This interesting surname is an Italian diminutive of Ungar, itself of early medieval Germanic origin, and a name for a Magyar (a member of the predominant ethnic group of Hungary), or for someone from Hungary. The derivation is from the Old High German "Ungarn", perhaps also given as a nickname to someone who had trading links or some other connection with Hungary. The surname first appears on record in Germany in the early 14th Century (see below), and further early examples include: Thilo Steinrucker der Ungar (Zittau, 1310); Rucker Unger (Butzbach, 1337); and Nik Ungermann (Neisse, 1366). In the modern idiom, the name appears variously as: Ungar, Hunger, Hungar, Ungerer and Ungermann, in German, and as Ungherese in Italy, with Italian variants including: Ongarelli, Ungarelli, Ungherelli and Ungaretti. On January 19th 1819, the birth of Gesualdo, son of Francesco Ungaretti and Anna Simi, was registered at San Concordio, Lucca, Lucca, Italy, and on April 15th 1851, a daughter, Rosa Maria, was born to Cataldo and Maria Ungaro, at Leporano, Taranto. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General" and depicts a gold star on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ulrich dictus Unger, which was dated 1301, in "Early Medieval Records of Morzheim", Landau, Germany, during the reign of Albert 1 of Habsburg, 1298 - 1308. 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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