Family name origins & meanings
- Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian : from the Marian female personal name, Portuguese Maria do Loreto, Italian Maria di Loreto, from Loreto in Ancona province, Italy, the center of a cult of the Virgin Mary dating from the 15th century. Loreto is the site of the Santa Casa, the childhood home of the Virgin Mary, which according to legend was miraculously transported by angels from Nazareth to Loreto in the 13th century. The place name is from Latin lauretum ‘place of laurels’. Compare Loredo.