Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

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Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby timo » 28 Oct 2010, 23:52

Was son #2 ever renamed if son #1 died soon after son #2 was born?

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 28 Oct 2010, 23:59

In all the Sicilian towns in which I have done research, I have never seen it happen where a second son was renamed after the first son died, if the second son had already been named. Normally a subsequent son would get the name of the deceased son, especially if it was the name of one of the grandfathers, but not after he had already been named. If such a practice did take place, the parents would have had to go to a town notary to have the name legally changed, and you would have to find a notarial record to prove that.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby Eleven » 28 Oct 2010, 23:59

I have never seen anyone renamed.

They will use the name again, if the son #1 died. I have seen it reused several times, like that, but never a renaming of an existing child.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby timo » 29 Oct 2010, 11:34

Thanks for your replies and for sharing your hands-on experience.

I learned from my cousin yesterday that our GF had two older brothers with the same name, and now I'm not sure whose birth record I've found on the LDS microfilm. Next to our GGF's birth record, in the margin, is mention of his marriage. Would there be a similar marginal notation of the baby's death next to the baby's birth record?

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 29 Oct 2010, 11:54

sometimes there is a notation of a person's death in the margin of his/her birth record; often, there isn't.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 29 Oct 2010, 11:56

Your indication that a child has died is often finding subsequent children with the same first name born to the same parents

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 12:15

maestra36 wrote:sometimes there is a notation of a person's death in the margin of his/her birth record; often, there isn't.


I have found that the notations on the "original" copies of Atti maintained by the comune of record often vary considerably from the notations found on the LDS microfilmed copies.

Not only do the comune copies often contain notations missing from the LDS copies, but I have found at least one case where a birth act's marriage notation appears on both copies but in substantially different script and wording.

In the first image below are the margin notes from my GF's Atto di Nascita as received in "copia integrale" directly from the comune. The second image is from the LDS microfilm. (the comune is Malvito CS; the birth was the first birth of the year 1886)

Both notes refer to his marriage to Maria Francesca Michelina Altieri in 1905, but are different in every respect. I find this very odd and it causes me to question all that I thought to be fact concerning the origin of the LDS films.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby timo » 29 Oct 2010, 12:59

Is the copia integrale a photocopy or a modern-day (verbatim) transcription of the old record? EDIT: or a modern-day paraphrase or summary of the contents of the old record, possibly incorporating corroborating information taken from other records?

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 13:27

timo wrote:Is the copia integrale a photocopy or a modern-day (verbatim) transcription of the old record? EDIT: or a modern-day paraphrase or summary of the contents of the old record?


Copia Integrale is a photocopy of the orginal document on file in the comune, complete with all notations which have been made over the years.

According to Trafford R. Cole's book, Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical & Other Records in Family History Research, "There are separate records for birth, marriage, and death acts. Two copies of each act were created; one copy went to the pretura della repubblica and one copy remained in the town..." He goes on to say that the copy held by the pretura della repubblica is used only for offical government business and is not available for public inspection or use.

I had always assumed that the LDS microfilms were made using the comune's copy of the records. However in the example shown above this is clearly not the case as the comune's copy differs substantially from the LDS microfilm. So, I am left to believe that the LDS films (at least this one) were made from the pretura copy and also that the pretura copy was occasionally updated with new information as it became available.

Back to the original question, I have recently pulled copies of more than one hundred LDS records from Malvito, including several cases of a birth act and subsequent death act days, weeks, or up to a few years later. In not a single case is there a note on the birth act regarding the death of the child.
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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 13:32

Here are the two documents in full - the first received from the comune; the second from the LDS microfilm.

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Notice, by the way, how much clearer the comune copy is...
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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 29 Oct 2010, 14:17

I find it very interesting that the records are so different. However, when you have pulled thousands and thousands of records from the microfilms, as I have, there is no way you can then try to retrieve these same records from the towns.

As to death annotations on birth records-on one of the birth records I have for a son of my husband's grandmother's sister, there is a huge stamp in the margin which indicates that the father of the child was killed during World War I and there is also the date of his death as well as a multiple digit number which also appears on his several page death document. The stamp is from the clerk of the tribunal.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 29 Oct 2010, 14:19

The death record information was from the ministero della guerra-the minister of the war

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby maestra36 » 29 Oct 2010, 14:22

I actually see the same stamp on a second son's birth record, but not on all of his children's birth records, even though these children were born long before he died.

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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 29 Oct 2010, 14:32

At this point, I am left to surmise that the LDS films were made using the pretura della repubblica's copies of the records.

I further surmise that the pretura della repubblica updated their copy of a record as new information came in (a marriage or death act, for example), but that they were not hyper-attentive to these updates. Hence a situation such as you describe where one son's birth record notates his father's death but not the other.

The majority of birth records I recently pulled from Malvito LDS microfilms have no notations at all, even though the subject person had married and/or died long before the LDS films were made.
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Re: Sicilian naming conventions: were sons ever renamed?

Postby Eleven » 29 Oct 2010, 17:03

About 2 sons with the same name.

I did the genealogy for my father in 1992 or 3. I used the FHL records, but my fathers sister got me back far enough to use them. At the time, they only had the records from 1865 and back.

Recently, ancestry put the records for this town, online..from 1866 to 1939 (very few records in 1930s and none from 20s, they are mostly 1866-1910).

Because the info I had for those years had been given to me, I took a paid acct on ancestry, to get the dates and more info.

My great grandmothers name was Maria Provenzano. I was glad to find, all of the info that my aunt had given me was correct, when I found her marriage record.

In using these records, I found another Maria Provenzano born to the same parents, 18 years after mine, and mine wasnt dead. I found the birth and the marriage for this one. Both had the parents of my Maria, with any dates (birth for them) closely matching.

I had never seen anything like this before..and not only have I been working on Italian genealogy since 1992 and did both mine and my husbands, I also indexed and arbitrated Italian records for both the FHL and ancestry. So, I have seen hundreds of thousands of Italian records.

I asked on another Italian forum that I used, about this naming 2 children the same thing, even if one wasnt dead..and some said they have seen this, too.

These two women have no middle name, that could have been different, they both have one name, Maria. I thought this was very odd.


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