Recorded as Ceci, Cecere, Ciciari, Ciciura, Cicero, Cicerone, and no doubt other forms, this is an Italian surname. The origin is certain, but the meaning less so. It appears to be one of a major group of what are called "botanical" surnames, that is surnames which in someway appear to derive from association with some natural plant in this case the pea or chickpea. This surname may describe a grower of vegetables, but is more likely to refer to a house which had the sign of a pea as the distinguishing mark in the days before house numbering. Italian surnames are the most difficult of all surnames to research with absolute accuracy as not only were there six separate languages in use in Italy until unification in 1860, but the same word was often used in different parts of the country, but with an entirely different meaning! In addition although like most European countries the twelve various states and kingdoms which originally made up Italy, adopted hereditary surnames from medieval times, they failed to adopt fixed spellings, with each successive generation making alterations to the basic form, by means of diminutives and patronymics, as either suffix and prefix, as it saw fit. Not surprisingly these variations made for difficult or non existent record keeping.
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