Thursday, March 13, 2014

Working with the Documents - Part II - Another Civil Marriage Record

Transcribed Marriage Promise of Francesco Antonio Labbollita and Maria Rosa Cordasco

            This couple appeared in the Altomonte town hall on 25 June 1820 at 2:00 p.m. to record their marriage promise. The groom was Francesco Antonio Labbollita, age forty-five [born about 1775], a farmer, born in Altomonte, and a resident of Altomonte on San Nicola Avenue. He was the son of the deceased Cherubina Labbollita, a seamstress and resident of this town, and an unknown father.

            The bride was Maria Rosa Cordasco, age thirty-five [born about 1785], born in Altomonte, and a resident of Altomonte on San Nicola Avenue. Her parents were Giuseppe Cordasco, a farmer and resident of this town, and Maria Angela Pitrelli, a resident of this town. Both of her parents were deceased.

            Their first marriage bann was posted on 21 May 1820. The documents that were to be attached to the marriage promise were:

  •  The birth record of the groom.
  •  The birth record of the bride.
  •  Death record of Rosa Guerzino [?], second wife of the groom, who died on 24 August 1819 [?].
  • Death record of the groom’s mother who died on 4 September 1814.
  • Death record of the bride’s mother who died on 26 September 1819.
  • Death record of the bride’s father who died on 8 January 1810.
  • The marriage bann and declaration of no opposition.

The witnesses to the recording of the marriage promise were: Gaetano Battaglia, age thirty-seven, a carpenter, and resident on San Nicola Avenue; Nicola Zaccarrelli, age [illegible], a shoemaker, and resident on the above-named avenue; Pasquale Franco, age twenty-three, a municipal employee, and resident on San Giacomo Avenue; and Vincenzo Adamo, age twenty-six, a mason, and resident on San Nicola Avenue. The groom, bride, and last witness were not literate and they made their marks at the bottom of the document. The other witnesses signed their signatures.

They then married in the Parish of San Giacomo Apostolo Maggiore the next day [26 June 1820] before the witnesses: Filippo Battaglia and Antonio Paladino. Their marriage was recorded in the parish records on 27 June 1820 as number [not given], on pages 197-198.[1]

COMMENTS: It is not unusual to see the exact death dates for each parent given within a marriage promise and this may be a local practice. Normally, they are simply noted to be deceased and that they were including their death records in the marriage supplements. Having this information, will make researching for these records easier and can be used as additional evidence that the death records found are the correct ones.

Please note that this was Francesco Antonio’s third marriage. The death record of his first wife was required to be included when he married the second wife so therefore it was not required when he married his third wife, Maria Rosa Cordasco. His third marriage followed within a year of his second wife’s death, likely an indictor that there were small children in the household needing care.

This couple’s estimated ages in this record puts Francesco Antonio’s birth about 1771 and Maria Rosa’s about 1778. This marriage record is a strong form of evidence. However, since Francesco Antonio and Maria Rosa were both illiterate, they could not verify that their ages were recorded correctly. This should be kept in mind when evaluating the document's evidentiary value.

The witnesses to an Italian couple’s parish marriage were often the godparents to their first child or two.

[1] Altomonte, Cosenza Province, Italy, “Registro di Atto di Matrimonio [Register of Acts of Marriage], 1820,” record 23, page 23, transcribed marriage promise for Franscesco Antonio Labbollita and Maria Rosa Cordasco; Family History Library microfilm #1,329,794.