Italian general and patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a freedom fighter on two continents.
In his homeland, he strove to liberate and unify the Italian states. (He played a crucial role in the process of Italian unification, in fact, when he conquered Sicily and Naples in 1860.)
And, while he was in exile in South America (1836-1848), he participated in the revolutionary struggles of both Brazil and Uruguay.
As you might imagine, thousands of babies born in Europe — and thousands more born in South America — have been named after Giuseppe Garibaldi. (We spotted a Uruguayan baby named Garibaldi just a few months ago!)
But what about the U.S.?
Turns out that Garibaldi was strongly admired in the U.S. as well, particularly around the time of the Civil War:
Garibaldi’s thrilling deeds — unfolding day-by-day through 1860 on the front page of almost every newspaper, alongside stories detailing America’s own dissolution — stood as both an inspiration and a rebuke.
Several hundred U.S baby boys — most born during the 1860s — have been named after Garibaldi. Some examples…
- Garibaldi Stevens (b. 1860 in Utah)
- John Garibaldi Sargent (b. 1860 in Vermont), who served as U.S. Attorney General under Calvin Coolidge.
- Garibaldi Dunn (b. 1861 in Kentucky)
- He had a brother, born in 1863, named Ellsworth.
- Eldon Garibaldi Burdick (b. 1862 in Wisconsin)
- Both his son and his grandson were also named “Eldon Garibaldi.”
- John Garibaldi Weihe (b. 1862 in Ohio), who played Major League Baseball in the 1880s.
- Garibaldi Krantz (b. 1862 in Pennsylvania)
- Garibaldi Niles (b. 1866 in Illinois)
- He had a brother, born in 1849, named Kossuth — likely for Lajos Kossuth, who ruled Hungary during the revolution of 1848-1849.
- Antonio Giuseppe Garibaldi Pellegrini (b. 1867 in New York)
- Joseph Garibaldi Potter (b. 1869 in Pennsylvania)
- Joseph Garibaldi Lanfranconi (b. 1874 in Virginia)
- Rudolph Garibaldi Neverman (b. 1875 in Wisconsin)
The Italian surname Garibaldi, which is based on the medieval personal name Garibaldo, ultimately comes from the ancient Germanic words ger, meaning “spear, lance,” and bald, meaning “bold, brave.”
Interestingly, Giuseppe Garibaldi named two of his sons after fellow Italian patriots. Menotti, born in Brazil in 1840, was named for Ciro Menotti, while Ricciotti, born in Uruguay in 1847, was named for Nicola Ricciotti.
P.S. Giuseppe is pronounced joo-ZEHP-peh.
- Giuseppe Garibaldi – Wikipedia
- Goodheart, Adam. “Hero of Two Worlds.” New York Times 4 Dec. 2010.
- Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.