This interesting and unusual surname, with variant forms Longo, Longea, Longhi, Longina etc., derives ultimately from the Latin "longus" meaning "long", and was originally given as a nickname to a tall person. The Romance languages i.e., those derived from Latin, include Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Romanian, and the above forms are chiefly recorded in Italian Church Registers from the late 16th Century. Surnames derived from given names and from nicknames are the most widespread surname type in Italy, and a further characteristic is the profusion of diminutive suffixes attached to the original stem. On December 22nd 1585, Angela, daughter of Donato and Caterinella Longo, was christened at Pontelandolof, Benevento, Italy and on November 4th 1757, the birth of Antonia Maria Maddalena, daughter of Gabrield Longhi and Prudenza Buzzi, was recorded in Viggiu, Varese, Italy. Josepha De Longa and Juan De Altarraga were married at San Juan Bautista, Vizcaya, Ea, Spain, on February 28th 1768, and on March 22nd 1832 the birth of one, Valeria Longina was recorded in Venezia, Italy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Clemente Longon, (witness at the christening of his daughter Anna), which was dated July 30th 1582, Gioia Del Colle, Bari, Italy, during the reign of Pope Gregory X111, May 13th 1572 - April 10th 1585. 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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