Recorded in several spellings of which the most popular are Reggio and Reggiani, this is an Italian locational surname from the city of Reggio. Locational surnames are more unusual in Italy than in other European countries such as Britain and Germany, where baptismal patronymics or nicknames are the popular style. Locational surnames though often denote ownership of particular lands or estates. They are often more ancient, and in Itlay they are certainly easier to recognise than the patronymics with endless variations of diminutives and cognitives. The name means "the place of the king" from the Latin "regius or regia", and presumably referred to an early palace. Locational surnames if not given for ownership, were often given to "strangers" after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. It was in medieval times, and to some extent remains so today, that the easiest form of identification is to call a person by the name of the place from where they came. This may be a city or a country, although in early times it could be a single farm. Early recordings from surviving church registers in Italy include Pasqua Reggiani, who married Jacoba de Zanisis, at Manotova, on April 28th 1738, and Giovanni Reggio, the son of Giovanni, christened at Alessandria, Italy, on January 1st 1829.
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