This very interesting surname is of medieval Italian origins. It is one of a small group which could be said to derive either from being born on a particular day, or as a nickname, from the continual use of a phrase or saying. In this case we believe that the name is directly associated with somebody who was born on a New Years Day, although the possibility that for some nameholders at least, it may have originated as a nickname, cannot be totally ignored. New Years Day is almost unique in the Christian world in that in most countries it has no religious significance, indeed it could almost be said to be pagan. A number of Christian (sur)names are derived from religious festivals such as Easter, Pasquale, Pagarello, Pasquarini being examples, and from saints days, examples being Saint, Santo, Santos, Ognisanti etc, but this is definately not one of them. Recorded in the spellings of Bonanni, Bonanno, Capadanno and Capodanno it translates as "Good Year", and it is perhaps surprising that it even originated in Italy. The surname has been well recorded for many centuries, which in itself is another unusual feature for Italy. Italy did not become one nation until 1860, and both fixed hereditary surnames and national recording of births, deaths and marriage, are in many cases quite recent institutions. The surname is apparently first recorded in registers in 1564, when on November 2nd of that year Vincenzo Bonanno married Egidia Manotta at Ence, Traponi. A more modern recording is that of Nicolina Bonnani, born at Falcone, Messina, on December 10th 1875.
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