Origins Available: Italian, Spanish
Catalano Name Meaning Italian: regional name for someone from Catalonia, Italian Catalogna (see Catala). The name is widespread in Italy, especially southern Italy, a reflection of the migration of Catalonians to Italy in the 11th and 13th centuries, and of the strong commercial and social links between the Catalano-Aragonese realm and the Mediterranean coast of Italy at that time.
From the ancient and picturesque Italian region of Venice emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Catalano. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they are characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most traditional type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father’s given name, local surnames are also found. Local names, which are the least frequent of the major types of surnames found in Italy, are derived from a place-name where the original bearer once resided or held land. Often Italian local surnames bore the prefix “di,” which signifies emigration from one place to another, but does not necessarily denote nobility. The Catalano family lived in Bologna, where a member of the Catalano family was a military Commander in 1200.