Recorded as Salvadore, Salvadori, Salvati, Salvatori, Salvatore (Italian), Salvador (Spanish, Portugese and Catalan), this an early medieval surname of great popularity. It means literally 'saviour save you' and was used in honour of the Christ. The origination is from the Latin word salvius, which seems to have been in some way used in the Iberian Peninsula, before it became fashionable in Rome. This is all the wrong way around. It is apparently one of a group of compound names which contain a divine element, and include Diotajuti, or God help you, Guardidei or God watch over you, and Donadio or given by you to God. These names have also been shortened to such as Duti, Gardi, and Dono! It is said that the most striking example of a divine name is Chirieleison, from the Greek Kyrie - eleison or 'Lord have mercy upon us.' This also happened to be the name of the commanding general of the Italian army at the time of the invasion of Rome by American forces in 1944! Italy did not become a unified country until 1860 and most Italian surname registers are either erratic or non-existent before that time. However we have found examples with this name which include Giovanni Salvati at St Andrea, Roma, on June 9th 1666, and the exotically named Salvadore Salvadori at Monte San Sovino, Arezzo, on February 14th 1674.
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