This very interesting surname is an example of that sizeable group of late medieval European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupations, or to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical size, appearance, moral attitudes, or resemblance to animals. The derivation, in this case, is from Ghiro, the dormouse, and the name like Tasso, the badger, refers either to one who was a very sound sleeper, or perhaps, to one who preferred to work at night. At Bereguardo near Pavia and Coli near Piacenza it is recorded that the dormouse is known as "durmuoela" or "durmioera", the sleepy head. Italian surnames are generally an etymological nightmare, and Ghiron follows the trend, being found in a wide range of spellings, although again as is normal, the Church Recordings are very late. Examples of the spelling forms include Giron(e), Galiero, Calero, Tiron(i), Tirone and Aglira, and the earliest Church Recording in any form may be Cattarina Gironirini, who married Nicolaus Visentainer on April 9th 1758, at Cles, Trento. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vicenzo Girone, which was dated August 25th 1860, a christening witness at Ortuna, Chieti, Italia, during the reign of King Victory-Emmanuel of Italy, 1860 - 1878. 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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