Minchella, Minchelli, Minchello,and the rare Minchellu, this is a surname of Italian origins. It is one of the foreshortened spellings of the personal name Dominic, itself probably the most popular of all Italian personal and later, surnames. The surname on this scroll derives from Dominchelli, although the true origination is from the Latin (Roman) word 'dominus' meaning 'lord'. Whilst this was later given a Christian slant to indicate some association or following of The Christ, in former times it was pagan, and referred to a secular overlord or the leader of a clan. The popularity of this surname is said to derive from the Spanish Saint Domecq, (1170 - 1221), who founded the order of the Dominican Friars, and whose fame gave another incentive to the popularity of this personal name and subsequent surname. These came into use from about the 12th century, but in Italy whilst hereditary, were not 'locked' into a particular spelling as in most other countries, and hence the creation of several hundred variations, of which this is one. In addition early recordings in Italy are either erratic or non existent, as Italy itself did not become a unified state until after 1860, five centuries at least after the beginings of surnames.
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