This medieval Italian surname was originally prefaced by the preposition "Di", which like the French "De" or the German "Von", when used with habitational names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy and denotes ownership of an estate or village of the same name. As it happens "habitational" names are the least frequent of the name groupings in Italy, the reverse of Anglo-Saxon etymology. The original recordings suggest that the name derived from some place in the Province of Bari in the former state of Naples, although no positive site identification has been proven. The name would seem to derive from the Latin "Ruta", which in the context of the name probably means "the place of timber", but it may mean "minerals". By Southern European standards the name recordings are very early - these include: Constanza di Rutigliano, born at Bari on July 5th 1556; she was the sister of Francesca (see below), and daughter of Camillo di Rutigliano and his wife, Anna Nonna Mula di Bari. On February 22nd 1632, Angela di Rutigliano was recorded in Casamassima, Bari, and on January 29th 1815, Antonio Rutigliano married Caterinha del Vecchio, at Foggia, Rignanon, Italy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francesca Di Rutigliano, which was dated December 29th 1552, born at Terra di Bari, Italy, during the reign of Pope Julius 111, February 7th 1550 - March 23rd 1554. 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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