Recorded as Cardello, Cardillo, Cardelino, Gardella, Gardellini, and others, this is a surname of Italian origins. It means the gold finch and is one of a very large group of surnames which are known as "bird names". As to why so many people were given "bird names" is unclear, but presumably they were nicknames either for people who bred exotic birds or who themselves liked to dress up in colourful clothes. One of the many problems with Italian surnames making them the most difficult of all European surnames to research with accuracy, is that the same name spelling may well have a completely different meaning in another part of the country. In fact this surname is from the province of Udinese, and the meaning would probably not be recognized in say Tuscany where the gold finch is called Calderini, or in Umbria where it is Cantilena. Italy only became a united nation with the same language in the late Victorian period. Prior to 1860 it had simply been a collection of about twelve states all of whom basically went their own way. Most being very poor, little if any regard was paid to record keeping, and even now Italian registers are at best erratic. In this case we are lucky with as a good example the recording of Agostino Guiseppe Cardillo at Sant Angelola Cancelli, Benevento, on January 2nd 1706.
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