Nicknames

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carolinechurch
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Nicknames

Postby carolinechurch » 15 Jul 2011, 05:01

Here's a question on behalf of a relation of mine:

"My brother-in-law went to Italy about 20 years ago just to do research into the family. There is still one family in the direct line who lives in the village of the original immigrant. My father-in-law used to say, "I'm Tony Spiluz, I'm Tony Spiluz", and everyone thought he was just saying something gibberish; no explanation, and I suppose, no one asked. Anyway, seems the family was divided by four supranomi in Italy, and when my brother-in-law was talking to villagers, it was in mentioning the name Spiluz that they knew which family he belonged. The others were Scarlotti, Fuglioline, Cuisti, and Spilizzo, meaning Red (this family was in trouble with the law), Little Leaner, Sheep Fold, and One who gnaws on a bone. Would be interesting to discover why these names."

Her family were from Potenza, Basilicata.
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.

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Harleygrrl
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Re: Nicknames

Postby Harleygrrl » 16 Jul 2011, 19:58

Hi there,
I'm sorry I can't help specifically about your particular family, but I did read a long time ago that if you are doing Italian genealogy it is extremely helpful to know your relative's nickname. The article I was reading said that people in the town may ONLY know your relative by the nickname and may never have known the real one!
You might want to read this about the significance of nicknames in Italian:
http://www.uvm.edu/~arosa/leggio.html

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Italysearcher
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Re: Nicknames

Postby Italysearcher » 17 Jul 2011, 08:02

These 'sopranomi' or other names are often used to differentiate different branches of a common surname. My father in law was known as Peppe - le case nuove, Peppe from the new houses. The 'new' houses were built before 1850!
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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montclaire
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Re: Nicknames

Postby montclaire » 18 Jul 2011, 19:17

With so many similar names in a small commune, how could you not? I have a similar story in my tree - any idea what 'Mafrile' means?


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