This is an Italian surname which quite remarkably for that country, is well recorded. Italian surnames are amongst the most difficult in Europe to research with accuracy as in addition to a general shortage of accurate recordings, they usually have or at least can have, quite different meanings, even though usually spelt the same, in different parts of the country. Furthermore although Italy is arguably the font of modern civilisation, it was for some fifteen hundred years from the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century a.d. until the late19th century, simply a loose federation containing on average twelve states. Most of these were very poor and certainly not inclined so spend any money on 'administration,' as required for the operation of civic registers of birth, death and marriage. This surname is recorded as La Padula and Padula, and is most recorded in the regions of Caserta, Foggia and Potenza. Like the surnames Pantano and Tampina it means a fen or marsh lands, and described a person from such places. Early surviving examples of recordings include Domenica Padula at Trivigno, Potenza, on March 4th 1715, Giovanni La Padula at Potenza, Potenza, on August 16th 1761, and Maria Padula at Roseto, Fogggia, on November 12th 1863.