Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fortunato the Bastard Child

Sometimes the bluntness seen within the records surprises me.  Most times when you encounter the birth record of a child born out of wedlock they say he was abandoned, that his mother or parents were not known, that he was found on the "ruota" or wheel on which abandoned children were placed for the church or state to raise.  You don't often see the child called a bastard.

The record linked below is the exception.  This may be because his father claimed him but the mother did not.  This situation happened but not as often as the abandonment of the child.  Found in the civil records of the town of Ota, Corsica, the record reads, in part:

"...the act of birth of Fortunato, a bastard, who is hereby being presented and who was born yesterday at eight in the evening to Domenico Luciani, a resident of this town who hereby recognizes this male child..."

Birth Record of Fortunato, the Bastard

Would you change this word when translating it?  No.  If we change what these records say to meet modern sensibilities, could we not misinterpret the records?