This Italian surname is quite rare in that it has retained its "base" form from the late medieval period. It is job descriptive for a baker, from the original word "pane" meaning "bread", and may therefore be described as a form of metonymic or nickname. Italian surnames are the most confusing in Europe, employing considerable flexibility in form from generation to generation. In this case the prefix as "Pan(e)" has remained consistent through the ages, the suffixes as "i, eli, elli" and "c(h)elli" varying all the time, quite unlike surnames from Britain or Northern Europe. These diminutives all have the same general meaning of the "son of Pane", and are typical of Northern Italy. The known forms of the surname run into dozens if not hundreds, and include Panico, Panicola, Panichetti, and Panicalli, as examples. Recordings of the examples include Bartholomeus Paneli at Romallo, Trento, on September 9th 1647, and Bernadino Panitti of Bellante, Teramo, on March 16th 1865. The Coat of Arms depicts an ear of corn in base, a bird and a knight's spur in chief, all gold, on a blue field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ercolano Panechhi, which was dated February 5th 1581, a witness at Lucignano, Arezzo, Italia, during the reign of Pope Gregory X111, May 1572 - April 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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