Yup, that’s a surname! My mother’s maiden name. In China, that’s like the surname Smith but we are Italian….go figure. I always got a kick out of receiving Chinese junk mail when I was growing up. I even did my DNA to see if we were, in fact, Chinese!
This surname always fascinated me because of it’s uniqueness.
My grandfather is standing, top left, behind his father (center front) along with 3 of his 4 brothers. HIS father’s name was Giuseppe GON.
My maternal grandfather was called Vittorio GON and he served as a shoemaker in the Italian army. He was injured during WWI and whilst in the hospital he met my grandmother who was there visiting her brother who was in the next bed.
It was love at first sight for him. For my mother’s 80th birthday last year, her older sister had an original hand written letter that her father wrote to her mother while he was courting her framed. It sits on my mother’s dresser.
The GON surname is very localized in Italy. You find it in the very North Eastern part of Italy where our family came from. OUR GON family came from the village of Jalmicco, just outside of Palmanova. Palmanova is famous for being built in the shape of a star. It still has it’s Roman gates and walls.
Unfortunately, (of course!), Jalmicco suffered a huge fire and the baptismal records for the 1700s and prior were destroyed. I can only take the GON family back to GIOVANNI MARIA GON who was born in Jalmicco (also known as Ialmicco) in 1715.
I had my Gon family researched by a genealogist from Italy and he was able to take back the family to 1715. There is one sad entry in our tree.
Within 24 hours, Francesco’s grandparents died of cholera in 1855. Their death records show that they were carried to the cemetery together. The cholera victims died in the third pandemic of the disease—a worldwide outbreak that killed more than 27,000 people in Tuscany in 1855 alone.
Here’s a photo of a map of Palmanova in 1598 where some of my GON ancestors lived in the 1700s.