Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to America

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donsalvati
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Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to America

Postby donsalvati » 12 Nov 2008, 02:47

This is kind of a shot in the dark, as every year I go back to Italy I mean to research the story but never get round to it.

My Great Grandmother was given up for adoption in Italy I believe she was from the region of Campania, and her parents immigrated to America. My Grandmother told my family that the commune gave her the name Sparanza (Hope) and the surname Beatrice. However recently my mother read that this would have been illegal and that the surname had to be from the father.

My Great grandmother married Vincenzo Massaro. Had I think 3 children one being my Grandmother Pasqualina Massaro. Who married Domenico Salvati, who had 4 children. One being my Father, Bruno Salvati who married my mother from England Susan. Who then had me and my brother and sister. LOL

That's the story but now we seriously want to find out whether it's possible to trace the father and mother who went to America and if they had a family and what happened really.

Like I said its kind of a shot in the dark but thought maybe putting it online might get it rolling, but when I go back to Italy for the summer I will chase this up

Domenico Salvati
(Or Nico for short) :D LOL

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JohnArmellino
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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby JohnArmellino » 12 Nov 2008, 03:04

It sounds like your GGM was a proietta, or foundling.

Originating in 13th century and continuing through the 19th century, a system of infant abandonment was in place in Italy. It consisted of foundling homes, where infants could be abandoned anonymously, and a network of paid and unpaid wet nurses and foster families. The foundlings were called proietti and the foundling home the ruota di proietti. The present day Italian word proietti (sing: proietto, proietta) means "projectiles" or "missiles". However, in the past proietti could be translated as "foundlings" or "infants given up for adoption" – a meaning that dictionaries no longer mention. A ruota was a type of cabinet revolving on a pivot, used in cloistered convents to give or to receive things from the outside, sort of a turntable in a wall, constructed so that no one could see from who or where things were passed. Hence the name ruota di proietti was given to the foundlings’ home. Some sources I have found state that the infants were actually passed into the home through such a turntable constructed into a door or wall. The infant was placed on a wheel [sometimes with identifying tokens in case the parent(s) wished to reclaim the child at a later date], spun into the building and a bell would be rung to alert the caregivers. This would preserve the parents' privacy. Other sources state that the child was passed through an open window and placed on a turntable and spun through a curtain instead. Other sources state that the name was figurative in nature and merely reflected the fact that the foundlings passed through the home rather than remain there. A proietto was arbitrarily assigned a surname by the Mayor of the comune in which he was abandoned. It was not the surname of his father. This was common practice in Italy, where approximately 4-5% of the children born in the late 19th century were abandoned. The date of abandonment and the name given to the foundling were recorded in the Registri dello Stato Civile, together with an estimate of the foundling’s age and (usually) the name of the wet-nurse, and her husband, into whose care the foundling was given. Some women were "professional" wet nurses, taking in many foundlings over time. However, in Molise (my area of research) the majority of these wet nurses were women who had just lost a child in infancy and the foundling was often raised as part of her family. In Campobasso (CB), the surname Speranza was given to several proietti in the late 1800s.
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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby dianalouise » 08 Dec 2008, 20:07

Is it possible that the last name Proietto was assigned to a foundling? Also, what type of document record would one look for in the Registri? I'm specifically talking about someone in Palermo in the late 1800s.
Thank you.
Marchiori & Cauzzo in Cittadella; Facchini & Perruzza in Sora; DiCorpo & Giuliani in l'Aquila

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby ricbru » 08 Dec 2008, 20:24

Sure, Proietto is a last name given to foundling
Riccardo

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby JohnArmellino » 08 Dec 2008, 20:25

Proietto was one of the most common surnames assigned to foundlings. Each comune had its own custom with respect to naming foundlings. In Napoli, Esposito was the most common assigned surname. I have read that Proietto was commonly assigned in Roma.
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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby ricbru » 08 Dec 2008, 20:39

donsalvati wrote:This is kind of a shot in the dark, as every year I go back to Italy I mean to research the story but never get round to it.

My Great Grandmother was given up for adoption in Italy I believe she was from the region of Campania, and her parents immigrated to America. My Grandmother told my family that the commune gave her the name Sparanza (Hope) and the surname Beatrice. However recently my mother read that this would have been illegal and that the surname had to be from the father.

My Great grandmother married Vincenzo Massaro. Had I think 3 children one being my Grandmother Pasqualina Massaro. Who married Domenico Salvati, who had 4 children. One being my Father, Bruno Salvati who married my mother from England Susan. Who then had me and my brother and sister. LOL

That's the story but now we seriously want to find out whether it's possible to trace the father and mother who went to America and if they had a family and what happened really.

Like I said its kind of a shot in the dark but thought maybe putting it online might get it rolling, but when I go back to Italy for the summer I will chase this up

Domenico Salvati
(Or Nico for short) :D LOL


If you know Speranza Beatrice right date and place of birth, you can always request the photocopy from the real birth record kept at the civil record office of the municipality where she was born.
You can always find more news, like she was abandoned at the door of church or to the wheel of foudlings, or the midwife went to declare the birth report where the real mother doesn't want to be mentioned, the address where she was born, or after all that she was assigned to the house of foundling, ready to be adopted; or that when she was founded she was wearing a dirth and torn piece of cloth, that on her body there is not any kind of mark in order to be recognized way later.
If the baby didn't get any name and last name by the parents, in that case who is chosing her name and last name is the registrar
I hope it helps
bye Riccardo

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby carmine1917 » 23 Jan 2009, 03:56

My family is Speranza from Avellino. They were not adopted, that is a surname. Their are still Speranza's that live in Avellino. My great-grandmother was Constanza Speranza. However, her husband, my great-grandfather WAS ADOPTED by her aunt and uncle. His father was the mayor of the town who had an affair with his married mother. He was given up for adoption and given the name Sommario. Someone told my Mom that in Italy, they would add on to the last name, that his last name was Somma.

I have their marriage record and it says Giuseppe Sommario was from Monteforte. I ordered records for the year he was born. I do have records of birth from Avellino, there is no Sommario, but many Speranza's.

Yes, I have always known the last name Esposito to be one of adopted children. My friend is an Esposito and Sicilian. However, one of my other great-grandmothers last name is Esposito from Rome and she was not adopted.

So, it is safe to say every region has a different way of doing things.

My question is this, my grandfather knew who his parents were, but he had to be adopted. His father was the mayor and his mother was married. So, where would I find the records of his birth or adoption?

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby PeterTimber » 23 Jan 2009, 04:26

What makes you think there are records for this adoption. It may have been "understood" by everybody concerned that it an adoption.??=Peter=
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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby carmine1917 » 23 Jan 2009, 04:31

I don't think that there is no record. I am just wondering if it would be in the Nati Records or in publications or something else. Would his birth be in the nati records or would his adoption be published?

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby JohnArmellino » 23 Jan 2009, 04:47

micheles - Adoptions were not common in 19th century Italy. Your Grandfather was probably an abandoned infant, or proietto. Such children were given their names by the mayor or his representative. Esposito was often given to proietti in the area around Naples. It was not an "adoption" name. In cases of adoption, the child assumed the name of the adoptive father. In any case, the birth records of proietti were often filed with the birth records. However, in some towns (or during certain time periods) they were filed with the Atti di Diversi. The few legal adoptions that took place were also filed with the Atti di Diversi. The birth record for a proietto would not include the name of the natural parents. However, sometimes an abandoned infant was later reclaimed by the natural parents. In these cases an Atto di Recognizione was filed, again with the Atti di Diversi. So I would suggest that you search the Nati and Diversi records of Monteforte.
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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby carmine1917 » 23 Jan 2009, 13:20

I did order the Nati records for Monteforte, as soon as I get them, I will let you know what I find :)

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby carmine1917 » 05 Feb 2009, 19:39

Reading this again, I think you did not understand. My great-grandfather was adopted. He knew who is family was. The family that adopted him, let him keep his last name.

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Re: Adopted daughter in Italy - parents immigrated to Americ

Postby JohnArmellino » 05 Feb 2009, 21:43

Micheles - Adoption records were filed with the Atti di Diversi. The birth record for a child who was later adopted would, of course, be filed with the Atti di Nato. That record might include marginalia referring to the later adoption, depending upon the local custom. So I would suggest that you search the Nati and Diversi records of Monteforte.
John Armellino


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