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Type Surname (from location)
Other Forms FormsMontefiori

Meaning & History

Derived from Montefiore, which is the name of several places in Italy. For example, there is Castle Montefiore in the town of Recanati (province of Macerata), the municipality of Montefiore Conca (province of Rimini) and the municipality of Montefiore dell'Aso (province of Ascoli Piceno). For all of these places, Montefiore means "mountain (full) of flowers", as the name is derived from Italian monte "mountain" and Italian fiore "flower". The ancestors of most modern bearers of the surname must have been born in or near one of these places, or had simply migrated there and subsequently ended up living there for the majority of their lives - both scenarios could have led to them ultimately adopting the name of their place of residence as their surname.

The surname of Montefiore is mostly seen as an Italian Jewish surname, due to the fact that all prominent bearers of the surname came from the same Sephardic Jewish branch of the family or surname. But that does not necessarily have to mean that all bearers of the surname are (or have been) of Jewish extraction: it is also possible that back in the Middle Ages, there were also non-Jewish Italians who lived in or near one of the places called Montefiore and took the name of their hometown for their surname.

Lastly, a known bearer of the surname was the Italian-born British philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885).
Added 7/29/2012 by erb816
Edited 2/16/2016 by Lucille and babycrookston