Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

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jo123
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Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby jo123 » 19 May 2010, 13:58

Hi all,
I have been researching my Monterosso and Puccini family genealogy for a little while now and have stopped at a brick wall with the Puccini side of the family as my gr grandfather Adolfo Puccini was adopted. We are from Southern Italy, Adolfo was born in Polistena in 1900 and was given the name Adolfo Puccini from birth and later the name Giuseppe from his adopted parents. His birth record says "ignoto" where the parents names should be.
I know the Puccini surname is from the North, mainly Lucca. Funny thing is I thought I'd look up the composer Giacomo Puccini, and he bears such a stricking resemblence to one of my cousins (Adolfo's grandson).
See images here:
Giacomo:
http://s872.photobucket.com/albums/ab28 ... uccini.jpg
Cousin:
http://s872.photobucket.com/albums/ab28 ... ccini1.jpg
Giacomo:
http://s872.photobucket.com/albums/ab28 ... oung-1.jpg
Cousin:
http://s872.photobucket.com/albums/ab28 ... CCINI3.jpg
The other thing I found interesting is that Giacomo has the prominent left eyelid which droops more than the right which a number of Adolfo's sons had. However, Adolfo nor his sons look like Giacomo.

Any thoughts?

Josie
Tracing my family from Sinopoli. Surnames: Monterosso, Puccini, Carbone, Tripodi, Caruso, Rugnetta, Fimmano, Luppino.

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jo123
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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby jo123 » 19 May 2010, 14:01

If you click on view album at top left of page you can see the four pictures next to each other.

Josie
Tracing my family from Sinopoli. Surnames: Monterosso, Puccini, Carbone, Tripodi, Caruso, Rugnetta, Fimmano, Luppino.

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MaurizioPerrone
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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 19 May 2010, 16:24

The only way to know you are related for someone (anyone) is to document very carefully all the facts using the records, in the comune or in the church or in the provincial archives. A physical resemblances is not a reliable clue, because even people who no are related will sometime have similar appearance.

Your great grandfather Adolfo Puccini, he was given the surname of a trovatello, it is a fantasy name (made up from the town official). Since his parents are listed "d'ignoti" on the birth act, then you can know that Puccini is not the surname of his mother or his father. So unless you have some informations in your family that can say, yes, he was a son of this girl or this man, then probably will be very difficult and maybe impossible to know the parents of your great grandfather. Even with the family story for the trovatello, there must be some other evidences to prove the true parents.

You have found the original birth act of Adolfo Puccini? Because you should seek the original act to read the details of his birth (the circumstance) and also to see if there are some annotations (for to possibly give you some more informations).

I wish you good luck for your searches.

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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby jo123 » 20 May 2010, 05:49

HI Maurizio,
Yes I have the original birth act from Polistena. It does not have any annotations other than when he migrated to Australia from Italy, and became an Australian citizen.

According to stories from older relatives, when he was left at the orphanage there was a letter asking for him to keep that name. How true this is, I do not know. Would there be any reason why Adolfo wouldn't have taken the surname of his adoptive parents?

I just thought it was funny that my cousin looked so much like Giacomo Puccini. Obviously something like this could never be proven, but it's uncanny.

Another question. I noticed in the town of Polistena, there were people with the surname Pucci (whereas the surname Puccini is not seen anywhere in the South of Italy). Was it at all common for surnames to be changed slightly? Do you think that "trovatelli" were never given the surname of either parent, even if the mother had travelled from another town to have the child? Also how far would a mother have travelled to have a child?

Josie
Tracing my family from Sinopoli. Surnames: Monterosso, Puccini, Carbone, Tripodi, Caruso, Rugnetta, Fimmano, Luppino.

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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 20 May 2010, 16:21

jo123 wrote:Was it at all common for surnames to be changed slightly? Do you think that "trovatelli" were never given the surname of either parent, even if the mother had travelled from another town to have the child? Also how far would a mother have travelled to have a child?


For to understand the situation of the trovatello, really you must understand the Italian law for registering the birth. The law was design to protect the privacy of the parents. In situation when the child was illegitimate (for an example), the law allows the mother to decline to have her name written on the birth act (and also almost always she will decline to say the name of the father). So, the midwife will bring the baby to the comune so the birth act can be written, and she will say, this mother does not want her name to be written. So for the parents of the child it is written "d'ignoti." In this way, the honor of the mother is restored, and the baby is safe because it now can go to the orphanage (or with some family local).

Of course, this does not mean that the mother is truly "unknown," because certainly the midwife knows her, her family, maybe some people in the town. It is bureaucratic anonymity, but in some case is possible the child will know that this girl from the town was his mother, or this man was his father. Especially in some small town, where the people will know these things. Even sometimes the baby is taken from the orphanage by the own family of the mother.

In some town, usually larger town or city, there is the "wheel" where the baby can be put in secret, or maybe the baby is left at the door of some person in the town. It is all done in secret, to hide the identity of the mother. This is most anonymous, because the mother can do this and no person will see her. Of course, even in this situation, her own family and the midwife will know, so probably there is never truly "unknown."

But, for the surname of the child, if the child is given the fantasy surname, this is the official name always (unless the child is recognize from the mother or father later, then the surname can be changed, but it is written as annotation on the original birth act). The child will not use the surname of the "adopted" family, truly is not really adopted because it was not an official process in most all situation. The child would go to live with some local family, maybe even become like a son to the family, but it was not official adopted (very rare), and the surname is not changed for the name of the family that he lives with.

For the name Pucci, I do not think it is possible there is some connection to Puccini, because it would go against the Italian law to make some allusion to the true family in the fantasy surname. I have heard some situation when the mother will make a request to choose the fantasy surname herself, so I think maybe this is reason there was some letter in the orphanage. Maybe it was a sign from the mother, so that she can come find her child at some time later? I only make a guess for this.

Is not true that a trovatello never take the surname of the mother. In some situation, the mother will keep the child to raise for herself. In this case, most time the baby will have the surname of the mother (or sometime the fantasy surname).

For the travel of the mother, I do not think it is possible that a farm girl from the day of our grandparent will make a long away travel to have the child. Most time, I believe it is in the town of the mother, or maybe in a large town very near the mother if there is an orphanage in that place.

I tell you that with the trovatello, every situation is always different, so there are many possibilities different from what I write here. In some situation, the father of the trovatello will be name on the birth act but no the mother. In this case, the father is recognize the baby as his own, but the mother is not (because they are not marry). So you see, many possibility. For your situation, because there is no stories of the true parents that you can search and no annotation on the birth act, probably will be very difficult or impossible to know the true parent of Adolfo Pucci.

I hope you can understand what I write, I wish you very good luck for your searches.

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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby jo123 » 21 May 2010, 02:59

Hi Maurizio,

Thank you for that information. I wasn't sure exactly how it worked in terms of naming "trovatelli". I was thinking what you said about women not travelling too far to have their children. I would have thought they would only go as far the next town.

Well we can assume that our Puccini family originated from Calabria, but the name looks like it will always be a mystery.

Just a question about the microfilm I viewed from the FHC. I'm not sure if this is the original birth act as it has the date at the top of all of the consecutive birth acts as 1934. It's like they've been re entered.

You can view it here:
http://s872.photobucket.com/albums/ab28 ... ni1900.jpg

This file was from the Family History Centre dated 1900-1910. I'm not sure what this date at the top is.

Josie
Tracing my family from Sinopoli. Surnames: Monterosso, Puccini, Carbone, Tripodi, Caruso, Rugnetta, Fimmano, Luppino.

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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby liviomoreno » 21 May 2010, 05:32

May 9 1934 is the date when the birth act was re-entered in the book registers that where destroyed by fire in 1921.
Adolfo Puccini was born in Polistena on Sept 20 1900 to father and mother unknown.
The first side annotation says that Adolfo lost his Italian citizenship on Sep 4 1963 (can't read the date...) because he was naturalized Australian.
The second annotation is related to Adolfo's death, in Adelaide 1988(?)

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Re: Am I crazy or could we be related to Giacomo Puccini?

Postby jo123 » 21 May 2010, 06:03

Thanks Livio. That clears that up, I wasn't sure why all the birth acts on that particular roll of microfilm all had the same date on top.

Josie
Tracing my family from Sinopoli. Surnames: Monterosso, Puccini, Carbone, Tripodi, Caruso, Rugnetta, Fimmano, Luppino.


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