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Maltese Surnames

The islands of Malta are a rich cultural mix and this is reflected in many ways, none less than through the surnames to be found there. A true reflection of the the diverse history of the country and it's international influences.

 
The following is an extract from Wikipedia which focuses on the wider subject of Family Names.

Due to different cultures that had their impacts on the Maltese archipelago, several surnames were acquired.

Sicilian & Italian Surnames:

Sicilian and Italian surnames are common due to the close vicinity to Malta. Examples include Bonello, Camilleri, Cauchi, Chetcuti, Dalli, Darmanin, Farrugia, Giglio, Gauci, Delicata, Licari, Magri, Tabone, Schembri, Vassallo, Rizzo, etc.

English Surnames:

English surnames exist due to Malta forming a part of the British Empire in the 19th century and most of the 20th. Examples include Bickle, Haidon, Harmsworth, Atkins, Mattocks, Martin, Wallbank, Smith, Jones, Sixsmith, Woods, Turner, Henwood.

Sicilian Semitic Surnames:

Semitic surnames are common, due to the early presence of Eastern and Southern Mediterranean people in Malta. Examples include Sammut, Zammit, Said, Borg, Xuereb, Xerri, Grixti, Xriha, although the last three are also written in a Italianized form, i.e. Scerri, Griscti, Sciriha, due to Maltese being written in the Italian alphabet in the 19th century.

Spanish Surnames

Spanish surnames exist too. Three common surnames are Calleja and Galdes and less common surnames are Enriquez, Herrera, Guzman, Inguanez, Carabez. A variant of Galdes exists and is Galdies, with only one family possessing it.

Greek Surnames:

Such as Papagiorcopoulo, Dacoutros, Vasilopoulos, Vasilis, Trakosopoulos

French Surnames:

Such as Depuis, Montfort.

German Surnames:

Surnames from foreign countries from Middle Ages include German ones such as von Brockdorff, Engerer, Hyzler, Schranz, Craus, Fenech

Jewish Surnames:

The Jews have also left a relic of their presence on the island with the surnames of Abela, Ellul, Azzopardi and Cohen.

Double Surnames:

Some Maltese women, in order to preserve a rare surname from becoming extinct after marriage, add their maiden surname to their husband's. Sometimes, it becomes a sign of social status. These include: Spiteri-Gonzi, Fleri Soler, Mifsud-Bonnici, Sammut-Alessi, Sammut-Testaferrata, Cachia-Zammit, Caruana Curran, Vella-Maistre, Zarb Cousin, Fenech-Adami, Borg Olivier, Sant Fournier.

Surnames showing places in Malta

The few original Maltese surnames are those which show places of origin, for example, Chircop (Kirkop), Lia (Lija), Balzan (Balzan), Valletta (Valletta), Sciberras (Xebb ir-Ras Hill, on which Valletta was built) and possibly Curmi from Qormi.

The village of Munxar, Gozo is characterised by the majority of its population having one from two surnames, either Curmi or de Brincat. In Gozo, the surname Bajada is also very common.

Foreign Minority Surnames

Recently, due to asylum seekers from third world countries, new family names have been created. An example is Nwoko, following the naturalisation of footballer Chucks Nwoko. Others include Okoh, Ohaegbu, Yekoko, Stefanov, Bogdanovic, Giorev, Mohammed, Abu Shala, Abu Shamala.

Customs

Women take a man's surname upon marriage, and their name is written as: Maria Borg née Zammit in official documents, but only as Maria Borg in informal scenarios. However some celebrities retain their old name as a stage name. Generally children take the surname of their father, but some are given the name of their mother, either alone or combined to their father's.

The custom to address a family is to use the initial and surname of the male and refer also to the family. For example, if a letter is sent to a person named David Saliba and his family, one writes Mr. and Mrs. D. Saliba.

Except for the new surnames from foreign countries, and sometimes the long, combined and rare ones, generally the Maltese people do not give a lot of importance to the origins of their surnames, and cohabit hand in hand.

Some Maltese surnames

Some examples of surnames from Malta are:

·         A: Abdilla; Abela; Agius; Anastasi; Ancilleri; Apap; Aquilina; Arpa; Arrigo; Asciak; Attard; Axisa; Azzopardi

·         B: Bajada; Baldacchino; Balzan; Barbara; Barbaro; Bartolo; Bencini; Bezzina; Bickle; Bilocca; Bisazza; Boffa; Bonanno; Bonavia; Bonello; Bonnici; Bontempo; Borg; Briffa; Brincat; Bruno; Bugeja; Buhagiar; Busuttil; Buttigieg

·         C: Cachia; Calamatta; Calì; Calleja; Callus; Camenzuli; Camilleri; Cannataci; Carabott; Caruana; Casha; Cassar; Cauchi; Cefai; Chetcuti; Chircop; Ciantar; Ciappara; Cilia; Cini; Coleiro; Coppini; Cortis; Cremona; Cucciardi; Cumbo; Curmi; Cuschieri; Cutajar

·         D: Dalli; Dalmas; D'Amato; Darmanin; Debattista; Debono; Debrincat; Decelis; Degabriele; Degiovanni; Deguara; Delia; Delicata; Demanuele; Demicoli; Desira; Diacono; Dimech; Dingli

·         E: Ebejer; Ellul; Esposito

·         F: Falzon; Farrugia; Fava; Fenech; Ferriggi; Filletti; Fleri Soler; Formosa; Francalanza; Frendo; Friggieri; Fsadni

·         G: Gafa'; Galdes; Galea; Gambin; Gatt; Gauci; Gerada; Ghigo; Ghirxi; Gonzi; Grech; Grillo; Grima; Griscti; Grixti; Gusman

·         H: Haber; Herrera; Hili; Hyzler

·         I: Imbroll; Incorvaia; Inglott

·         L: Laferla; Lanfranco; Lautier; Lewis; Lia

·         M: Magri; Magro; Mahoney; Mallia; Mamo; Manduca; Mangion; Marmara; Massa; Meilak; Meli; Mercieca; Micallef; Mifsud; Mintoff; Mizzi; Montebello; Montalto; Mugliett; Mula; Muscat; Musumeci

·         N: Nani; Naudi

·         P: Pace; Padovani; Palmier; Parascandolo; Paris; Parnis; Pavia; Penza; Pirotta; Pisani; Piscopo; Portelli; Privitelli; Psaila; Pule'; Pulis; Pullicino

·         Q: Quattromani; Quintano

·         R: Rapa; Rapinett; Refalo; Rizzo

·         S: Sacco; Said; Saidon; Salerno; Saliba; Sammut; Sant; Sapiano; Sapienza; Savona; Scerri; Sceberras; Schembri; Schiavone; Sciberras; Scicluna; Scriha; Seguna; Seychell; Spagnol; Spina; Spiteri; Stivala; Suda; Sultana

·         T: Tabone; Tanti; Tedesco; Testa; Theuma; Tonna; Trapani

·         V: Valletta; Vassallo; Vella

·         X: Xerri; Xuereb

·         Z: Zahra; Zammit; Zarb; Zerafa; Zrinzo

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