- Recorded in a number of spellings including the ever famous Napoleon, Napoleone, Di Napoli, Napoli, Napolitano, Napoletano, this Corsican and Italian surname with overlap spellings, is of uncertain, or perhaps dual, origins. It is often claimed to be locational and derive from the city of Naples, and this may well be so with many nameholders, a particular example taken from the registers being that of Severo di Napoli, recorded at Avellino, Bescia, Italy, on November 20th 1773. However there other claims that the surname derives from the word "napio", in this case a nickname for a fierce looking man, with a hooked nose, a physical trait associated with Corsica and its (infamous) pirates, and perhaps the later Emperor Napoleon. An early example here is Allegranza Napolione, at Lipara, Messina, on May 20th 1567. Just to add to the name confusion the city of Naples is of Greek origins, the name deriving from "nea" meaning new, and "polis", a city. It was captured from the Greeks in the 4th century b.c. Italian records and resgisters are sadly lacking, the county only becoming united in 1860. Examples taken from surviving records include Silvio Napolitano, at Nocero Inferiore, salerno, on December 1st 1797, and earlier Salvatore Napoletano, at Caserta, on March 11th 1642.
Surnames reference. 2013.