This Italian surname can be descibed as ultimately of Ancient Greek origin, from the very earliest days of civilisation, over three thousand years ago. It derives from the personal name "Stephanes", meaning crown or wreath, and as a baptismal name and the later surname is closely associated with the famous 12th century Christian crusades to the Holy Land. The medieval times from the 12th century were times of great religious conviction, with increasing veneration for the early saints. As St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, being stoned to death at Jerusalem only three years after the death of Christ in the year 40 a.d., Stephen received considerable prominence and popularity. This popularity was greatly assisted by the church granting the date of December 26th, or the day after Christmas Day, as being the "official" birthdate of St Stephen. Thereafter it became the usual practice to call boys born on this day Stefan or Stephen. In Italy in particular both "Santo" (saint) and Stefano were popular surnames in their own right being first recorded in the 14th century. The coat of arms most associated with this surname has the Sicilian blazon of a red field, charged with a single tower, in chief a knights spur, all gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Sante Santo Stephani, married at Asiago, province of Vicenza, Italy, on April 29th 1830, during the pontificate of Pope Pius V111, 1829 - 1830.