The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiumefr

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Lili2
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The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiumefr

Postby Lili2 » 27 Feb 2010, 00:23

Hi, Ive been researching the civil registrations (Births, Deaths and Marriages) for my family in the town of Fiumefreddo di Sicilia. I've often come across the term "trovato" which I understand as directly translating to "found" which I understand to mean the child is illigitimate or unrecognised by his/her parents.
Up until now the term trovato didnt apply to my family but now I have 2 direct line ggg's etc that are "trovato". What puzzles me is that even though they are "trovato" they both have surnames eg one is Ignazio trovato Spina born c. 1808 and the other is Vincenzo trovato Patane` born c. 1809. In a Death document pertaining to Vincenzo it says he was born in Napoli mother unknown but father's name was Pietro.

I havnt actually found their Birth registrations. This info is from their children's marriages and their Death certificates.

Who's surname did they commonly get? Is it the mother's or the father's? Or does it depend on who is willing to recognise them.

Any knowledge about the custom of the day would be much appreciated.

Also would love to hear from others who have experience with this in their family tree and how they tackled it.

Regards, Liliana

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PeterTimber
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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby PeterTimber » 27 Feb 2010, 01:27

go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/adoption and when it comes up and after reading type in Italy in search box. Perhaps you willhave some answers. =Peter=
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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby maestra36 » 27 Feb 2010, 01:28

From my experience with state civil records for various towns in southern Italy and Sicily, an abandoned or illegitimate child who had unknown parentage in the records would be assigned a made up name by the town official upon its presentation to that official one or two days after its birth. Sometimes the surname of the mother was given to the infant when the father was a nobleman or member of the clergy. It was not uncommon for priests to keep mistresses and father illegitimate children with them. In one of my towns, births found in part II of the records were all abandoned children who were illegitimate and the town official, upon their presentation to him, was simply assigning surnames to the infants which were variations in spelling from each other. So one child was assigned the surname Valentano and the next child born in the town was assigned the surname Valentuomo. These were surnames made up by the town official and no one else in the town had these surnames.

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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby maestra36 » 27 Feb 2010, 01:40

I meant to add that I did have one instance in which an abandoned child, born 6 weeks before his natural parents married, was assigned a made up name by a town official. When he was almost 3 years old, his natural parents came forward and went to a notary in the town giving details about their abandonment of their child-what the child was left in, what it was wearing, the location of the abandonment. The town official than changed the child's surname from the one which had been invented and given to him at birth to the surname of the natural father. When I then further investigated the surname of the natural parents, both of them had also been abandoned as infants and had made up surnames as well. No one else had these surnames and they were both listed as being of unknown parentage in the records.

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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby PeterTimber » 27 Feb 2010, 02:31

Lili there is another website that also may be of interest to you and augment Maestra 36 commentaries. www.regalis.com/adopt.htm

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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 27 Feb 2010, 17:22

Lili2 wrote:Who's surname did they commonly get? Is it the mother's or the father's? Or does it depend on who is willing to recognise them.

Any knowledge about the custom of the day would be much appreciated.

Also would love to hear from others who have experience with this in their family tree and how they tackled it.


This is a topic of special interest for me, because my grandmother (from my mother side) was a trovatella. The laws in Italy that were to protect the privacy (anonymous) of the parent were applied at the discretion of the parents (really the mother). So you have much variety of informations on the birth acts of the trovatelli (some more, but some less).

You will find that every situation for the trovatello is different, depend on the circumstance of the child birth. Some babies are born from illegitimate circumstance and the mother will decline to be name (because there is shame), therefore on the birth act the baby is listed from unknown parents.

In other situation, the mother is name, and the baby will either take the fantasy surname given by the town official, or in other case the baby take the surname of the mother.

In even other situation when the baby is born from illegitimate, and the mother is from better family than the father, then the father will recognize the baby. So the baby will have the surname of the father, but no mother is written on the birth act.

And then there are situation when the baby is not recognized from father or mother, and is given the fantasy surname. Then some time later the mother will come and claim the baby. There will be a note on the birth act that will say the mother come to recognize the baby. Sometime the surname of the baby is change to the mother surname (sometime no, it remain the fantasy name).

Sometime the baby is born from illegitimate, and the town official give the fantasy surname or the mother surname. Then the mother marry the father, so the baby can be recognized as legitimate baby and the surname is change to the father name.

You can see there are so many possibility. How we can say what is "common," I think we cannot. Because also in each town the custom was maybe a little different, or maybe we can say the interpretation of the law was different.

Also, you can sometime look for a clue on the birth act. If the mother is not name, who is the person who present the baby to the town official? Sometime yes it is the midwife, sometime it is other person who say they find this baby. There is sometime a clue there, maybe will be familiar from a story in the family.

Sometime is impossible to find the parent of the trovatello because there is no trace, no clue, no story. Sometime you can find only the mother. Other time you can do much work and find much truth. For me, I always say to leave no stone unturned.

Good luck for your searches!

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Re: The Term "trovato" in Civil Registrations, Fiu

Postby Lili2 » 28 Feb 2010, 01:30

Thanks!!!! Your replies (and web links) have all been really helpful. This is obviously not a straight forward topic.
It definitely helps to hear from the experience of others on this matter.
Thanks again, Lili


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