re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby Italysearcher » 09 Dec 2010, 22:06

Children born in Rome 'genitori ignoti' often ended up 100 kilometres away with foster parents. There is no way to know. Bonarrigo surname is diffuse with over 200 families listed in today's phone book. Laudino shows only 8 and none in Messina area. www.paginebianche.it
Since the 'wet nurse' presented the child someone must have known she had milk, since she also kept the child into adulthood she may even have known the child's origin (or not).
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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 09 Dec 2010, 23:56

The word "adopted" is probably not accurate as adoption was and is a legal process by which a child officially becomes the son or daughter of the couple (or person) who adopts him or her. A far more likely scenario in your grandmother's case is that she was simply taken into the family of Maria Bonarrigo and was raised like a daughter. Formal adoption in these situations would have been extremely rare. It is noteworthy if Maria came forward and offered to take the child around the time of birth to be the wetnurse, not to mention the fact that she actually kept the child. I feel it could certainly suggest that Maria was somehow related to the baby.

I don't agree that there's no way to know about the origins of Maria Bonarrigo, it will just require more research to find the town of origin. It is an extremely worthwhile search in my opinion, especially if there is a chance that she may have been related to your grandmother. Do you have an extract of the complete birth act of your grandmother Maria Costante? Was she born in Barcellona? Do you have extracts of the complete birth acts of the two children born to Maria Bonarrigo?

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 00:05

I see on the familysearch site that they have an abstract of the marriage record of your grandmother, her name listed as "Maria C. Di Ignati.". For the father's name it lists "Di Ignati" (sic, "di ignoti" ???) and then for the mother is says "Maria Bonarrigo."

I must ask, is it possible that Maria Bonarrigo could have in fact been the natural mother of Maria Costante?

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 00:51

Here is the complete information from the marriage extract:

Date: Mar. 23, 1903, Boston, MA
Groom: Orazio Labate, age 29 - born in Italy
Father: Paolo Labate
Mother: Mrs. Fortunata Labate
Bride: Maria C. Di Ignati (sic, Di Ignoti?), age 19 - born in Italy
Father: Di Ignati (sic, Di Ignoti?)
Mother: Maria Bonarrigo

Here is something strange, I also see a child born to this marriage (note the surname of the mother):

Grazia F. Labate, born Dec. 16, 1903 in Boston, MA.
Father: Orazio Labate
Mother: Maria Costanti

And then a death which certainly pertains to the same child:

Grace Labate, died Feb. 6, 1904 in Boston
Father: Henry Labate
Mother: Mary Costanti

Then I also see the marriage of:

Date: Mar. 25, 1905, Boston, MA
Groom: Giuseppe Logrippo, age 31 - born in Italy
Father: Antonio Lo Grippo
Mother: Maria Mancone
Bride: Maria Costante, age 22 - born in Italy
Father: Francesco Costante
Mother: Maria Bonarigo

Are you certain that your grandmother didn't have a first marriage, maybe the husband died soon after?

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 00:56

costante wrote:i just went to family search and couldn't find the entry you mentioned.where did you find it?


The surname of the groom is misspelled on family search. If you type it in like "Orazio Lobate," it should be the first hit on the results page.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 01:09

costante wrote:the marriage to giuseppe logrippo in boston in 1905 was the first marriage.i have no idea who these other people are in the 1904 marriage.very odd that the name is similiar-and the mothers name was maria bonarrigo.let me check family search again.this is where you found it???


Yes, it's on the family search (the beta record site). Not sure if this will work, but here is a direct link to the record:

https://beta.familysearch.org/s/recordD ... u8TUc%253D

I see the death of Maria Bonarrigo there too ....

Maria Bonarrigo Landino (sic, Laudino), died Jun. 12, 1902 in Boston, MA
Age 54 - born in Italy
Spouse's Name: Frank Landino (sic, Laudino)
Father's Name: Domencino Bonarrigo
Buried: Malden, MA

Are you quite certain that Maria Constante wasn't married prior to Giuseppe Logrippo? It would have been a very short marriage, so perhaps was something never spoken of? I find it extremely odd that the names are identical in both cases and both in Boston .... Maria Costante, daughter of Maria Bonarrigo.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 01:54

costante wrote:the bottom line is that none of this information leads me to what comune in messina maria bonarrigo and francesco laudino were born in-or where they married-or where francesco died.and thats what i'm looking for....


True, just thought I'd do a bit of digging and share the few things I found. I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for if you keep looking, things sometimes have a way of coming together in ways that you never expected when you find even just a tiny bit of new information.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 02:07

costante wrote:my grandmother considered maria bonarrigo her"mother'as she never knew her birth mother.also,on the 1902 passenger record,of which i have a copy,maria bonarrigo lists maria costante as her:adopted:daughter.if she were the natural mother,why would she state that?


Ah, but you see you are looking at this with our modern western way of thinking about these things. In the days of our grandparents, it was a great shame to have a child out of wedlock. But it happened quite often. The women that had these babies were often forced by their family to take steps to maintain the honor of the family. The Italian law that was in place at the time facilitated this by allowing the women to remain legally "anonymous." By that I mean that on the birth record of an illegitimate child, the mother had the option of declining to be named. Most women did so, but this did not mean that they did not keep their babies. Some kept their baby and raised it as their own under the pretense that that had taken the child in at birth. So legally the child remained a foundling, even though it grew up with its own birth mother. My mother (who was born and raised in Italy) told me that this happened in many cases when a child was born out of wedlock. Sometimes everyone in the town knew the truth, but no one dared speak a word about it (at least not publicly).

In many instances, of course, the mother simply gave birth to the child at home and the midwife took the baby away to register the birth and then the child was given to a local family to raise, or brought to a local orphanage. In those cases, the child might never know anything about his or her natural parents.

The birth record of the illegitimate child is merely designed to protect the anonymity of the parents in the legal sense of the word. It really had nothing to do with who knew what about the actual parents.

Not saying this applies to your particular situation, but hope it gives you a better understanding of why people did things the way they did in these situations in Italy in the days of our grandparents.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 02:10

costante wrote:thanks.i appreciate your help.but as i said-nothing i've found to date has led me any closer to the information i need in messina.i need something solid-and even if there were a prior marriage to the 1905 one,theres nothing there to work with that would lead me to the information i'm seeking.unfortunate but true. john


Such is the plight of the family historian! Keep plugging along, I wish you the best of luck in your search.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 03:52

costante wrote:i've done lots of research into this.theres an excelent book that you might have read"sacrificed for honor"by david kertzer,a proffessor at brown university in r.i.it details very carefully the whole system of infant abandonment in italy.very well written.lots of blame on the catholic church-which perpetuated this hypocritical system that protected men under the guise of protecting womans honor.a load of rubbish.and for future generations it killed family lineage research.


I am familiar with this book, I borrowed it a couple years ago from the library and found it to be a very interesting and well written perspective, though there were some generalizations the author made that surprised me and I don't completely agree with. There was certainly pressure on the mothers of these babies to abandon them, though as I explained before in many cases this was sometimes accomplished simply by declining to be named on the birth record ("legal" abandonment). There were women who kept their babies and were not marginalized. My great-grandmother kept all three of her illegitimate children. She could not marry their father because she was married to another man, who had abandoned her. My great-grandfather (their father) declared the births of two of the children (as witness, not father), and the third (my grandmother) had her birth declared by the midwife. Parents were listed as "unknown" on all three births, which of course was completely untrue.

It wasn't until my great-grandparents were in their 60s with grown children and grandchildren that they were finally able to marry. They officially recognized their three children at this time as well, though by then my grandmother (their daughter) was already a married woman with children of her own.

My uncle was an assistant to the mayor in their little hometown in Italy, and he saw many things when it came to this, women coming into the town hall to register the births of babies that were obviously their own children, but claiming the baby had been "left at their doorstep," or that they had found the baby abandonded in the woods. Another thing my mother said was that there was a great fear of incest in her hometown, so she said for many years the mayors would keep a separate record from the birth registry where the natural parents of the illegitimate children would be cross-referenced to the official birth records as a way of preventing some poor young foundling from unknowingly marrying into his or her own natural family!

Don't be fooled, especially in the small towns throughout Italy, the townfolk knew more about the origins of these "abandoned" children than the birth registers suggest! Of course, and unfortunately for those who only have a blank birth record to go by ("di genitori ignoti), whatever the villagers knew about the parents of a foundling 100 years ago is now lost to time ....

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby blissiorio » 10 Dec 2010, 14:58

costante wrote:i found the entries for both the marriage and death.i'll admit its close.my grandmother was born in 1883,a year earlier than the entry.but the name is close(costanti,costante)and the mother's name maria bonarrigo.but i think mention would have been made of this somehow.my grandmother arrived in boston with maria bonarrigo in 1902,would have been married in 1903,given birth and lost both a child and husband by 1904-and remarried by 1905!even if i had a copy of that 1903 marriage i'd need more evidence-like a pace of birth saying more than"italy"which is all they ever give.like barcellona.
I can't speak to the specifics of your case, but my GGM came to the USA single, married at Ellis Island, her first husband died after a few years, then she was married again, for like a year, then got married to a different guy a few years later. I NEVER knew about the middle husband until I started doing research.

I guess what I am saying is that perhaps that was a very difficult period in your ancestor's life, one that she did not like to talk about or even want to remember. Life must have been very tough for single immigrant women at the time. I am pretty sure my own GGM married the 2nd guy just for stability and something to eat.
Researching surnames:
[In Teramo area] - Core / Fani / Venanzi / Secone / di Luca / Vannoni / Leteo / Bianchini / Cistola / Felicione / di Marco / Casalena / Romantini / Cintioli / di Francesco / Caponi / Foschi / Traini / d'Ascenzo / Ciare / Ciavattini

[In Campagna and Eboli] - Iorio / Adelizzi

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 15:56

costante wrote:no doubt the birth parents of these children were known.but this system did everyone a great injustice.both the parents and children-as well as future genealogists.


I agree, those who were the most defenseless and innocent, the children, were the ones who bore the heavy burden of stigma that was associated with illegitimacy. When my grandmother was married, and then again on her death certificate, the officials wrote "di genitori ignoti" and "figlia di N.N." on the records, even though my grandmother was raised in a happy household that included both of her natural parents. Even though she was recognized by her parents when they married later in life, the official made an error, because the act of recognition was included only on the bottom of the marriage act of my great-grandparents .... it was never written on my grandmother's birth act.

At the time of her death in the 1960s, the official refused to write her parents' names on her death record, he said the information on the death record had to conform with the information written on her official birth record. I think it was terribly cruel. Didn't matter at all if the names of her parents were common knowledge.

Future generations of researchers will have trouble discovering my grandmother's parents' names .... because her birth, marriage and death records do not list them .... and unless someone by sheer chance comes across the marriage record of the parents which occured some 30+ years later, there is nothing else on paper to confirm anything.

Interestingly, my grandmother never spoke of any of this. She loved her parents and her two brothers very much, as far as she was concerned that's all that mattered.

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby blissiorio » 10 Dec 2010, 16:09

tinagrenier wrote:I agree, those who were the most defenseless and innocent, the children, were the ones who bore the heavy burden of stigma that was associated with illegitimacy.

Interestingly, my grandmother never spoke of any of this. She loved her parents and her two brothers very much, as far as she was concerned that's all that mattered.


I don't pretend to know the first thing about your family or grandmother.... but from an outsider's perspective, these statements do not quite line up. A heavy burden..... that doesn't matter?

From my experience, my Italian family either mistrusts or doesn't care about government... documents can say what they want, but it doesn't affect their lives. Yes, a real pain in the neck for the genealogist, but I think in terms of "effect on daily life," these societal/civil/church rules are affecting US more than they did our ancestors.
Researching surnames:

[In Teramo area] - Core / Fani / Venanzi / Secone / di Luca / Vannoni / Leteo / Bianchini / Cistola / Felicione / di Marco / Casalena / Romantini / Cintioli / di Francesco / Caponi / Foschi / Traini / d'Ascenzo / Ciare / Ciavattini



[In Campagna and Eboli] - Iorio / Adelizzi

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 18:34

blissiorio wrote:I don't pretend to know the first thing about your family or grandmother.... but from an outsider's perspective, these statements do not quite line up. A heavy burden..... that doesn't matter?


I never said that the burden was something that doesn't matter.

The first line that you highlighted in bold from my previous post where I said that the stigma of illegitimacy was a heavy burden is my personal opinion based on what I know about the topic in general.

The second line of my previous post that you highlighted in bold where I said what mattered most to my grandmother (who was illegitimate) was her family is simply because that's all she ever expressed to us was love and affection. She kept her feelings about her personal situation to herself.

The fact of the matter is that there was much shame associated with having a child out of wedlock in my grandmother's generation. The parents had the option of being spared the shame by simply declining to be named on the birth record. However the child had no such option, he or she forever bore the legal status of a "child of no one" (regardless of who knew what about the natural parents). In my grandmother's situation, she kept her feelings on the matter private, we only knew her as a kind and loving soul.

If there is a paradox, it is that society could turn a blind eye to truth, and that the government could facilitate the lie. The truth is that nobody ever born on this earth has been a "child of no one."

Even so, can someone not bear a heavy burden with a smile and gentle nature?

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Re: re:ignoti genitori in messina sicily

Postby tinagrenier » 10 Dec 2010, 18:53

costante wrote:you researchers out there not having to deal with"ignoti genitori"don't know how fortunate you are!!!its so common that not to have it crop up in your grandparents or ggrandparents lines is nothing short of astounding.and for some odd reason,it seems to be more common with the females than the males.seen so much of it in my research!!!!


Very true John, it was very common and poses a big problem to the genealogist when nothing is known about the parents and the parents names are not listed on the birth record. You said there is a story that your grandmother was somehow related to Maria Bonarrigo. Do you know anything more about that?


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