Sunday, March 16, 2014

Working with the Documents - Part III - Civil Birth Record of Aurelia di Marco

Birth Record of Aurelia di Marco

            Aurelia’s birth was reported to the Altomonte town hall on 13 November 1818 at 12:00 p.m. by her father, Rafaele di Marco. Rafaele was forty years old [born about 1778], a farmer, and resident of this town on Vallina Avenue.

            He declared that the female child he was presenting was born “the day before indicated” [13 November 1818 ?] at 12:00 p.m. in his home and to his wife, Cherubina Perrone. Cherubina was thirty years old [born about 1788].

            The child was given the name Aurelia. The witnesses to the presentation and declaration were: Domenico Paladino, age sixty, a farmer, and resident of this town on Vallina Avenue as well as Saverio Costante, age forty-six, a shoemaker, and resident of the town on Vallina Avenue. Rafaele and both witnesses made their marks on the bottom of the document, as they were not literate.[1]

COMMENTS:  Rafaele was born about 1778 while Cherubina was born about 1788. Rafaele was not literate so he could not verify that their ages were recorded correctly.

A “di” not a “De” was used in Rafaele’s surname [as seen in other records of this family]. They both mean the same thing in the Italian language, “of” or “from.” Capitalization was often used interchangeably when a “Di” or “De” preceded a surname and does not change the translation. This type of surname is patronymical, meaning they were likely the descendants of a Marco. Italians began using surnames at different points in time over the last four hundred years, depending on the locality. Patronymical surnames are just one form of surname seen throughout Italy.

Aurelia may have been born on 12 November 1818. The document says that she was born on “the day before indicated” [logically meaning the date of recordation, 13 November 1818] yet they say that the child was presented on that exact date and time.  It is unlikely that the father grabbed the child and ran to the town hall the moment she was born.

[1] Altomonte, Cosenza Province, Italy, “Registro di Atto di Nascita [Register of Acts of Birth], 1818,” record 64, birth record of Aurelia di Marco; Family History Library microfilm #1,329,794.