Without doubt Italian surnames provide the greatest test for the researcher or genealogist. Curiously, although Italy is the font of European civilisation, its surname development is curiously erratic, perhaps reflecting the independent status of the original states. The predominant aspect of Italian surnames is the use of suffix patronymics or diminutives to develop individual forms, unfortunately, this form was then changed in spelling between individual generations! In this case, the base element would seem to be the Calabrese "custuliere", a synonym for a tailor, the word or name also being "exported" to other European countries such as Germany, where the form is found as Cusche, Cusere and Cushie. It is therefore possible that the spelling form as "Cuschieri" may have some Germanic influence. This is not however proven, although the "sch" intrusion is not an Italianate spelling. Confusion is increased by the possibility that the name could derive from the Germanic "Kusch", which is a nickname form of "Jacob", however, again this is not proven. Early recordings of the surname include: Maria Anglio Cusieri, christened on January 5th 1724, and married on May 4th 1740 to Guilio Ciocco, at Arezzo, Italia. In Spain the name would seem to take the form of "Casiera", one Jean Pau Casiera being recorded on June 23rd 1674, at Gerona. The Coat of Arms is a field of gold and green vair. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francesco Cusieri, which was dated July 25th 1721, the son of Domenico Cusieri, of Arezzo, Italia, during the reign of Pope Innocent X111, May 8th 1721 - March 7th 1724. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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