Amongst the most popular of all early Christian names was that of Michael, although this was a " borrow" from the hebrew "Mica-el." The name translates as "he who is like God" a meaning which no doubt contributed to its success. In the Christian tradition Michael was regarded as the warrior, and as the conqueror of Satan, and as such it was hardly surprising that there are at least three hundred and fifty variant surnames and these cover almost all European nations. They are divided into patronymics such as Michaelson or the Russian Mikhalkov, and diminutives which include Michelet (France), Myatt (England), and Mico (Italy). However it must be stressed that there are so many variations that a book could be devoted to the "Michael" family.The earliest of all recordings are English, whilst the last country to adopt hereditary surnames was - Italy. This is very odd as Italy could reasonably be described as the fountain of modern civilisation. Unfortunately between the collapse of Rome in a.d. 510 and the unification in 1860, recording seems to have been at best haphazard. Curiously the first recording that we were able to prove was from Germany (see below), but his does not alter the origin of the name. Examples include Raffaella Mico, who was christened at San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy, on December 21st 1864, and Mary Mico who married John Smith at Cuyahoga, Ohio, America, on April 11th 1877. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Frederich Mico, which was dated April 15th 1793, married Vicktoria Dotig Schulsen, at Littermannshagen, Mecklenburg, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Frances 11 of the German Empire, 1792 - 1806. 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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