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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Italian : from the personal name Gaietano, medieval Latin Caietanus, originally a Latin ethnic name denoting someone from Caieta in Latium. According to legend the place was named after the elderly nurse of Aeneas, who died there after fleeing with him from the ruins of Troy. The name persisted among early Christians and was popular in the Middle Ages. The religious reformer St. Gaetano (1480–1547) was born in Vicenza, a member of a Venetian noble family. He is not to be confused with his contemporary Cardinal Gaetano, an active opponent of Martin Luther.

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