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Nemo (Naimo) Lore

My family 'acquired' the surname Nemo when my grandfather Andrea Naimo arrived at Ellis Island from Monacilioni Italy in 1904. Since he couldn't write, it's most likely that his pronunciation of Naimo (nay-mo) was translated into English and recorded as Nemo.

The origin of the "Naimos" has been traced back to the Maghreb region of Northern Africa where in the Maghrebine language "Naim" means "he who is well/healthy."  In 825 after two centuries of sporadic raids, the Arabs who ruled the Maghreb region conquered the island of Sicily.  The Naimos followed the army to Sicily and settled in Palermo where the family grew and occupied important positions in the local government.

Around the year 1245, near the end of his reign, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederic II moved some members of the Naimo family to the Italian mainland villages of Badolato in the Calabria Region, and to Monacilioni in Molise.

Today, the surname Naimo is a very rare surname in Italy, found primarily in Palermo, Calabria and Monacilioni.

[NOTE: This ancient history of the Naimos was assembled by Caruso Francesco of Rome, Italy, who's grandmother, Naimo Isabella, was born in Palermo.]

But. . . . . the fascination, curiosity and popularity of all things Nemo (until 2003) can be credited primarily to the fictional character Captain Nemo of Jules Vernes' classic "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."  In 2003 the Disney move Finding Nemo introduced to a new generation of youngsters (who probably don't have a clue about Captain Nemo) a new famous Nemo - a fish.

As evidenced by the people, places and things that have adopted the name Nemo, it has (thanks so far mostly to Captain Nemo) an extensive level of name recognition and familiarity that many 'clever folks' are using for many good purposes - which this website intends to document.


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