"Don" or "Signora"

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mtoth1982
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"Don" or "Signora"

Postby mtoth1982 » 01 Sep 2013, 17:24

Hello,
I've noticed that on some records from Spinoso there are people who have the title "Don" or "Signora" before there names. What is the significance of these titles?

Thanks

Matt
Matthew Toth

erudita74
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Re: "Don" or "Signora"

Postby erudita74 » 02 Sep 2013, 02:36

mtoth1982 wrote:Hello,
I've noticed that on some records from Spinoso there are people who have the title "Don" or "Signora" before there names. What is the significance of these titles?

Thanks

Matt


The titles may or may not indicate nobility or noble birth. The titles Don (masculine) and Donna (feminine) translate to "lord" and "lady." They were used for individuals who were of rank or prominence within a community and basically were titles of respect. The titles were used for those who had great wealth, education, or were in political positions. So you will find "Don" or "Donna" as titles for property owners, Don as a form of address for members of the clergy/priests, for doctors, for lawyers, as well as for noblemen, and Donna for noblewomen. According to John Philip Collletta, in his book, Finding Italian Roots, Italy was a society rigidly divided into classes (p.105).

Erudita


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