Please explain what is happening in nati

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kw1046a
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Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby kw1046a » 02 Aug 2014, 23:58

Hello

I'm getting better at reading the nati, but this one has me stumped. Elisabetta Martelli is reporting Maria di Marti as the mother, but where is the father? The child has the mother's last name, which I would assume is her maiden. The father is 'l'incerto'? Is this child is out of wedlock? Does the mother not know who the father is, or knows but was not allowed to report it due to, perhaps, not being married?

It seems very uncommon for a woman to report a birth, so why would she and not a male relation of the mother?

Not understanding the culture of the time, how were an unwed mother and child of an unwed mother viewed? Were they outcasts? Was it "ok" for a woman to report a birth?

Thank you for your help and insight.
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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby adelfio » 03 Aug 2014, 00:47

A lot of woman reported births as midwifes Could be that Elizabetta is her mother or a relative and as far as the father being uncertain he could be a person of status and she didn't want to name him
Check Vincenzo Marti marriage record the father might have recognized him as his child

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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby carubia » 03 Aug 2014, 02:21

One reason why the father was more likely to report the birth was that the mother was at home recovering, since births were usually reported within a day of the event. So if the birth was out of wedlock someone else would report it, usually the midwife. (Of course even if the parents were married sometimes the midwife would report it anyway, and sometimes the father reported an out-of-wedlock birth.) You tend to see relatively more reports of birth by the mother when the birth was reported more than a few days after the event.

If someone reported a birth of his or her own child, which involved actually presenting the child to the official, and the other parent did not show up and did not affirm paternity/maternity, the other parent's name was unrecorded (even if it was the mother!). Midwifes were authorized to report births on behalf of the mother, so that if the midwife showed up with a child and reported that the mother was unwed, the mother's name was still put on the birth record. I guess this situation was the same here since the person who reported the birth was the mother of the mother.

It was probable that the mother knew who the father was, but even if she said so, his name would not be put on the record without his consent.

You'll also find records of children being recognized later by their fathers, often after their parents eventually married.

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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby suanj » 04 Aug 2014, 10:47

I read on the right bottom, the baptism of the child named: Vincenzo Maria MARTI
bith date: 19 May 1845

the informant (and also grandmother of child) was Elisabetta Martelli (her maiden name) daughter of late Paolo, seamstress, who presented- for birth registration- a male child born from her daughter Maria di Marti and uncertain father...
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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby Italysearcher » 04 Aug 2014, 16:54

Italian law in those times forbade the inclusion of the name of the father (or the mother in some cases) even if he/she consented and even if the couple were married in the church but not in City Hall (civil marriage).
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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby carubia » 05 Aug 2014, 02:01

Italysearcher wrote:Italian law in those times forbade the inclusion of the name of the father (or the mother in some cases) even if he/she consented and even if the couple were married in the church but not in City Hall (civil marriage).

What time range was this law in effect? I've seen 19th c. Italian birth records with both parents' names on them, even though they weren't married.

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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby carubia » 05 Aug 2014, 02:03

carubia wrote:If someone reported a birth of his or her own child, which involved actually presenting the child to the official, and the other parent did not show up and did not affirm paternity/maternity, the other parent's name was unrecorded (even if it was the mother!).
I left out the word "unmarried," that is, "If some who was unmarried reported a birth of his or her own child...." If the person who reported his or her own child's birth was married, the other spouse was automatically presumed by law to be the other parent.

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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby Italysearcher » 05 Aug 2014, 23:44

The law varied in different parts of Italy depending on who was in power but generally speaking it was pretty standard. It was enforced more strongly in the former Papal States after 1871since the civil authorities were trying to force people to do the civil marriage as well as the religious one.
You will see regularly the words 'sua legittima moglie' or sua consorte' after the mother's name, indicating the couple were married.
Things have changed and these days both parents are named if they give their consent.
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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby carubia » 06 Aug 2014, 02:12

I've seen "sua legittima moglie" going back much further, but, for example, just yesterday I saw a birth record from Sicily from 1899 where both parents were named but they weren't married (it was a "unione naturale"). It says that the mother showed up with the father to present the baby so she was included in the record. They were married 5 years later.

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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby Italysearcher » 06 Aug 2014, 18:06

They were probably married in the church already!
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Re: Please explain what is happening in nati

Postby carubia » 06 Aug 2014, 18:17

There's a note in the margin, added in 1913, that says that the child was legitimized through a marriage that was celebrated in 1904. In any event, this example still contradicts the law as you characterized it above anyway, since you said it applied even if they were married in a church already.

I've also seen it stated, on other births certs where only one parent was named and the parents were unmarried, that the other one's name was not recorded because the person didn't show up and didn't affirm paternity. If there was a law that prevented the listing of the other parent in all circumstances where they were not civilly married, you'd think the official would have cited that instead.

Not that they necessary strictly followed the law down there. I showed on another thread a marriage cert from the 1870s where the bride was 14.


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