italian that obviously comes from something on google translate isn't going to make Italians, prejudice as they are, want to help you.
TIP: When asking for records from Italy, do NOT ask for an "estratto." ALWAYS ask for a "copia integrale." A photocopy of the original Act will contain more information


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