Last name: Assante
This early Italian surname is recorded heraldically in Rietstaps Armorial General as "Assanti di Italie" The Coat of Arms is a Paly of gold and black, overall a gold fess, the sword belt of command and authority. The date of the grant is not known but is probably Circa 1550, the grantor being the King of Naples. The surname is also recorded in the spelling of Assaudri (Milano) and Assanes (Greece). Italian surnames have the most difficult etymology of all European origins, as they rarely if ever, retained in their modern spelling forms more than two or three of the original letters from the base spelling. In this case the name is probably locational deriving from the medieval Azzano or Assano, and translating as one resident by the black alder trees, or from a village or estate of the same name. On the other hand it may derive from the early Sicilian "Assinu" which described a wild boar, and thus became a nickname surname. Sadly Italian church records are at best erratic and usually many centuries later than other European countries. In this case examples include Guiseppe Assante, a witness at Palermo on December 11th 1824 and Juan Assante and his wife Ines (nee Quarto), witnesses at the christening of their son Vicente at Procida Island, Napoli on June 10th 1860. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vittoria Assanti, which was dated July 11th, 1821, baptised at Palermo, Italia. during the reign of Pope Pius V11, March 1800 - August 1823. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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