Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Inheritance by Marianne Perry

There is a new historical romance novel set in southern Italy in the region of Calabria.  The author, Marianne Perry, is a genealogist and writer and was kind enough to provide a few words about her book and the impetus behind it.

"Discovering my ancestors’ stories matters to me and my paternal grandmother, Caterina Spagnuolo Andreoli Perri, was my genealogical research starting point.
Mystery shrouded my grandmother’s early life. She was born in Calabria, southern Italy and immigrated to Canada as a young unmarried woman in 1913. Why had her parents not emigrated with her? What was her family history? What had life been like in Calabria? Why had she left? I began seeking answers to these questions and the compelling facts I unearthed inspired me to write The Inheritance.
The Inheritance is a historical romance set in Calabria from 1897 to 1913; the years my grandmother lived in the region. The land was subject to earthquakes, superstition clashed with religion and a rigid class system ruled the people. The Inheritance tells the story of an atypical woman rejecting social norms, a priest seeking redemption and a family disintegrating from conflicting loyalties.
The Inheritance is not a recount of my grandmother’s early life but genealogical research did help me craft an authentic tale that explores many of the issues she may have indeed confronted. For this reason, I named the heroine, Caterina, in her honor."
I am looking forward to reading this novel, copies of which can be purchased on her website or through several other means.  See her website for full details.  Let's support this artistic creation by one of our own.

The Microfilmed Records are Damaged - What do I do?

The image above is an example of a damaged record from the town of Malvito in the Cosenza province.  Precious little is visible.  I can see it is a transcribed birth record, meaning that the original had been damaged before and they had to reconstruct the documents. 
If you feel you have the correct document, your first step would be to pull what information is visible from the document.  This child was named Filomena [unknown surname], was born in May of 1864, and her birth occurred "today."  Filomena married in Malvito in 1904, knowledge of which is due to the marriage notation, written sideways in the margin, which is partially visible.  I know from what microfilm I was using that the birth occurred in the town of Malvito.  
The Italian civil records that you will find on microfilm were microfilmed at the Archivio di Stato [provincial archives] and is the copy that originally was held in the Tribunale [district court].  A second copy of these documents were made and are kept in the town's Stato Civile [civil record's] office. 


Most times these offices won't give you a photocopy of the document, but rather will provide an extract or certified copy.  However, if you tell them the other copy is damaged (or you go to their office or send someone on-site) they are more apt to make exceptions.