This Italian surname recorded as Mantone, Mantione, Mantouani, Mantellini, Lo Manto, and many others spellings, has at least two origins. These are firstly a shortened derivative of the ancient Latin word 'amante' meaning 'lover', and originally a baptismal personal name of endearment. Secondly it may be a job descriptive surname from the late medieval period and derive from 'mantello', meaning a cape or coat, and hence a maker of these popular clothes. Italian surnames are notorious for their difficulty in establishing authentic and proven etymologies and history. For this there are a number of reasons. The first is that surnames did not become hereditary in Italy until the late 19th century, many years, indeed many centuries after the spelling of family surnames had become 'fixed' in most European countries. The second is that Italy itself did not become a nation until 1860, and therefore there was no central bureaucracy requiring efficient tax records. Italy was split into twelve states, most of whom seem to have been little better than bandits, revenue being raised as required by robbing their neighbours. However with this surname we have found some early recordings and these include Antonio Manzaro of Bari, on May 25th 1634, and Guiseppe Mantione or Manzione, the spellings vary, of Avellino, Italy, on September 24th 1823. The coat of arms has the blazon of a red field, in chief three gold stars, in base a stag trippant in black on a gold rock. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaritta de Mantiani, which was dated October 28th 1618, christened at Mantova, Italy, during the reign of Pope Paul V, who reigned from 1605 to 1621. 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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