Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

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Felitti-Trimarco
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Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby Felitti-Trimarco » 09 Jun 2009, 20:17

Hello!

I'm having a bit of a problem and was wondering if anyone could offer some advice.

For the past few years, I have been investigating a rumor that my great great grandparents were either 1st or 2nd cousins. I'm very close to solving this, but it turns out that my great great great grandfather Domenico Trimarco was born out of wedlock. I have been unable to locate his birth certificate (he was born in Castelluccio, Cosentino in 1845), but the birth certificates for his siblings all list no father, only the mother. Because he was born out of wedlock, my great great great grandfather Domenico Trimarco took his mother's last name (his mother was Laurenza Trimarco). I don't know his father's last name, but there is an indication from other documents that his first name was Vincenzo.

I've recently learned that one particular branch in my family tree was also from the same town as my great great great grandfather Domenico, Castelluccio Cosentino. I now have a strong suspicion that my great great grandparents shared a common grandfather, a man who was from Castelluccio Cosentino. The problem is, there seems to be no record showing this. I was wondering if anyone out there had any ideas on how I might solve this problem. Are there any particular documents I might be able to find which would show this relationship? Are there any particularly places I can look? I've been using a professional genealogist to help (who has been AMAZING and produced fantastic results), but there seems to be no actual record of Domenico Trimaco's father's actual name.

I'm going to try to prove this relationship through DNA testing, but I first need to find a willing direct male line descendent for this man, Vincenzo Di Lorenzo (who I suspect may have been a grandfather to both my great great grandmother & great great grandfather). In the meantime, I'd love to continue my pursuit of finding actual documentation which proves this relationship?

Any ideas? I'm open to anything. Thanks so much for reading my message. I love this website!

sincerely,

Felitti-Trimarco :) :D :wink:

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Felitti-Trimarco
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby Felitti-Trimarco » 09 Jun 2009, 20:28

Just to summarize my above confusing post:

My great great great grandfather Domenicio Trimarco (b. 1845 Castelluccio Cosentino, d.1906, New York, NY) was born out of wedlock. His mother was Laurenza Trimarco, and he took his mother's last name. His father's first name may have been Vincenzo, and I suspect his last name may have been DiLorenzo / Di Lorenzo. There seems to be no record of Domenico's father's name anywhere. Any ideas on how I might determine Domenico's father's true identity?

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MaurizioPerrone
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 09 Jun 2009, 22:50

This is a common problem, the family line often dead ends with Italian ancestors who were born out of wedlock. When the parent or parents are not named on the birth acts or allegati, and there is no other indication of parentage (such as a family story or other indirect evidence), in most cases there is simply nowhere else to go and the research on the ancestral line comes to an end.

In your particular situation, you are fortunate that there seems to be some oral history that may provide some clues. You also mentioned some "other documents" that indicate that your 3rd great-grandfather's father's name was Vincenzo. Your family story suggests that your 2nd great-grandparents were 1st or 2nd cousins. If you are able to rule out a relationship through the other ancestral lines, it would support the possibility that they shared a common descent from "Vincenzo DiLorenzo."

You also mentioned the possibility of DNA testing through a male-line descendant. A close genetic match, along with the other evidence described above, would certainly provide pretty compelling proof to confirm a line of descent from Vincenzo.

Finding information about ancestors born in Italy under these circumstances is tough work and often, but not always, impossible. Good luck in your search! It sounds like you have some good leads and are approaching this problem in a very methodical way.

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Felitti-Trimarco
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby Felitti-Trimarco » 09 Jun 2009, 23:31

Hello Maurizio! Thank you for your message. I honestly had thought that this was not a common problem, but it is very interesting to hear that it is more widespread. I'm confident I can solve this issue mostly with DNA testing of two direct descended male lines, but as of now I only have one out of the two people I need. I am confident that eventually I will find the other one (direct DiLorenzo descendent via Castelluccio Cosentino) and that there will be a match. I believe I will be able to find this person in the US as well.

So are there really not other untapped resources that anyone can think of which might prove this relationship? Why was the name of the father left off the birth certificate? Was there ever any sort of record which would indicate who the real father actually was? I must admit, I'm dying to solve this question. The prospect of solving it with DNA is particulary exciting as well.

Any other input is most welcome!

- Felitti-Trimarco

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MaurizioPerrone
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 10 Jun 2009, 00:11

This topic deserves a narrative of it's own, and I'm sure it's already been discussed at length here. I am by no means an expert, and can really only speak from my own research experience.

During the 19th century in particular, Italian law protected the anonymity of the birth parents of illegitimate children. This was accomplished in many ways, not the least of which was the complete omission of the parents' names from the illegitimate child's birth act.

Of course, there are many exceptions to this, where you will find parents' names listed on the birth act of a baby born from wedlock, but most often when a name was listed, it was only the mother's name, and then only because she gave permission that her name appear on the record. I imagine this would have been the case when the mother chose to keep the child and raise it. In these cases, the child received the mother's surname, however I have seen several cases where the child was given a made-up surname by the town officials at the town hall where the birth act was recorded (even when the mother's name is listed).

In cases where the mother did not wish to be named, or where the child was abandoned and the parents were unknown, the child was given a surname that was made up by the town official.

There are yet other situations where the father's name is listed, and the mother's name is not, because she does not want to be named. This most often happened when the child was illegitimate and the father kept the child to raise.

In your case, it sounds as if the mother of your 3rd great-grandfather possibly had a relationship with a local married man, and had several children by him, including your ancestor. In this case, even when the identity of the father was commonly known, it would not have been recorded on the children's birth acts. He was, after all, a married man, and his anonymity would have been protected, at least in the bureaucratic processes of the town hall.

Aside from the birth act, and in the absence of an official act of recognition by the natural father (which would probably appear as a marginal notation with the birth act itself, or in the allegati at the end of the birth acts for the year of your ancestor's birth), I do not believe there is any other document that you can hope to find that would list the father's name.

It sounds like you have a good shot at proving your family story through the DNA and other evidence you have in your family, so keep at it!

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Felitti-Trimarco
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby Felitti-Trimarco » 10 Jun 2009, 01:46

Hi Maurizio!

I can't thank you enough for this explanation! This answers so many questions I have. I really believe that DNA testing will solve this problem. It's going to be a long road, but I will definately figure this out. Thanks so much for this information. It really helps my search. THANKS!

- Felitti-Trimarco

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MaurizioPerrone
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 10 Jun 2009, 21:50

You are most welcome, I wish you good luck in your search!

My maternal grandmother was a trovatella - an infant born out of wedlock and left with a local family. We spent many years looking for her origins based on the few clues we had regarding her parentage, it is a difficult task due to the lack of records.

You have some clues to go on, and with the possibility of DNA analysis, you have a chance of proving your ancestry.

In bocca al lupo!

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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby khafitzkha » 11 Jun 2009, 02:35

Is this man your direct paternal ancestor? I saw your message name and wondered if that was the case. If he was, then you could possibly do a test of your DNA to maybe get some answers.

My given surname is Jernigan but DNA testing has revealed that I am really a Group 7A Chandler and I now belong to both the Chandler Family Association and their Y-chromosome DNA Project. And that was discovered by comparing my Y-chromosome test results with all of the other Y-chromosome test results and seeing which ones were close matches. You could possibly find that out (if this man you are looking for is your direct paternal ancestor).

Unfortunately women don't have this option. But they can find a direct male descendant and see if he would be tested.

Family Tree DNA is who I went through to have this done. You might consider it as a possibility.

I have a similar problem in my Italian ancestry. My great-great grandfather was an orphan. I found this out by getting a copy of his Italian marriage certificate. For his birthplace it says "Ospidale di Maternita" and more searching by a kind woman in Italy revealed that he was indeed left at the orphanage in Torino. Does his marriage certificate give any information on his origins?

Barry Jernigan
Piemontese ancestry
Tennessee, USA

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khafitzkha
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby khafitzkha » 11 Jun 2009, 02:52

Italy DNA Project at Family Tree DNA

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Italy/default.aspx

Email Vincent Vizachero, Group Administrator for the Italy DNA Project

vincent@vizachero.com

Barry in TN

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Felitti-Trimarco
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby Felitti-Trimarco » 07 May 2010, 23:27

Success! Using a Y-chromosome DNA test and the information that my great great grandparents Nicoletta Trimarco & Pasquale Felitt were 1/2 cousins I was able to confirm the identity of my great great great grandfather Domenico Trimarco's father! Domenico Trimarco (b. 1845 - d. 1906) was the son of Vincenzo Michelangelo DiLorenzo, and likely took his mothers last name because he was born out of wedlock. Vincenzo M. DiLorenzo was also a prominent person in the town of Castelluccio Cosentino, and was later mayor. He was also jailed in the late 1840's for trying to overthrow the government with several other citizens of Castelluccio Cosentino.

So much great information was revealed in this process. Many thanks to everyone for their advice! I'd love to write this up and have it put into an article in a genealogy magazine sometime. What an amazing experience this has been~!

-FT

PS. The genetic match that was used to establish this was perfect! Matched on all markers up to 67!!!

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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 07 May 2010, 23:49

Excellent, an wonderful example of the family story and the DNA they work together to prove the origins of your ancestor Domenico Trimarco.

I am happy for you, you see why you must never give up. Your story inspire hope for those who have the ancestor who was a trovatello.

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pink67
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Re: Determining great x 4 grandfather's last name

Postby pink67 » 08 May 2010, 08:28

Congratulations Conor!!!

Laura :D


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