U.S. names versus Italian Names

Are you looking for an Italian surname? Do you need more information about your family heritage?
This is the right place to start your genealogy search.
User avatar
fishacura
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 35
Joined: 10 Jul 2008, 19:18

U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby fishacura » 22 Jul 2010, 11:57

My great great grandfater was named Ercole, but when he got to this country he started calling himself Frank. That name is everywhere but his death cert which has his proper name. His wife's name in the U.S. was Maria but I may have found that her true name was Candida in the old country.

My question is, was this fairly common because it sure makes research difficult :lol:

User avatar
johnnyonthespot
Master
Master
Posts: 5229
Joined: 04 Aug 2008, 15:01
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby johnnyonthespot » 22 Jul 2010, 12:20

Certainly there are tons of

Giuseppe -> Joseph
Vincenzo -> Vincent (also James/Jimmy; go figure)
Luigi -> Louis
Filippo -> Philip
Piero -> Perry
Maria -> Mary
Francesca -> Francis
Francesco -> Frank

and so on.

And then there are the odd ones; either because there is no obvious anglicization or because they are just plain odd:

Ercole -> anything
Pellegrino -> anything

In the case of Candida -> Maria, well, about all we can say is, it's possible...
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)

User avatar
maestra36
Master
Master
Posts: 3422
Joined: 19 Oct 2007, 00:00

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby maestra36 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:28

I believe it was common for the immigrants to change their Italian names to American ones to "fit in," so to speak. It was part of their process of becoming Americanized. Also, if an immigrant was young and attended school in the U.S., it was common for teachers to call them by names other than their Italian names, sometimes just because of the difficulty in pronouncing them. This was particularly true of surnames, but also occured with first names. There were also a lot of stigmas in the American society attached to Italian immigrants-especially the ones from southern Italy and Sicily. So to avoid derogatory name-calling and the like, a lot of Italian immigrants did whatever they could to viewed as American rather than as Italian and this included using American rather than Italian first names.

As to Candida, it may be possible that her name in Italy was either Maria Candida or Candida Maria. It was very common for both males and females to have Maria as part of their names, either as a first name or middle name. If you search through Italian records for a particular town, you often find that the Maria was dropped in later records.

User avatar
oilman19
Master
Master
Posts: 1372
Joined: 07 Oct 2009, 20:43
Location: Simsbury, CT

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby oilman19 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:29

For what it is worth, all of the Ercole's in my family tree kept the integrity of the name. There is no evidence they ever attempted to Americanize the name. The name Frank probably opened more doors for your ggrandfather. Opportunities did not abound back then for people with Italian sounding names.
Just a thought.

Jim
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

User avatar
jamiecapaldi
Master
Master
Posts: 691
Joined: 21 Sep 2009, 18:18
Location: Bristol, England, UK
Contact:

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby jamiecapaldi » 22 Jul 2010, 12:30

Candida in Italian means 'White' and Ercole means 'Hercules'!
NAMES: Capaldi-Tedesco-Tamilio-Minchella-Verrecchia-Tomasso-Franchitto-Innelli-Arpino-Caringi-Colacicco-Macari-Pinchera-Salera-D'Orazio-Ambrosino-Di Mambro-Sigliocolo-Masello
PLACES: Cassino- UK, USA, Ireland, Canada & Australia
http://www.cassino-families.co.uk

User avatar
oilman19
Master
Master
Posts: 1372
Joined: 07 Oct 2009, 20:43
Location: Simsbury, CT

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby oilman19 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:31

Hi Peg :)

Your message was much more concise than mine.

Jim
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

User avatar
maestra36
Master
Master
Posts: 3422
Joined: 19 Oct 2007, 00:00

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby maestra36 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:32

We were thinking along the same lines, Jim.
Peg

User avatar
maestra36
Master
Master
Posts: 3422
Joined: 19 Oct 2007, 00:00

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby maestra36 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:33

The Italian immigrants did face a great deal of discrimination, particularly from other groups already here.

User avatar
oilman19
Master
Master
Posts: 1372
Joined: 07 Oct 2009, 20:43
Location: Simsbury, CT

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby oilman19 » 22 Jul 2010, 12:40

One other thought. My Ercole's were stone masons. They owned a construction company (built a good part of the town they settled in). They probably did not face the discrimination typical in the large cities. They probably did the work no one else could do.

Jim
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

User avatar
jamiecapaldi
Master
Master
Posts: 691
Joined: 21 Sep 2009, 18:18
Location: Bristol, England, UK
Contact:

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby jamiecapaldi » 22 Jul 2010, 12:42

There is quite a few Candida surnames found i Italy.
Mainly in Lazio (rome), Campania (naples) and Puglia (between taranto and brindisi) Regions.
NAMES: Capaldi-Tedesco-Tamilio-Minchella-Verrecchia-Tomasso-Franchitto-Innelli-Arpino-Caringi-Colacicco-Macari-Pinchera-Salera-D'Orazio-Ambrosino-Di Mambro-Sigliocolo-Masello
PLACES: Cassino- UK, USA, Ireland, Canada & Australia
http://www.cassino-families.co.uk

User avatar
fishacura
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 35
Joined: 10 Jul 2008, 19:18

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby fishacura » 22 Jul 2010, 13:43

Thanks all. I am chomping at the bit here....I ordered birth records to my local FHC for late 1800s Pedace, Rogliano, Marzi, Piane Crati and Donnici and hopefully they're here next week...cannot wait to get re-started!!!

User avatar
misbris
Master
Master
Posts: 2263
Joined: 14 Jan 2007, 00:00
Location: NJ

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby misbris » 22 Jul 2010, 15:02

I rememer from my childhood someone called "Herk" or" Herc". Probably Ercole. And let's not forget Hercule Poirot. :wink:

User avatar
adifresco
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 54
Joined: 10 Mar 2006, 00:00
Location: Greenville, SC, USA

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby adifresco » 23 Jul 2010, 07:54

johnnyonthespot wrote:Vincenzo -> Vincent (also James/Jimmy; go figure)


Wow, I had no idea this was common! My g-g-grandfather was named Vincenzo but went by James or Jimmy most of his life. I always thought it was unique to my family and wondered why he chose that name. Do you know why this is?

A few more...
my g-g-grandmother was originally named Fiorentina, but went by Florence. My great-grandmother was named Sabina but went by Sally.

User avatar
JohnArmellino
Master
Master
Posts: 683
Joined: 09 Jun 2003, 00:00
Location: West New York (NJ)
Contact:

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby JohnArmellino » 23 Jul 2010, 15:35

Wow, I had no idea this was common! My g-g-grandfather was named Vincenzo but went by James or Jimmy most of his life. I always thought it was unique to my family and wondered why he chose that name. Do you know why this is?


In Italy, it's not uncommon to use the nickname "Cenz" for Vincenzo. In dialect (at least Southern Italian dialects), Cenz is pronounced as Genz. To the American ear Genz sounded somewhat like James, hence Vincenzo became James.
John Armellino

User avatar
johnnyonthespot
Master
Master
Posts: 5229
Joined: 04 Aug 2008, 15:01
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: U.S. names versus Italian Names

Postby johnnyonthespot » 23 Jul 2010, 15:40

JohnArmellino wrote:In Italy, it's not uncommon to use the nickname "Cenz" for Vincenzo. In dialect (at least Southern Italian dialects), Cenz is pronounced as Genz. To the American ear Genz sounded somewhat like James, hence Vincenzo became James.


Great explanation, John!

Just goes to show, there is a reason for everything. :D
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)


Return to “Italian Genealogy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests