Recorded in many forms all of which contain the base form of "Mastro", this is an Italian surname. These varied spellings include such examples as Mastrandrea, Mastrangelo, Mastrantone, Mastroguiseppe, Mastroippolito, Mastromarini, Mastrosimone, Mastrantuono, Mastrroberti and many, many others. In all cases the basic meaning is the same with the prefix Masto being a general description for a professional person such as a solicitor or lawyer, a head teacher, or perhaps somebody with a particular skill, a member of a guild of artisans, or the head of a business. This was then followed by a personal name, onto which was tacked at random, and often changed between generations, various diminutives and patronymics. Sometimes the prefix was shortened to Mast, Masto, or even Marro depending on the local dialects, however it was the suffix which was most usually changed. Italian surnames are the most diffficult to research in all of Europe. In addition to their proliferation of sufix, Italy did not become an unified state until after 1860, and hence national records of many regions were not started until the end of the 19th century. Few of the original kingdoms and states which made up the original loose confederation of Italy bothered much about family recordings, and these were left either to the church or to individual rich or noble families. Some early examples include: Giovani Mastrantono of Piertmonta Corvino, Foggia, on March 13th 1831, and Domenico Mastrantoni of Vita Romano, Roma, on April 14th 1880.