Recorded as Novelli and Novello, this is an Italian surname. It is one of a group of so called "kinship" names, and as Italy is traditionally the place of "The family" in its broadest sense, perhaps not suprisingly this is a popular group. Indeed there is a surname or usually several surnames for every conceivable relationship by blood or marriage. Fucilla's Dictionary of Italian Family Names describes the group as being as a result of "sensitiveness about blood ties". This particular surname means "junior", in the sense of a second son or possibly a second child, although it can also be found as Giovane and Minori, whilst Maiuri, Maggiore and Maiorello mean the eldest son.In fact there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of such names, partly caused by the fact that Italy only became a united country in 1860. Upto that time the country consisted of a loose federation of twelve states, all of whom basically spoke their own version of a modern Italian language, and hence created their own versions of what was essentially the same name. The most famous fame holder is probably Ivor Novello, the romantic composer, who was English born, and died in London in 1946. We usually have a problem in Italy with finding early recordings, that is before the 19th century. Here we have been slightly luckier and examples include Michelantonio Novelli at Lesi, Ancona, on October 11th 1796, and Giacomo Novello at Bitonto, Bari, on July 1st 1811.
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