Montignani Family History & Genealogy

Updated Apr 16, 2015

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Montignani Surname History

The evolution of Montignani begins with it's early ancestors. Even in the early generations of a name there have been variations in that single name simply because surnames were infrequently written down at that stage in history.  A man might simply be known by his first name in a small community.  Only when he visited another town would he be called, "Peter de Montagnana" or "Peter from the city of Montagnana".  Montignani would seemingly have been evolved in this way since there were several ancient cities named for their mountainous surroundings.  Similar evolution of surnames happened with professions such as Peter Tailor (ie. Peter, the Tailor).

It was not unusual for a surname to change as it entered a new country or language. As Montignani families emigrated between countries and languages, the Montignani name may have changed with them. Montignani families have moved across various regions all throughout history.  There are traces of families with similar surnames on most every continent.  The specific "Montignani" family we will concentrate on in this web site began in Italy and about mid 1700s began to migrate to Scotland by way of Portugal.  Specifically a man born Franceso Montignani circa 1785 left Italy with a theater company, landed in Portugal a job with the Opera company and later shows up in 1811 at the Adelphi Theater in London.  A Sarah or Jane Malpas, who also appears on on the playbill at the theater becomes his wife and begins a family of Montignani members who are from Scotland around the area south of Edinburg known as Midlothian.  From this Scotish family come many members who migrated to USA, Canada, South America, Austrailia, New Zealand, and other points.

This  origins and history of the Montignani surname contains an accumulated history of user-contributed content from other users interested in the Montignani family. The Montignani family is an old family line that probably originated in the city of Montagnana in Italy. There is much to learn about the Montignani family below in "Montignani History", "Montignani country of origin", "Meaning of the last name Montignani", and "Famous people named Montignani" below.  If you are a Montignani family member who has more information on the family, please share your knowledge here.

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Montignani Country of Origin, Nationality, & Ethnicity

The surname Montignani comes from Italy originally.  A small walled city in Northern Italy named Montagnana (near Este) may play a part in the origin of the name.  Rebuilt in 1354 after a fire according to its literature, the walled city is in a mountainous area near Padua.  A wall rubbing or woodcut from the university there reveals a famous physician, Dr. Peter de Montagnana, who held the postion of professor of surgery at the University of Padua.  Members of his family from Berth in 1460 to Angus in 1678 held that position after him for over 200 years.  While the name "de Montagnana" would indicate someone coming "from Montagnana" we can only speculate that this was the origin of the family name.  There are no true links from the name 'de Montagnani" to the name "Montignani" except some literature that says the family "crest" was based on information which would indicate that someone in the family may have saved the life of a royal person, which changed the name to the more noble "i" ending. The ethnicity of surname Montignani is Italian probably coming from the city designation "of Montagnana".  While there is a famous family "de Montagnana" whose most famous "surgeon professor" taught at the University of Padua whose woodblock portrait will appear on this site, there is nothing currently linking him directly to the family Montignani we are discussing.  It is merely an attempt to give an example of the possible evolution of the name.

Montignani Meaning & Etymology

Origination of the name is discussed above in country of origin.  It would seem the mountainous region where the city Montagnana is found in Italy may give the city its name. The walled city appears on the wall of maps painting commissioned by an early pope who wished to see a huge wall map of all the territories of Italy.  While mostly a wall picture of forests, it does depict where many of the early cities of the time were located.  The great moat around the walled city existed until 1967 when engineers decided to remove the water because of the damage to the wall.  It has now become the site of the annual horse racing event known as the Paleo de Montagnanese.

Montignani Life Expectancy

According to our database of 12 people with the last name Montignani that have a birth and death date listed:

Life Expectancy


Montignani Family Tree

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Famous People named Montignani

Famous members of the Montignani family:

  • There are a few Montignani family members who have been moderately famous in their day.  It is hoped more family members will fill in the blanks on this area.  Besides the famous Peter de Montagnana from the early days of Padua, there is a musician and dancer, Francesco Montignani who performed in London at the Adelphi theater in circa 1811.  In our branch, a John Oliver Montignani carried on the family musical legacy as a piano manufacturer and sales outlet in Scotland and later America.  See some info at the web site
  • There was a music reviewer in Paris in circa 1850 named Montignani who was rather famous for his day.  Also, indications of a General Montignani in the 1700s or so exist.

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Most Common Montignani First Names

According to our database of 15 people with the last name Montignani that have a first name listed, these are the most common first names:

  • William 26.7%
  • Jessie 6.7%
  • Frank 6.7%
  • Frances 6.7%
  • Charles 6.7%
  • Clayton 6.7%
  • Martha 6.7%
  • Georgena 6.7%
  • Anna 6.7%
  • Walter 6.7%
  • John 6.7%
  • Wm 6.7%

Montignani Pronunciation & Spelling Variations

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