Inital "D" Question

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Inital "D" Question

Postby February » 11 Jan 2014, 01:37

During my family research I was startled to see that the names of children who had died were sometimes given to children born later.

And while census forms generally don’t list middle initials, I found two separate instances where the letter D was listed as a middle initial. One of those people had a name that I knew had been re-cycled. I don’t know about the other one. It seemed odd as no one else in the two large family groups had middle initials listed – and it was the letter D in both cases. Does anyone know if the letter D in this context indicates the second person in a family to use the same name? Due perhaps?

I’d be grateful for any help.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby gentilejoy@yahoo.com » 11 Jan 2014, 17:54

Hello, this is in response to children being given names of siblings. I have found in my family research that, for instance, my ggrandmother was named after her deceased eldest sibling. I have also come across 2 Italian birth records of 2 male ancestors with same first name born to same parents. I could not confirm if the elder of the 2 had passed away. I can only assume at this point that if the parents named the 2nd son the same first name of the 1st, the eldest at some point must've passed away. Still in process of trying to confirm this.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby AngelaGrace56 » 11 Jan 2014, 20:57

February wrote:During my family research I was startled to see that the names of children who had died were sometimes given to children born later.

And while census forms generally don’t list middle initials, I found two separate instances where the letter D was listed as a middle initial. One of those people had a name that I knew had been re-cycled. I don’t know about the other one. It seemed odd as no one else in the two large family groups had middle initials listed – and it was the letter D in both cases. Does anyone know if the letter D in this context indicates the second person in a family to use the same name? Due perhaps?

I’d be grateful for any help.


Hi there

Yes, the practice of recycling the names of deceased syblings took me by surprise initially as well. If you haven't read the following about Italian naming practices you might find them interesting and helpful:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... aming.html

http://www.italiangenealogy.com/article ... ifications

Re the Census, I am wondering whether the "D" might just be an abbreviation for "daughter"? Just a thought.

http://genealogy.about.com/od/us_census ... ations.htm

Angela

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby February » 12 Jan 2014, 02:49

Thank you both for taking the time to answer. I am very interested in finding out if the second person listed with the D initial is indeed the second child to receive the same name. It would mean my grandmother had a child that died. This child, a daughter, would have been born in Italy well over a hundred years ago, but if she existed, there is no memory of her in the family that remains.
The person who I knew had a recycled name with a D initial was a male. The links are very interesting and will be helpful, but in these two cases the letter D wasn’t in a census column indicating gender, but on the first name line. It looked like a middle initial. It took a while for me to consider that it might possibly indicate a second child with the same name. But that’s just a guess based on this one instance of a name I know is recycled. I had hoped that someone might be able to confirm the practice of parents adding a D to designate the second child born with the same name. (Or tell me I’m wrong.)

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby AngelaGrace56 » 12 Jan 2014, 19:43

Hi February

You are very welcome. I am sorry that I can’t help you with the “D” question. Hopefully someone else can.

I have many instances in my family history where a subsequent sibling has been given the same name as the deceased sibling. (Sometimes this has happened more than once in the same family group.) I personally haven’t noticed the initial “D” but that has just been my experience so far.

I was thinking that maybe if you give us some details about the family we could help you search to see if there was an older sibling who had died. (Providing the records are on line.) You would need to give us the parents names, the child’s name and date of birth (especially the year of birth), and the town and province in Italy they were born in.

I am out for the rest of the day but someone else might be able to follow up meantime.

Angela :)

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby JohnYannone3rd » 12 Jan 2014, 21:24

The first generation of my family in the US had two occasions where this happened. Child Rose died and they named the next born girl Rose. She also had a cousin named Elvira who died and the parents named the next born girl Elvira. It is almost like the names they used were planned and very important to use. Almost like they had rules for naming the children after deceased relatives in sequence or something.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby Italysearcher » 13 Jan 2014, 10:14

Since tradition dictated that sons were given the names of their Grandfather, and that son died young, it was very common to give the next male child born the same name. This applied to girls too. It was also common in some families to give all the children this family name, e.g. Domenico Antonio, Paolo Antonio, etc. Many female children were all given the name Maria in honour of the Madonna, most having a second name added. I have never heard of this 'due' reason being used in Italy although it may be an American thing.
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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby February » 15 Jan 2014, 03:43

Thank you all. Re-naming seems to have been a fairly widespread practice.

I had accessed some Italian records through Ancestry, but none were available for the Angri, Salerno, Campania area. Are there any other sources for Italian records?

Grandmother’s name was Luigia Ruggiero. She was born in Angri on July 4, 1880, and arrived in New York on August 22, 1906.

I don’t know if any children were born in Italy. I have no family information to suggest there were. I was basing the possibility on the D initial being an indication. If the initial D doesn’t designate a second child with the same name, I can’t assume that there even was a child born in Italy.

I’ve been reading on the forum and I wondered if I’d be able to get a Family Story Certificate with just Grandmother’s name and birth date? I don’t know who her parents were. My aunt said she spoke of them often, but only as My Mother, or My Father.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby carubia » 15 Jan 2014, 04:30

It was standard Italian (or at least Sicilian) practice for the 1st male child to be named after the father's father and the next son to be named after the mother's son, and similarly for the first 2 girls. However, if a child with one of these 4 names died, the next child born with the same gender would be given that name. This reusing of names was even done if the first child was a teenager when s/he died. Later children were often named after the siblings of the parents, but this wasn't a rule.

There were some deviations from this tradition. Sometimes when reusing a name a slightly different version was used (such as my GF's older brother being Giovanni and my GF being Giovannino) or a middle name was added, or a different middle name was used if the deceased child had a middle name, or the reused name was used as a middle name instead of a first name. Sometimes after reusing a name once or twice a family would give up and retire that name (although I've seen other families keep trying with a name 5 or 6 times). Sometimes they would not follow this practice for their daughters but only their sons, or they would only follow it for the father's parents but not the mother's. Sometimes, especially with girls, they'd have a daughter with the "wrong" name but then use this name with the next child. Finally, when a man died while his wife was pregnant, it was common for her to name the child after him, if necessary giving a daughter the feminine version of his name (although I wonder what would happen if his name did not have a feminine version, such as Andrea or Baldassare).

Occasionally, though, you'll see a family reuse a name when the first child with that name was still alive. Generally these children will have different middle names, or else the first one born will have become known by a different name before the 2nd child was born.

As for the middle initial "D" in the US census, don't put too much stock into it. I often see middle initials appear in census records that are on no other records. There was one year, maybe 1900 or 1910, where it seems like everyone had a middle initial, almost as if the census takers were obligated to report a middle initial or respondents were pushed to list one.

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Luigia Ruggiero from Angri, Salerno, Campania

Postby AngelaGrace56 » 15 Jan 2014, 05:49

February wrote:Thank you all. Re-naming seems to have been a fairly widespread practice.

I had accessed some Italian records through Ancestry, but none were available for the Angri, Salerno, Campania area. Are there any other sources for Italian records?

Grandmother’s name was Luigia Ruggiero. She was born in Angri on July 4, 1880, and arrived in New York on August 22, 1906.

I don’t know if any children were born in Italy. I have no family information to suggest there were. I was basing the possibility on the D initial being an indication. If the initial D doesn’t designate a second child with the same name, I can’t assume that there even was a child born in Italy.

I’ve been reading on the forum and I wondered if I’d be able to get a Family Story Certificate with just Grandmother’s name and birth date? I don’t know who her parents were. My aunt said she spoke of them often, but only as My Mother, or My Father.


Hi again

Have you read through these two related topics:

post190510.html#p190510

post190467.html#p190467

Maybe you could send Michael C an email or pm. He may be able to help you.

The other online major source for obtaining Birth Records would be Family Search but there are no records there for Angri unfortunately. I don't even think that the these Angri records have been microfilmed.

Someone else at IG will be able to advise you about writing away for your Grandmother's Family Story Certificate, what to ask for, who to write to etc.

Best of luck.

Angela

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby February » 18 Jan 2014, 20:17

Carubia, Thank you for the information on naming practices. It seems that I can’t assume a name from position of a child in a family. There was too much variation to the “rule”.

The D initials caught my attention immediately because they were odd. No other people in each of the two large families, or on the (1920 and 1925) census pages had a middle initial. At first I thought that it stood for a name of some significance to the family. The enumerator hadn’t asked any other middle initials – these looked as if they had been offered by the head of household. Perhaps it is just something of significance to the families if no one else has seen it used to designate a re-used name.

One thing that is puzzling me is women’s last names. I understand that ship manifests have the names the women were born with – not their husband’s last name. So that must be the name on their papers. But why do some women not have their father’s last name?

Fattorusso and Ruggiero from Angri, Italy
by jessicaitalia » 03 Aug 2007, 00:50

My great-grandmother's maiden name says "Fattorusso" on her marriage license, but on her death cert., it says her Father's surname was "Ruggiero" and her mother's maiden name was "Bove".

Just needing help figuring out why my great-grandmother's maiden name wouldn't be Ruggiero, like her father. Or at least Bove.


No one answered this question by jessicaitalia. Was this situation with her great grandmother just an unusual occurrence? Could her father, Mr. Ruggiero, have been a stepfather? Can I assume that my grandmother and her father had the same last name?

Angela, Thank you for all your help . MichaelC is my uncle – my grandmother’s next to youngest child. He told me about this web site. We are trying to find information about my grandmother. Uncle Mike’s memories of his childhood are very clear, but most of the things we want to know weren’t discussed in day to day life. We know that we are related to the Fattoruso’s – but not how. It seems that questions that could have been easily answered – if they had been asked when family members who knew were still alive – require extensive digging now.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby carubia » 19 Jan 2014, 02:58

The rule was followed more often than not, though, especially with the first son.

As for why last names may not match on the death cert:
jessicaitalia didn't indicate what her GM's surname was on her death cert. In Italy it has always been the practice that women's surnames do not change when they marry, and her surname wouldn't have changed if her mother remarried either. I can't recall seeing a death cert where the decedent's surname doesn't match the father's surname, but maybe I forgot (I've read thousands of such records). Italian women, especially before the middle of the 19th century, could be know by either of their parents' surnames, and even alternate between the names or use both of them simultaneously, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. If her father's surname is really different from hers on the same document, it could've been an error. If the name is the same but is just different from the name on her marriage cert then I would guess that it's either an error or these are 2 different people.

Like in the US, information on Italian death certs about someone's parents, age, or place of birth is often wrong.

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Re: Inital "D" Question

Postby February » 20 Jan 2014, 00:14

Thank you, that is very helpful. I thought there might have been some odd naming practice. So if my grandmother's maiden name was Ruggiero one of her parents - probably her father - had that name.


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