do certain names pertain to certain areas in italy, like is the bruno name more or less from the sicilian area, where say ruggiero would be from the mountain area? someon told me this years ago and im just wondering if this could be true? lillian
At one time, the names in Italy were specific to a region. A hundred and fifty years ago, your could identify where a person came from by his last name...for the most part.
And even when a name is present in a town, neighboring towns would often have the same name but in vairation. Like the name DiLallo, DiLiello, Di Lalla, etc. All in the same general region, but different within the "communes" within that region.
Certainly there are many surnames that were created from occupations that a person had when surnames were created for the common man...like Ferris...a name of someone who works with iron and so could be located anywhere in Italy. Some of these "occupational names" tend to be more wide spread then names given to people who came from a specific town...like the name Campolieti. It is a surname but also the name of a town. You can be sure that a name like Campolieti being present in different towns in the same region probably originated with someone who came from Campolieti sometime in the past.
Names in the US, for instance, even at the start of the country, might be found anywhere. Turner or Smith or Wilson or whatever were not regionalized...people with the same name settled in many different areas. But in other countries, and Italy is a good example, names were associated with places for a long time.
Today with people moving about, this is less of the case even in Italy. But 150 years ago, if the name is the same as yours, there is a real good chance it came from the same place as your ancecstors or close by. Not 100%, but very high %none the less.