Is the surname 'Abbe' Italian or of Italian origin?

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Is the surname 'Abbe' Italian or of Italian origin?

Post by ItalianBelgian » 06 Jan 2012, 18:34

I have recently been researching my family's Italian ancestry, and have been unsure about whether the 'Abbe' surname is Italian or of some Italian origin? The surname is from my grandfather's side of the family, and we have traced the name back to France. Having searched on many surname distribution maps for many different countries and noticing that both 'Abba' and 'Abbo' appear as being present in North Italy, but finding no conclusive country of origin for 'Abbe' (although it has appeared popular in Southern Switzerland on some searches), I stumbled across a website ( which stated that there are several plausible origins, but cited that it was most likely French or Italian, saying that the name may have derived from the Italian word 'Abet', which 'referrred to a local chief or an official master of ceremonies.'

I would be incredibly grateful, if anyone, maybe even an Italian with the surname(?), could help me out on this question as it is a bit of a sticking point with my genealogical research and I would really like to know whether my grandfather, like some of my other ancestors, was of Italian heritage. Thanks
Investigating the Mercieri family in West Flanders, Belgium, originally from Bari, Puglia

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