The Ancient History of the Distinquished Surname Guarnieri
The conquering Lombards and Franks abandoned their native tongue and accepted the language of the higher Latin civilization with which they came in contact in Italy. But they retained for 100s of years the Teutonic names they brought to the territory they occupied and succeded in imposing them upon the people over whom they ruled. As late as 1266 the majority of names in Milan were of the Germanic type. In central and north Italy the surnames that began to become fixed in the late middle ages reflect the Germanic traditions.

Guarnieri is one of those names.

Originally the region of Tuscany on the west coast north of Rome was called Etruria. The Etruscans left many traces of thier culture, cutlery, jewelry, dishes and tombs. It is from this ancient and culturally important region that the surname Guarnieri is first encountered.

After Charlemagne became King of Italy, the region became known as Tuscia or Toscana. To the north, Viterbo and Bolsena were also incorporated into the territory, which occupied land on the outskirts of the Frankish domain. Thus Tuscany was of considerable strategic importance.

Research of the surname Guarnieri has produced evidence of its origins appearing in Tuscany, a territorial division of Italy. It has nine provinces. Universities are Florence, Pisa and Siena. Home of the Medici they returned to Tucany in 1530 where they held until 1737. Francis was elected emperor in 1745 and Leopold I succeeded, down to Ferdinand III in 1793. In 1799 it was sacked by a French revolutionary force and remained French until 1847. In 1861 it joined the Kingdom of Italy. In those ancient times only persons of rank, the podesta, clergy, city officials, army officers, artists, landowners were entered into the records. To be recorded at this time, at the beginning of recorded history, was of itself a great distinction and indicative of noble ancestry.

Language changes produced variations or the surname, Guarnieri including Guarnieri, Guarnier, Guarneri, Guarnerio, Varnieri, Varnier, Varnerini, Varnerin, and others. Such variations reflect the many changes in the dialects of the region over the coarse of time.

Tuscany became fragmented by the struggle between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th century A.D. Several of the cities joined either the Ghibeline faction which was allied to the emperor, Henry VI, or the Guelph element which was allied to the Papal States. During this period of internal strife, the surname flourished in Tuscany where they were anciently seated. From Toscanny the family were documented in the records of Toscanny as Guarnerio in the 10th century, as Guarnerius or Warnerus in 1363 in torino during the time of Petrus Garnerius. The family branched and acquired lands and estates in Adria in Veneto, Pisa, Rovigo and Veronna. Giambattista was recorded in 1554, Giovanni is shown in both 1570 and 1584. There were raised to the nobility of Adria for their contributions to that city serving through the senate. From thier early beginnings, for the next few centuries, the family name also acquired other interests as branches of this fine old southern Itailian family established themselves throughout Italy, Many were displaced by the many conflicts of the region, the economics, or better opportunities as they pursued religion, politics or acquired better estates..

The Tuscan dialect became the standard form of spoken and written Italian in 1612, when the Crusca Academy published the first edition of the Dizionario. Untill this date, the Italian language had been a collection of dialects, the subject of considerable debate.

The Medici dynasty ruled Florence during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with Alessandro de' Medici as Duke of Florence acquired control in 1530. By a papal decree, Pope Pius V in 1569 elected Cosimo di Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, an office which was to last untill the eighteenth century.

For nearly two hundred years, Tuscany enjoyed political stability until 1735, when the current duke, Gian Gastone, was overthrown by the Habsburgs. His son Leopold proved to be one of the most successful leaders in Tuscan history.

The French Revolution had a great impact upon the history of Tuscany. In 1799, a group of French forces entered Florence, forcing the duke to flee. The French set up a provisional government and which dominated Tuscany. Later, the Tuscans revolted against French, and managed to eliminate most of the French in the rural areas.

Tuscany became the kingdom of Etruria by the Treaty of Luneville in 1801, and then became part of the French Empire in 1808. While under French rule, the region of Tuscany was divided into three areas. The people of Tuscany declared themselves a republic. Leopold retured and abolished the constitution in 1852. in 1861, Tuscany became united with the rest of Italy. In this period of the family name history there were many distinguished notables including the Guarnieri family of Tuscany.

Many Italians looked westward to the New World. Amoung them were the surname Guarnieri or their lineage. Many setlers were recorded from the end of the 19th century in the great migration from Italy to the New World. Migrants setted in the eastern seaboard principally in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The migration continued into the the 20th century.

Today, many Italians, including the surname Guarnieri enrich the social, economic and cultural wealth of the world including dignitaries on both side of the Atlantic.


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