Fifteenth Century Venetian Masculine Names

by Sara L. Uckelman
known in the SCA as Aryanhwy merch Catmael

© 2004 Sara L. Uckelman; all rights reserved
last updated 14Oct04


The following roughly 170 names come from two lists of Venetian men primarily from the 15th century, from Venise et l'émirat hafside de Tunis (1231-1535). The two lists are of "Capitani delle galere al viazzio de barberia" (galley captains on trip to Barberia) and "Capitani delle galere del traffico" (captains of trade galleys). Judging from the family names that these men bear, many of them were members of the highest noble families of Venice at the time, with family members who were cardinals, doges, and popes.

Presentation of data

The data are presented in four different lists below. The given names, both of the men and their father's, are in the first two lists, first by frequency, and then alphabetically. Following that is a list, alphabetical only, of the family names. Lastly, there is a list, ordered by date, of all the full names as recorded.

Naming patterns

Without exception, every ship captain had one given name followed by a family name. Almost all of the captains were also identified as fu de <given name>. I believe this translates to '[son] of the late <given name>', but I cannot say for sure.

The given names show typical Venetian influence: Maffeo instead of Matteo, Marin instead of Marino, Alexandro instead of Alessandro (though Alessandro is found twice). In particular, the Venetian dialect often used Z where other dialects have Gi.

The lists

Given Names - by frequency
Given Names - alphabetically

Family Names - alphabetically

Raw Data - by type and date

References & notes

The author gratefully acknowledges the help of Arval Benicoeur (Josh Mittleman) and Talan Gwynek (Brian M. Scott) for their help with analysis of the names, particularly the family names.

Arval Benicoeur & Talan Gwynek, "Fourteenth Century Venetian Personal Names" (WWW: Academy of S. Gabriel, 1999-2003)

De Felice, Emidio, Dizionario dei cognomi italiani (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1978).

Doumerc, Bernard, Venise et l'émirat hafside de Tunis (1231-1535) (Paris: L'Harmattan, c1999.)

Fucilla, Joseph G., Our Italian Surnames (Evanston, IL: Chandlers' Inc., 1949).