There are several surprises with this unusual surname. Firstly, as shown below, it has been recorded in England since at least the middle of the 19th century, and secondly whilst it gives every indication of being of Italian origin, it does not seem to be either in the Italian surnames list, or the register recordings of births and marriages. These two comments do require some clarification. Italy did not become a united country until 1860, and therefore centralised records prior to that date are virtually non existent. Also "The country" consisted of twelve states or mini kingdoms, some of whom were quite wealthy and who paid at least lip service to adminstration, but the others rarely bothered, being either too poor or too indolent or both. In addition many Italian surnames themselves did not achieve a 'fixed spelling' or what is generally known as a hereditary status, where one generation kept the same spelling as the previous one, until much the same date. Nethertheless we would still have expected to have found some similar form, if not in Italy, perhaps Malta, France, or Spain, but without success. The name as 'Tunesi' is almost certainly locational and describes a person from Tunis, in North Africa. It is possible that a Victorian English cleric with a Latin education, as most had, gave the name to the first nameholder in England. Traditionally locational surnames are 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. The first known example is that of Felippo Tunesi, who married Mary Ann Maria Jennings at the church of St John the Evangelist, Notting Hill, in West London, on February 2nd 1866.
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