Recorded in various spellings of which the most popular would seem to be Taffarello, this is an Italian surname of some antiquity. The meaning is believed to be from tafani meaning a fly, but in medieval times used in a transferred sense as a nickname for a waspish person! There are a large number of what are called insect names including Mosca, Tavanellli, and Apicella. Italian surnames are traditionally the most difficult of all surnames to research with accuracy. This is partly because until the mid Victorian period Italy did not exist as a single state, and the twelve states or principalities which formed a loose federation, all spoke their own languages or at least dialects. In addition most of those south of Roma were generally poor, and certainly had no money or inclination to spend on record keeping. As a result whereas in Northern Europe charters and registers can be found for much of the past millenium, in Italy researchers are often stretched to find anything for the past century. The modern spellings of this name are believed to be Tafani, Tafanelli, Taffurelli, Taffarello, and no doubt others. Amongst the few early recordings are those of Francesco Tafanelli, the son of Antonio Tafanelli, baptised San Severo, Foggia, on August 3rd 1831, and Orazia Tafani, also at San Severo, baptised on July 8th 1838.
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