La filologia moderna ritiene, sulla scorta di importanti ricerche araldiche, che le famiglia Vito, Vita e Viti, siano tutte diramazioni di un unico ceppo. Dell’antica famiglia Vito, si ha memoria in Traetto (Campania), fin dal 1288, con Vito Vito, padre di Nicola, investito nel 1306 della dignità di Magister dal Pontefice Clemente V. Ebbe, dai Sovrani di Napoli, concessioni di terre nei pressi di Gaeta, con obbligo di fornire un armato. Altro ramo. Famiglia feudataria del XVII secolo in Calabria sulla terra di Caraffa, decorata del titolo di conte nel 1714 su decreto dell’imperatore Carlo VI; ricevuta nell’Ordine di Malta per giustizia nel 1900 con il conte Gaetano (Gran Magistero di Roma 385; Priorato di Napoli) per onore e devozione nel 1912 (Gran Magistero di Roma, Proc. Onore e devozione n. 114). Un ramo si stabilì in Trani con il conte Francesco (nato nel 1808); Pasquale (Altamura 1806 – Napoli 1871), di Francesco, proveniente dalle Guardie del Corpo, maggiore del “2° Dragoni”, ha partecipato alla campagna del Volturno e del Garigliano per la difesa del Regno, il suo reparto si sciolse nel novembre del 1860 nello Stato Pontificio. Vicenzo, conte, ufficiale di cavalleria del Regio Esercito Italiano, vivente nella prima metà del XX secolo; ramo dei nobili dei conti rappresentato da Claudio vivente nella prima metà del XX secolo.. Riguardo a questo cognome abbiamo ritrovato ulteriori informazioni storiche in altri archivi. Purtroppo in lingua originale Inglese. Over the centuries the name San Vito may have had many changes and the present form, according to our studies, appears to be different from the original. It is important to realize that the name may have gone through dialect variations, contractions, shortened forms of the original one, lenitions, errors due to incorrect transcriptions and voluntary changes. Therefore, we believe that the surname San Vito came originally from Vito, on which we are able to provide the following historical and heraldic information taken from bibliographic sources of Araldicus: This personal name VITO was extrapolated from a medieval given name VITUS, meaning life. The name was popular in the Middle Ages as a result of the cult of an early Christian martyr in South Italy, about whom very little of historical value is known. He was regarded as a patron against epilepsy and the nervous tremor named after him ‘St. Vitus dance’. He is said to have been the son of a Sicilian pagan, and was converted by his nurse Crescentia and her husband Modestus. His feast day is June 15th. His cult spread into Germany and thence through East Europe, where the name was reinforced by native Slavnic names such as Vitoslav and Vitomir. The earliest Polish last names were patronymic. The personal names from which they were extrapolated were mainly Slavonic, but as the Middle Ages progressed, traditional Slavic given names, started to give way to saint’s names, mainly of Latin origin. Surnames extrapolated from Slavonic personal names are of early origin, and tend to be borne by aristocratic families. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name has numerous spellings which include De Viti, De Vita, De Vito, Viti and Vido. The origins of Italian last names are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that stable bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Repuplic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian Last Name endings are ‘i’ and ‘o’, the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form ‘o’ is more typical of southern Italy. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of last names, becoming hereditary in the same way…. Noble title: Nobili Coat of arms: Partito d’argento e d’azzurro alla rosa di rosso attraversante sulla partizione… Altri cognomi trovati: Vito, Vido, Vieto, Vioto, Vita, Viti, Vitt, Vado, Veit, Veith, …
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