Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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ItalianBelgian
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Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby ItalianBelgian » 11 Mar 2011, 18:18

Hi,
Im doing some research into a possible 'Mercieri' family that may have migrated from Italy to North France and Flanders, Belgium around the mid 1800s. I am aware that this surname is popular among the Bari province of Apulia but am unsure as to whether I'm am related to certain migrants originally from the area baring the Mercieri surname. To help answer my question would anyone be able to tell me whether families migrating to France and places with large amounts of Franch inhabitants would alter or adapt their surnames to ease their intergration into their new sorroundings and society. I am aware that there is a french surname 'Mercier' which is extremely close to the Apulian 'Mercieri' and I am unsure as to whether the more recent French spelling may have been an adaption of the original that ended with an i. Any help would be greatly appreciated and if I havent made my self particularly clear with this question please feel free to ask.
Miles

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ForzaItaliaPgh
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Re: Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 13 Mar 2011, 21:56

Firstly, I have absolutely zero experience with migration to France or French speakign areas, so please take this advice with that in mind. That being said, what you describe is extremely common here in the USA. Don't know if that helps...
Researching BARONTINI family from Tuscany

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ItalianBelgian
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Re: Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby ItalianBelgian » 14 Mar 2011, 07:11

Thanks for the reply hopefully the same is the case for migrants going to European countries.
Cheers, Miles
Investigating the Mercieri family in West Flanders, Belgium, originally from Bari, Puglia

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PesachT
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Re: Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby PesachT » 15 Mar 2011, 13:46

I also have relatives who emigrated from Italy to many places, including France.
It is a common practice for immigrants to alter the spelling and/or pronunciation of their names in order to assimilate easier to that particular place.
For instance I’ve seen the original surname’ Tomaino’ changed to Tomanio, Tomainio, Tomain, Tomaini, etc.
In France some of my relatives have changed their surnames from Pascuzzi to Pascuz, from Russo to Rousseau, from Chieffalo to Chiefaleau.
In my case my given name Pesach was altered to Pasquale and later to Patrick.
Hope this helped!
P.
:D

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ItalianBelgian
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Re: Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby ItalianBelgian » 17 Mar 2011, 07:22

Thanks for the reply that is some helpful information. Would you mind me asking when your relatives emigrated to france and where they moved from? As I am trying to work out an estimate for the point at which my relatives might have done the same thing.
Thanks again.

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Re: Would migrants have altered/changed their surnames?

Postby PesachT » 17 Mar 2011, 12:39

Italianbelgian,
most of my relatives left Calabria after WWll (although my family didn't leave until the 60's) for France (Reims, Fontainbleau and Blandy Les Tours)
Switzerland (Murren, Zurich) Argentina (Buenos Aires, La Plata?) Australia (Melbourne), Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Sul St. Marie, Montreal)
USA (Connecticut, NY, Chicago, Boston, Carbondale, PA)
along with a whole bunch of places in Italy including Apulia (Bari, San Savero)
I hope this helped you!
:wink:
Ne Plus Ultra


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