If your surname is Zurlo, you have a rich family history readily available via the Internet. Although it would be difficult and costly to trace your roots to the origin of the Zurlo name and lineage in Angri Italy, you can take on faith that your branch of the Zurlo family originated there. I am not a geneologist, and professional geneologists might dispute my assumptions, but without going throught the expense of a costly and maybe fruitless attempt to trace your family tree back to the 1400's in Angri (many records are lost or in disarray), I am prepared, with the abundant Internet data, to say that most Zurlos can claim the ancient Zurlos of Angri, Nocera, and Solofra as their ancestors. If you share my logic, you will also agree that virtually all Zurlos today, traced back to these early common ancestors, are RELATED. Related in having the same ancestors, and related by, however infitessimal, the original Zurlo blood. You will see as well, that Internet sources cite Leodoro Piscicelli, a knight in 977, as being at the top of the family tree. The family took the name Zurlo apparenty from a fish abundant in the Bay of Otranto (the fish appearing on early shields).
The early Zurlo family was an illustrious and noble one. Zurlos shared in the early governance of the region. Many Zurlos were fuedal lords having fiefdoms, castles, knights and armies. They shared titles such as Count, Prince, Lord, and Baron, and were a part of the early aristocracy. The early Zurlos were strong as was necessary for success and survival in those times. They were involved in disputes with the King of Naples on several occasions. During the "Baron's Revolt" of 1485, Salvatore Zurlo was taken prisoner by King Ferrante, at Castle Nuovo. He was placed in the castle's prison, where he died in 1486. Perhaps a better fate than being fed to the alligator in the castle's moat, as were some of the other barons.
Count and Captain Francesco Zurlo died in Otranto in 1480 defending the city against the Turks. He died at the gates of the castle, literally cut in half by the swords of the enemy.
There are many illustrious characters in the early Zurlo lineage. With some effort you can find and read many, many accounts of our ancestors now available on the Internet. I have included here a collection of some of those accounts. Happy reading cousin.
Columbia, South Carolina