GALLO Surname Meaning and Family History

The Gallo surname derives from the Latin word "gallus," meaning "rooster."
Getty / Jim McKinley

The popular Italian surname Gallo has several possible origins.

From the Latin gallus, meaning "cock, rooster," Gallo was often bestowed as a nickname for a proud person, especially one with a "cocky" or vain attitude. It may also have been used to describe someone with other attributes commonly attributed to a rooster, such as a loud voice, snappy dress, or sexual prowess.

Gallo may also have originated as a name for someone from France or Gaul (Latin Gallus), or as a habitational name from any of several places named Gallo, especially common in southern Italy. The most prominent example is Gallo Matese in the Italian province of Caserta.

  • Surname Origin: Italian, Spanish, Greek

Famous People With the Last Name "Gallo"

  • Ernest and Julio Gallo—brothers who built a company that at one time owned nearly half the vineyard acreage in California
  • Joey Gallo—New York City mobster
  • Ulrich Galli—Swiss leader of the famous Bauernkreig Rebellion (Peasants' Revolt) of 1623
  • Robert Gallo—American biomedical researcher best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the infectious agent responsible for AIDS
  • Agostino Gallo—16th century Italian agronomist

Where Is the "Gallo" Surname Most Common?

The Gallo surname, according to surname distribution information from Forebears, is primarily found in Italy, where it ranks as the 13th most common surname. It is also somewhat common in Monaco (97th), Argentina (116th) and Uruguay (142nd).

WorldNames PublicProfiler also supports the popularity of the Gallo surname in Italy, particularly in the Calabria, Campania and Piemonte regions. After Italy, the name is most common in Argentina, especially in the Gran Chaco region.

Genealogy Resources

  • Meanings of Common Italian Surnames: Uncover the meaning of your Italian last name with this free guide to Italian surname meanings and origins for the most common Italian surnames.
  • Spanish Surname Meanings and Origins: Learn the naming patterns used for Hispanic surnames, as well as the meanings and origins of 50 of the most common Spanish surnames.
  • Gallo Family Crest - It's Not What You Think: Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Gallo family crest or coat of arms for the Gallo surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.
  • Gallo World Family Foundation: This foundation's primary mission is to conserve and promote the heritage and culture of the Gallo family throughout the world
  • GALLO Family Genealogy Forum: This free message board is focused on descendants of Gallo ancestors around the world. Search the forum for posts about your Gallo ancestors, or join the forum and post your own queries. 
  • FamilySearch - GALLO Genealogy: Explore over 460,000 results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Gallo surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • GeneaNet - Gallo Records: GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Gallo surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.
  • The Gallo Genealogy and Family Tree Page: Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Gallo surname from the website of Genealogy Today.
  • Gallo Surname: Explore over 550,000 digitized records and database entries, including census records, passenger lists, military records, land deeds, probates, wills and other records for the Gallo surname on the subscription-based website,

Resources and Further Reading

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "GALLO Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). GALLO Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "GALLO Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).