This is an Italian surname which almost certainly derives from "d'aquila", the eagle. The surname was originally given as a nickname either for a person with good eyesight, or more likely given the robust humour of the medieval period, one who had the ravenous attitudes of the eagle! Italian surnames are notoriously difficult to research, Italy being the last European country to accept hereditary surnames, that is to say surnames which have a "locked" spelling and descend almost unchanged from generation to generation. Until 1860 Italy was a loose federation of self governing states, some rich but mostly poor. As a result there was no central regulation, and little in the way of planned recording of births of births and deaths, and few accurate early surviving records at all. The famous etymological book "Italian Surnames" by Joseph Fucilla commences in the preface with "the subject is an unusually complicated one ...etc". He then explains that many Italians surnames have received so many additional prefixes and suffixes, diminutives and patronymics, that often only two letters survive from the original names, and sometimes only one! This clearly makes accurate research into origins something of a hit and miss situation. In this case we find early examples of the surname recording include Angleo Aggi, at Palermo, on January 11th 1826, and Angela Maria Aggioni, a witness at Liscate, Milano, on October 13th 1859. The first known recording is probably that of Angelica Agilone, married at Lipara, Messina, Italy, on May 9th 1573.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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