The strange case of Adele Argentini

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The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 13:58

Hoping someone can help shed some light on this very strange situation.

These are the facts:

1. My grandmother was born in Como in 1879, her birth record states that she was born at the orphanage in Como to a mother who declined to be named. She was given the name “Adele Argentini.â€

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Jul 2010, 14:25

Legality required adherence to official identity chain in Italy as it is in the USA. The parents were unmarried and thus the childrens birth was illegitimate (term that used to be applied in the USA and in NY on birth records when parents were unmarried) and I would immagine that this chain in Italy was similar no matter who knew what about parentage, names or anything relating to identity since that is "hearsay" and not supported by evidence. There may have been a variance in the wording used in Italy but it is interpreted to convey the legality and not reality.

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 14:42

Interesting Peter, thank you for sharing your knowledge. So to clarify my understanding of what you are saying, would it be fair to say that the officials in Italy were attempting to keep the marriage and death records for these people consistent with the information provided on their birth records? Regardless of the fact that the parents were not truly "unknown" to anyone?

I wonder, did it not matter that the parents recognized all three of the children on their marriage record?

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Jul 2010, 14:53

The Notary fees as well the official fees, stamps and seals. More documents to deal with and who would need this information at that late stage of life anyway would seem to be the logical reasons. But who knows what went on in the mists of those times. =Peter=
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 15:22

Sounds as if the "legality" was more important than the "reality," at least when it came to record keeping.

I can't help but wonder that it didn't bother my grandmother that she didn't have her father's name, but her brothers did. Family meant so much to these people, they were very proud of where they came from. Seems to be in conflict with the laws that governed the record keeping.

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 15:24

Sometimes, the parents, one or both, no recognized the children, because one was already married with another..
if you read the marraige act of Amadio and Cristina, you will know that Cristina was widow, so at birth's time she was married with another man, and wishing not to be named, also if she lived with Amadio, however she was a married woman.... the husband was Giuseppe Tettamanti; they was married in 1872 in Drezzo and from marriage was born children also... :
Name: Giuseppe Tettamanti
Spouse: Cristina Raible
Record Type: Pubblicazioni di Matrimonio
Date: 1872
City: Drezzo
County: Como
Country: Italia (Italy)

Name: Giuseppe Tettamanti
Spouse: Cristina Raible
Record Type: Matrimonio
Date: 1875
City: Drezzo
County: Como
Country: Italia (Italy)
transcription of civil wedding in birthplace of Cristina Raible ( Gottenfilgen?? Wustemberg..) the church wedding in Drezzo 7 jan 1873
Giuseppe Tettamanti son of Filippo was born in another Commune, but resident in Cavallasca and domiciled in Drezzo...

Just for explain that when Cristina joined at Amadio Villani she was no single... maybe after giuseppe tettamanti death, they can marry...
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 15:44

Thank you suanj.

Yes, I think this is correct, because my grandmother Adele had an older (half) sister named Maddalena Tettamanti. In the oral history of my family, it is said that Maddalena's father was a cruel man and my great-grandmother Cristina was divorced from him. But, I think now that she was not really divorced, maybe she just left him and went to live with my great-grandfather Amadio Villani.

What is strange is the inconsistency with the birth records:

1. Adele Argentini (b. 1879) - parents listed as "unknown"
2. Pietro Paolo Villani (b. 1881) - parents listed as "unknown," but father's surname was given to him.
3. Riccardo Marcello Villani (b. 1884) - father's name listed, but mother declined to be named.

Why wouldn't all the children's births be recorded with the same information (or lack thereof) for the parents?

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 16:03

In Italy the divorce was legally adopetd in 1970s, so Cristina was no divorced... Cristina had a winery and maybe alone, because for what I understand by records, Giuseppe working in Italian State Raylways, building, but not in the resident place.. so Cristina was alone in a winery...
she knew Amadio..
I know that Giuseppe and Cristina had also another daughter, died when 4 old....
However was impossible for Cristina to recognize the children had from Amadio, because out of marriage... they recognizing, when they married, after Giuseppe death...
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 16:12

This is wonderful information, thanks so very much. I never heard anything about another daughter who died at 4. Did you find this information online somewhere?

Suanj, can you give me some idea of why my grandmother Adele Argentini did not take her father's surname Villani? On her birth record, there is a notation that she was recognized as a daughter of Amadio Villani & Cristina Raible. This was in 1911.

On my mother's Italian birth certificate from 1913, her mother is listed as "Adele Argentini." Then on my grandmother Adele's Italian death certificate in 1967, she is still called Adele Argentini (parents listed as "unknown").

Wouldn't it have been legal for her to use her father's surname after she was recognized in 1911?

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 16:15

the children had no same infos on the birth abt the parents because:
in Adele birth the Cristina situation as wife, sure it was hard...
and she no recognized the baby because no wish give shame to husband as a well herself... also Amadio no wish recognize the baby because he was single and knew not if love affair with Cristina it would have been long in the time... and if not and he meet another woman, nobody married with a man that had a child by a married woman..
so for prudence and dignity no recognized....
in the second baby birth the situation was more hard... but Amadio wishing to give the surname, sure he loved Cristina, and no intention of to know or to marry with a single woman.. so renounced at love affair 's secret, in some way...
in the 3° baby birth Amadio recognized, because he knew that by births, the new family was formed... but in any case, he was unmarried and Cristina married, so or the baby becoming foundling or recognized by who can recognized; and only for Amadio was possible, because also if unmarried a man can have and recognizing a child ( as a well a unmarried woman); but a married woman can recognize only the children had from legitimate husband... the laws was so...
now is different...
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 16:18

the records are in this database:
Como e Lecco, Lombardia, Italia: Registri di stato civile, 1866-1936 Como and Lecco, Lombardy, Italy, Civil Registration Records, 1866-1936
by Ancestry.com
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 16:21

the other ( daughter of Cristina and Giuseppe):

death record:
Como e Lecco, Lombardia, Italia: Registri di stato civile, 1866-1936 Como and Lecco, Lombardy, Italy, Civil Registration Records, 1866-1936
about Giuditta Tettamanti

Name: Giuditta Tettamanti
Birth Year: abt 1875
Father: Giuseppe
Mother: Cristina Raible
Record Type: Decesso
Date: 30 giu 1879 (30 Jun 1879)
City: Cavallasca
County: Como
Country: Italia (Italy)
so born abt in 1875
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 16:28

I know that Adele was recognized by marriage of Amadio and Cristina, but the civil record officer, in this case, it must transcribe abt that in Adele original birth act and in effect is so; for that the civil record officer that relayed the certificates made a error, because by 1911 her surname becoming Villani .. she was recognized by parents... .. you can read directly in Adele birth act .. in the bottom...
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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Jul 2010, 16:30

My goodness, what a difficult situation for this family. My mother never spoke of these things, we knew that nonna Adele had a different last name than her father and brothers, but no one ever explained why. Nonna Adele was a lovely woman, on our visits to her, she only spoke of her family with love and deep respect and admiration. There was never a sense of something shameful.

Two more questions suanj, if you please:

1. If my grandmother Adele wanted to use her father's surname (Villani), would it have been legal?

2. Was this common, that illegitimate children would have different last names from the parents, even when they lived with the parents?

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Re: The strange case of Adele Argentini

Postby suanj » 09 Jul 2010, 19:30

I had experience abt other 2 case so; in south Italy; but the children after the recognizing had father surname; so I cannot understand why Adele no used Villani surname... maybe the only explanation is that she was adult woman and married woman, so also the marriage act was under Argentini surname, and most probably needing of a judge sentence for to change the surname also on marriage act.. this is the only explanation... and maybe Adele no wanted....

abt the second inquiry it was easy for a woman (Cristina) that have a baby(Adele) to offer itself as noun and asking of to raise the baby... it was usual, that the true mother requesting of to raise the baby( own baby, also if not recognized) ... so ditto for other children....
if you read the birthact, Adele was born in Borgo Ospedale (Hospital) from a "single " woman that no wish to be named; also the civil records officer wrote that" the child was no presented at civil records officer for morality cause"...
so it was in the past .. the external appearance before of concrete fact... for a morality cause....
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