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ZAPATA Family History

This is an occupational surname recorded originally in its various spellings in France, Italy, Spain, and Rumania. The derivation is from the Old French word 'savate' meaning slipper, the surname being a metonymic or nickname for the maker or seller of shoes and slippers. There are at least thirty spelling forms ranging from Sabattier, Savatier and Sabatini, to Zapata, Zavitteri, and Ciobutaru. Occupational surnames, unlike those of habitation, were not originally hereditary, and only became so when the son followed the father into the 'family business'.

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