Monday, April 29, 2013

Double Surnames - Tracking the Changes

Double surnames for Italian ancestors can be an evolving thing.  They are often seen on just some of a families' records and not others.  One family I worked on in Sicily had four variations of their surname: Alberti, Aliberti, Pompa, and Alberti Pompa.

The intent with double surnames was to differentiate between several families in a town that had the same surname, yet were not related in any way.  Most times the base surname will be found last, but it can also be reversed.

In the town of Marano di Napoli, I found five families with the same base surname.  In working with double surnames, this seems like an unusually high number for a single town.

Carandente Giarrusso
Carandente Escole
Carandente Perreca [SP?]
Carandente Sieco [SP?]

Be careful as you work with the records of these ancestors.  Track the changes carefully to make sure you don't climb the wrong family tree!