Friday, March 7, 2014

Working with the Documents - Mining an Italian Marriage Record for Useful Clues

There's nothing like working with multiple documents to increase your knowledge of Italian research.

I find it interesting when a civil record provides more information than was required by law. Below is a translated abstraction of the marriage record of Vincenzo Rafaele di Marco and Cherubina Perrone. The abstraction includes all genealogically useful information from the document. The unusual portions and a clue that might lead to additional information [including my explanations] have been highlighted in purple.

Marriage Record of Vincenzo Rafaele di Marco and Cherubina Perrone

            This couple appeared in the Altomonte town hall on 9 May 1814 at 11:00 p.m. to be married. The groom was Vincenzo Rafaele di Marco, of legal age, age twenty-five [born about 1789], a peasant farmer, and resident of this town on San Quaranto [?] Avenue. He was the son of the deceased Pietro [di Marco], who died in this town on 6 March 1805 but whose death record does not exist, as well as the living Aurelia Ciaccio, age forty-two [born about 1772], a seamstress, and resident of Altomonte in the household of her son, the groom. They note that his mother gave consent for the marriage [even though this wasn’t necessary because he was of legal age.]

            The bride was Cherubina Perrone, a minor [no age given]. Her parents were the living Rosa Guaragno, thirty-seven years old [born about 1777], a weaver, and resident of this town on San Quaranto Avenue as well as the deceased Raimondo Perrone, who died in this town on 21 January 1807 but whose death record does not exist.

            The first marriage bann was posted on Sunday, 24 April 1814 and the second bann on Sunday, 13 [?, ink bleed-through] May 1814. There were no oppositions to the marriage.

            The witnesses were: Leopoldo Lattarchi, age thirty-four, a priest, and resident of this town on Pequaria [?] Avenue; Giuseppe Adamo, age forty-four, a mason, and resident of this town on [illegible] Avenue; Vincenzo Maione, age forty-seven, an Archpriest, and a resident of this town on Pequaria [?] Avenue; and Carmelo Guaragno, age thirty, a municipal employee, and a resident of Morano [perhaps Morano Calabro] on La Piazza Avenue.

            The bride, groom, and their mothers were present but could not write. They each made their mark at the bottom of the document.[1]

COMMENTS: Interestingly, this document was not in the form of a marriage promise, as is usually seen in this part of Italy prior to 1865. 

They apparently looked for the death records of both fathers, as they would do for any marriage, but neither death record was found. It is unusual for them to include the exact dates of death for each father within the actual marriage document. Normally, they would just be marked as deceased and their death records included in the marriage supplements. They may have given the information within the marriage document because their death records could not be found. 

There was a lot of ink bleed-through from the other side of this document that made the bottom section of page 1 difficult to read.

The last witness may be a relative of the bride’s mother, as their surnames are the same. It is unlikely that this man worked for the town of Altomonte because Morano Calabro is a little too far away for someone to travel to work on a daily basis, especially in 1814 [see below]. It is likely he was a town employee in Morano Calabro. This may be a clue as to the origins of the Guaragno family.

[1] Altomonte, Cosenza Province, Italy, “Registro di Atto di Matrimonio [Register of Acts of Marriage], 1814,” record 8, page 29 [?], marriage record of Vincenzo Rafaele di Marco and Cherubina Perrone; Family History Library microfilm #1,329,794.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Picture Wednesday - Monreale, Palermo Province, Italy

Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane [Dictionary of Latin and Italian Abbreviations], seventh edition, by Adriano Cappelli

The Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane [Dictionary of Latin and Italian Abbreviations] by Adriano Cappelli can be a valuable resource for your research, most especially when translating Latin parish records.

The seventh edition of this manual offers more to the eye than anticipated. Included are nine foldout documents on which to practice interpreting and translating.

The book's explanations are in Italian, except in the Latin abbreviations section. The dictionary shows the abbreviations in paleographical examples, then in typographical form, and ends with the full word it is trying to indicate.

The book can be purchase on or