I've been interested in looking up family history lately, and I'd really like to know what Mattero meant. It's Italian, and any information, especially the meaning, is really appreciated!
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This name doesn't appear to exist in present-day Italy, though Mattera does and is well represented in Naples.
Explanations of the word Mattero I have found;
i) Club or cudgel
ii) (historic) small javelin
iii)"Ramo di orniello usato per intrecciare ceste." I think this means a type of wood (mountain-ash?) used in basket-making.
So perhaps a maker or carrier of cudgels, or someone involved in basket-weaving, or supplying the materials for it. I wouldn't bother with the javelin.
Mattera is another name without a satisfactory explanation; it may be from the Southern Italian town of Matera, or it may be from a dialect word for kneading dough (denoting a baker?).

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Ironically, my family does own a bakery in Worcester, Massachusetts and has been there for a long time. (Mattero's Bakery, anyone?)A history teacher once told my class that when some people immigrated to the U.S. their last names had to be shortened or changed slightly to make it more "American" and not as "foreign." Do you think that could've happened in my family's case?Thanks for the information! =]
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Well, it doesn't look like your name has been shortened, and a change from Mattera to Mattero would not make it more "American". If the change did occur it was probably no more than a slip of the pen. But now that Mino S. has produced evidence of the existence of the name Mattero in present-day Italy, it's probably safe to accept that as the original form.
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It is MATTERO of course!
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This surname is rather unique on italian telephone directory.
It comes from the area of Naples: the FLEGREE ISLANDS, according to Ellis Island site from SERRARA-FONTANA, a municipality of ISCHIA ISLAND.
The meaning from this surname is not sure: from a name of place?
from the italian given name MATTEO (matthew)? or just from an old nickname?
There are still some MATERO families in USA, especially in North-Eastern states.See also the Italian surname MATTERI in Lombardy, Northern Italy.See the Italian White Pages: www.paginebianche.itwrite the surname and "NA" that stands for NAPLES province
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Well, the North Eastern states part is true, since it is my family's last name and we all reside in Massachusetts-Rhode Island area. My great-great grandparents arrived on Ellis Island as well. Thanks for the link, I'll deffinately check it out! =]
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