Recorded in many forms including Camelli, Camerana, Camilli, Camillo, Camilleri, Camillletti, Camerello and others, this is an Italian surname of antiquity. Italian surnames are traditionally the most difficult of all European surnames to research with accuracy compounded in this case by the fact that there are two possible origins. The first is from the Roman (Latin) personal names 'Jacomus or Jacobus', the English James and Jacob, in which three letters are used to create the basic form of 'Cam'.To this has been added over the centuries a bewildering variety of suffix diminutive and patronymic endings, all of which mean essentially 'son of' or 'Little James'. Secondly the surname may have been a nickname from the medieval word 'camoscio' meaning snub nosed, where again three letters were used, and endings added by each generation to choice. The famous dictionary of Italian surnames states that 'the subject is unusually complicated', a mild understatement. In this case early examples of surname recordings showing some of the developments include: Anna Camerana, who married Giovanni Re, at Ribarolo, Torrino, on February 6th 1674, and Silvestre Camillo, who married Raffaele Montagno at Rigano, Foggia, on December 9th 1810.
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