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This surname was first recorded in 1419 on the Militia Roster as Bertelli, with Portella featuring amongst the Aragonese garrison that occupied Malta in 1283.
Almost certainly from Italy, it could derive from occupational names relating to the Italian words porta, meaning ‘door, city gate', or porto meaning ‘port, haven’. There are also various locations in Italy named Portello or Portella.
The eminent Catholic symbol of three stars is shown above a the tower, a symbol of power.
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