Italian surnames are often a profusion of diminutives and patronymics, based upon an original "tribal" name such as Dominic, Francis, Peter, or in this case Giacomo (James). To add to the confusion the suffixes were not hereditary, and could be changed at will between generations, whilst the original base name itself was often reduced to as low as two letters. Not surprisingly this makes etymological and genealogical research extremely difficult, particularly as in this case there are an unknown number of spellings of Giacomo, ranging from Como to Moccia or Maccio, and Gia. As if this was not bad enough, some of the suffixes are not strictly patronymics but are nicknames of endearment ranging from such unlikely examples as Goat or Gnat. "Maciocia" we believe translates as "the son of James, the midge", but another translation suggests that the meaning is "the son of James (of) the wood". Examples of link recordings are 19th Century, and include Francesca Macocco of Pont Canavese, Torino, and Giacomo Macioce at Collelongo, L'Aquila, Italy, on March 25th 1856. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Antonio Giacomo (also known as Gioannamore), which was dated July 26th 1660, a witness at Pacentro, L'Aquila, Italy, during the reign of Pope Alexander V11, enthroned 1655, died 1667. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017