This is an Italian surname. It is one of a major group which were named after what is described in the Italian Dictionary of Surnames, as 'Botanical'. That is to say surnames from plants, trees or herbs in the main, and these are specialist names for the growers of the particular species. The group includes flowers, vegetables, spices and condiments, cereals, and medicinal plants and herbs. In this case the sub group is wheat from the main group of cereals. The various surnames all meaning wheat and describing wheat farmers or possibly wheat merchants include: Formento from Liguria, Calvello, Marzolo and Civitlli (or Civitillo), from Tuscany, Carosella from Naples, Farrella from Reggio Emilia, and Farruggia from Siciliy. Italian surnames are considered to be the most difficult to research in Europe. They were amongst the last to adopt fixed herediatary spellings, and over the centuries the individual members of the family would add suffix and prefix to their name to distinguish themselves, even within their own family. In addition Italy only became a formal state after 1860. Before that there was a loose alignment of principalities who spoke what was effectively a different language from its neighbours, and kept few records.
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