A Distinct Gens

The last mention of the Taifals as a distinct gens dates from year 565, but their Oltenic remnants almost certainly took part in the Lombard migration and invasion of Italy in 568.

 So the question should be asked: "What is a GENS?"

In ancient Rome, a gens, plural gentes, referred to a family, consisting of all those individuals who shared the same nomen and claimed descent from a common ancestor. A branch of a gens was called a stirps (plural stirpes). The gens was an important social structure at Rome and throughout Italy during the period of the Roman Republic. Much of an individual's social standing depended on the gens to which he belonged. Certain gentes were considered patrician, others plebeian, while some had both patrician and plebeian branches. The importance of membership in a gens declined considerably in imperial times.

The word gens is sometimes translated as "race" or "nation," meaning a people descended from a common ancestor (rather than sharing a common physical trait). It can also be translated as "clan" or "tribe", although the word tribus has a separate and distinct meaning in Roman culture. A gens could be as small as a single family, or could include hundreds of individuals

A stronger explanation can be extracted from the meaning of the word "Nomen" which could explain how the taifalos surname was inherited.

The nomen gentilicium, or gentile name, was its distinguishing feature, for a Roman citizen's nomen indicated his membership in a gens. The nomen could be derived from any number of things, including, but not limited to, the name of an ancestor; a person's occupation; physical appearance, behavior, or characteristics; or town of origin. Because some of these things were fairly common, it was possible for unrelated families to bear the same nomen, and over time to become confused.

Roman naming practices varied greatly over the centuries between the founding of Rome to the early Middle Ages. However, the practice of the elite during the period between the mid-Republic and the early Empire has come to be seen as the classical Roman naming convention. This is likely to be because this period provides good evidence of naming practices of the best documented class in the best documented Roman period