Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Understanding the Records

The civil birth record abstracted below was very typical for this time period and offered few surprises. It was on a pre-printed form with the appropriate information filled in. 

The father’s age was given but not the mother’s. They do not outright state this family lived in a hamlet, as often seen when this is the case. However, it is intimated when they give a street name and not a house number. Homes in a hamlet were often not numbered.

 Birth Record of Santo Tricarico

"Number Sixty-four
Santo Tricarico

Santo’s birth was reported to the town hall in San Martino di Finita on 16 October 1886 at 10:00 a.m. Reporting his birth was his father, Pietro Tricarico. Pietro was twenty-six years old [born about 1860], a farm laborer, and resident of San Martino.

He declared that the male child he was presenting was born on the 13th of the current month in his home on Via Santa Maria [house number blank]. The child’s mother was Rosaria Corno, his legitimate wife, with whom he resided. Rosaria was noted to be a seamstress.

The child was given the name Santo. The witnesses to the presentation and declaration were: Pietro Lombardo, age sixty, and an onion seller as well as Domenico Pazzia, age sixty, and a farm laborer. Both of the witnesses resided in this town.

Pietro Tricarico was literate and signed at the bottom of the record. Both of the witnesses were illiterate."[1]

[1] San Martino di Finita, Cosenza Province, Italy, “Registro di Atti di Nascita [Register of Acts of Birth], 1886”: record 64, birth record of Santo Tricarico; FamilySearch microfilm #1,640,602.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Understanding Peculiarities Within the Records

The longer you research your Italian ancestors, the more chances you have to see peculiarities or differences within the records. Let's look at the birth record of Maria Carolina Perri.

Birth Record of Maria Carolina Perri

            "Maria Carolina’s birth was reported to the Nicastro town hall on 14 October 1835 at 4:00 p.m. by her father Antonio Perri. Antonio was the son of the deceased Giuseppe [Perri], a farm laborer, and a resident on Strada Calia.

            He declared that the female child he was presenting was born to his wife, Giovanna Vescio, that same day at 9:00 a.m. Giovanna was forty years old [born about 1795], resided with her husband, and was also a farm laborer.

            The child was given the names Maria Carolina. The witnesses to the presentation and declaration were: Saverio di Alessio, age thirty-eight, a farm laborer, and resident of Nicastro as well as Francesco Antonio Angello, age forty-eight, a servant and resident of Nicastro.  Neither the declarant nor the witnesses were literate.

[The section to record her baptismal information on the right-hand side was left blank.]"[1]

The following record in this register also did not contain any baptismal information.  Perhaps the priest at that time was not good at returning the notice of baptisms. The civil official would have given the priest two copies of a notice of birth, which included a section in which to record when the child was baptized.  The priest would then fill in the appropriate information and return one copy to the town hall.

The street this family lived on was unclear in the extracted record found in Maria Carolina’s marriage supplements. It is more clearly stated in this document. Seeking the original copy of a document is always wise, as there are more chances for transcription error within any extracted copy.

[1] Nicastro, Catanzaro Province, Italy, “Registri di Nati [Registers of Birth], 1835”: record number 271, p. 272, birth record of Maria Carolina Perri; Family History Library microfilm #1,962,182.