Many surnames have several possible origins, however this problem is compounded many times over with Italian names, where successive generations as a rule, altered the format while only retaining two or even only one letter of the (original) surname. In this case "Avo" would seem to be a shortened form of the very popular "Avolio". The reason for the popularity is simple; the word is usually used to refer to a grand parent, in particular a Grand Father. It is a form of nickname endearment, of which "Avo" would seem to be the natural foreshortening. The name also appears in the Ancient Heraldic Rolls of chivalry, as "Aviolat", probably a patronymic form. The second possible origin is as a development of the personal name Ava, or Ave, themselves developments of the ancient hebrew "Eve" - meaning "life". Lastly it may also be a shortened form of "Avogadro", a noble family from the Milan region. The early recordings include such examples as Lucia Ava, both at Palermo on June 1tth 1834, Paola Avogardro, born at Genoa on July 1st 1838 and Jacques Ave born at St. Germain-en-Laye, Seine, on July 21st 1754. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Franceso de Avolia, which was dated March 7th 1638 christened at Pacentro, Caserta, Italia, during the reign of Pope Urban V11, 1623-1644. 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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