Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

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Celtiberian
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Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 01:02

Ciao a tutti,

I am beginning to follow up on an Italian family line (great-grandmother, born ~1867), and I have some smallish (or so I think) doubts that I'm confident will find an answer.

First, the location: in the Portuguese language baptism certificate of her son (plus in her marriage certificate), the location is given as "San Gerardo, Potenza". I have search around and while plenty of information about the historical figure of San Gerardo is available I wasn't able to "map" it to a modern administrative area within Potenza... I'm not sure yet on how the details of searching Italian records work, but taking Portugal as an example it is fundamental to not only know the city, but also the parish.

I also have a small doubt regarding a surname: the last surname of this ancestor is quite common (Cardinali), but the other one seems rarer: Frimen or perhaps Firmen. There is the distinct possiblity of these spelling being wrong, since it was written in Portuguese... is there any Italian surname that resembles it?

I'm going to continue to read the archives and stickies in order to placate adittional doubts that I have concerning how to start, but I would welcome any additional pointers that could be helpful.

Valete!

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Feb 2010, 14:33

San Gerardo in Potenza province is not a town nor a village by name of San Gerardo.

San Gerardo is a patron Saint the name of streets, schools but not much elkse. There is no "frazione" or neighborhood called San Gerardo amongst the different towns and villages inthe province of Potenza.

Are you sure your not giving us the correct information? I need molre information. =Peter=
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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby misbris » 26 Feb 2010, 15:16

The surname Cardinale is quite common in Potenza. The other name Frimen does not exist. However, there are a number of names that begin Trim. It is possible that the first letter is not a F but a T? :?

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 16:32

Hi,

Many thanks for you comments.
PeterTimber wrote:San Gerardo in Potenza province is not a town nor a village by name of San Gerardo.

San Gerardo is a patron Saint the name of streets, schools but not much elkse. There is no "frazione" or neighborhood called San Gerardo amongst the different towns and villages inthe province of Potenza.

Are you sure your not giving us the correct information? I need molre information. =Peter=


Well, I'm sure I'm giving you the correct information in terms of what I have... but what you say makes sense to me, although as I said this could be because I'm not used to the way administrative divisions work in Italy: by following up the patron Saind hint I ended up noticing that the LDS records for Potenza are divided in 3 different "areas" (we would call them parishes here), one of the being the parish of San Gerardo.

So it appears that the information I have is correct, at least in ecclesiastic terms: the information I have is the one recorded in the Catholic marriage certificate, which stipulates the parish and town where she was born and baptised.

I've been reading a bit and perhaps a good next step would be to write to the Stato Civile of Potenza requesting a birth certificate with the information I have... what do you think?

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 16:40

Hello,

Thanks for your help.

misbris wrote:The surname Cardinale is quite common in Potenza.


Yes, this one is pretty simple, most people associate it with Italy easily enough.

The other name Frimen does not exist. However, there are a number of names that begin Trim. It is possible that the first letter is not a F but a T? :?


Well, everything is possible, but not in terms of misreading what was written: it is clearly an "F", and I have multiple records with different handwritings that support this reading. The only doubt - insofar as the way it was written here in Portugal - is that sometimes it appears to be "Firmen" instead of "Frimen".

The fact remains that this could simply be badly written in every record I have, most likely due to a phonetic transcription of the name by the priest.

Some theories I thought about to explain this are:

1) The surname itself being non-Italian. "Frimen" and some variations are present in Germanic counties (Freeman, Friedman).

2) Something like "Fermin", but in Italian this is San Firmino, so it is less likely...


Regards!

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Feb 2010, 16:43

Dear Celtiberian your probably on the right track with this. Go to www.parrocchie.it and put in Potenza in the upper right and up will come 22 parish churches with San Gerardo one of them located in Potenza but since it lacks a telephone number it may not house a resident priest.

Further writing tp the Ufficio di Stato Civile in Potenza ia s sure way to go if you have a full name an approximate year of birth. In Italy civil records for Births,marriages and deaths are located in the place (city,mtown or village) of origin and are free of charge.
Go to www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwisdom/it ... tters.html

You can send the form letter to the address under MUNICIPIO at
www.tuttitalia.it/basilicata/71-potenza =Peter=
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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 16:58

Hi Peter,

PeterTimber wrote:Dedar Celtiberian your probably on the right track with this. Go to www.parrocchie.it and put in Potenza in the upper right and up will come 22 parish churches with San Gerardo one of them located in Potenza but since it lacks a telephone number it may not house a resident priest.


Thanks for the information, highly appreciated. I will, begin to draft a letter in Italian (when dealing with Church officials I'm relatively used to having to write letters ;) ), I'll use a mix of available templates, online dictionaries and the knowledge I have from my Latin classes (and from speaking a Latin language, which helps somewhat).

Further writing tp the Ufficio di Stato Civile in Potenza ia s sure way to go if you have a full name an approximate year of birth. In Italy civil records for Births,marriages and deaths are located in the place (city,mtown or village) of origin and are free of charge.
Go to www.angelfire.com/pearlsofwisdom/italia ... tters.html for italian genealogy form letters in Italian.


Splendid, right what I needed. I do have an approximate year of birth, fortunately, since her age is specificed in the marriage registration that I have.

I'll follow up on both this leads - one civil, another ecclesiastisc. Most likely I will contact the civil one first since it is easier, then wait a bit before following up with the contact with the church priest.

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby misbris » 26 Feb 2010, 17:09

You are absolutely correct. It is lucky that the church records of San Gerardo are available until 1872, since your ggm was born in 1867. :lol: Do you have a Family History Center or a Mormon Church anywhere near you?

Once you have the religious record information, it will be much easier to search the cvlil records or request them from the town.

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 17:14

misbris wrote:You are absolutely correct. It is lucky that the church records of San Gerardo are available until 1872, since your ggm was born in 1867. :lol: Do you have a Family History Center or a Mormon Church anywhere near you?


Yes, I have... however I'm not that lucky: the 1872 is the extreme date for the microfilms... but concerns Deaths and Marriages :P The baptisms end in 1863, and my ggm was born around 1866. I think that this records are likely not microfilmed but exist in the Church parish.

Once you have the religious record information, it will be much easier to search the cvlil records or request them from the town.


Right, that was my initial course of action, until I noticed the above. Without access to the microfilms it becomes somewhat easier to first contact the Civil authorities with the information I have (which, even with possible spelling mistakes, includes her place of birth, age, and the names of both parents), and then followup with the Church.

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Feb 2010, 17:15

If you wish to contact the Vicar General for the churches and that of San Gerardo in Potenza you can contact him at his e-mail address:
Donvitotelesca@virgilio.it

=Peter=
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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 17:17

PeterTimber wrote:If you wish to contact the Vicar General for the churches and that of San Gerardo in Potenza you can contact him at his e-mail address:
Donvitotelesca@virgilio.it

=Peter=


Many thanks. Do you have any personal experience with this sort of contacts? Are the recipients in general helpful and willing, or do most of the messages end up not receiving a reply?

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Feb 2010, 17:29

I would say at the parish level its an iffy thing but I purposefully directed you up the ladder so that it increases the chance that your reply willbe reponsive,particularly since the San Gerardo parish may be without resident priest and perhaps even the records were transferred elsewhere.

You might wish to offer hiring someone that the church selects to research the records and if so bear in mind that the donations should reflect the increase in the Euro compared to the dollar if there is no charge indicated by the Vicar Generals office. Its more an art than a science in dealing with the church, records and priests. =Peter=
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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Feb 2010, 17:34

I am fascinated by your stone avatar. Might we know its significance? =Peter=
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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 17:35

PeterTimber wrote:I would say at the parish level its an iffy thing but I purposefully directed you up the ladder so that it increases the chance that your reply willbe reponsive,particularly since the San Gerardo parish may be without resident priest and perhaps even the records were transferred elsewhere.

You might wish to offer hiring someone that the church selects to research the records and if so bear in mind that the donations should reflect the increase in the Euro compared to the dollar if there is no charge indicated by the Vicar Generals office. Its more an art than a science in dealing with the church, records and priests. =Peter=


Right, I see. Well, I will certainly take you advise and will write to the contact you have provided next week. I also use the Euro so that's not an issue, what could be an issue is the amount that is expected.

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Re: Pinpointing location (San Gerardo, Potenza) and surname

Postby Celtiberian » 26 Feb 2010, 17:38

PeterTimber wrote:I am fascinated by your stone avatar. Might we know its significance? =Peter=


Oh, thanks. It is something I threw here quickly: given my nickname and the fact that this is an Italian genalogy forum I more or less mixed the two and searched from something related to the Legio VII Gemina, aka the Seventh Legion, which was one of the more well-known Roman legions in Iberia. The town, province and Kingdom of Léon, for example, have their name derived from "Legio" (and not "lion", as many think).


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