Class Change?

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rjmichaels
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Class Change?

Postby rjmichaels » 10 Oct 2015, 14:44

Hello,

I am interested into whether anyone can give me insight into how my ancestor (born of day laborer stock in 1810) was able to go from a cobbler at his marriage in 1840 to a goldsmith in 1857. I have never seen such a radical shift in class status. Originally, I thought it may be from his wife's family, but I found her parents died in 1820 when she was 1. The town is Formicola. The wife's father, however, was from Puccianiello. Who would have raised her? Could the class change have been from her? I ask because her family was well-off, and I just can't fathom a cobbler become a goldsmith without some connections/help.

Ray

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adelfio
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Re: Class Change?

Postby adelfio » 11 Oct 2015, 01:35

Could have been a dangerous job for they had Mercury contamination in gold. They used mercury (quicksilver) to process gold it might have not been a class change.

Marty
Researching Trabia, Palermo surnames Adelfio, Bondi, Butera, Scardino,Rinella, Scardamaglia

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rjmichaels
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Re: Class Change?

Postby rjmichaels » 07 Nov 2015, 03:43

Hi Marty,

Sorry, I did not see your response until now. Hmm, that is an interesting point. I think that it was a class change though, because all of his children had good jobs (one was a watch maker, another was a mediator).

Ray

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suanj
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Re: Class Change?

Postby suanj » 09 Nov 2015, 07:07

Who would have raised her? Could the class change have been from her?

That is very possible, and seeming the only explanation possible also...
The his wife, orphan, also if no legally adopted, most probably was raised from a couple, without own children and of good social status. In the past time,this was a italian custom: raise a orphan without legally adopt it.
Why?
Because if legally adopted, however, it would have the legacy, and prudence suggested that, although brought up, he was not biological child, and it would abandon it when they became old persons because it would receive the inheritance, as the only child even if adopted.
Instead not adopting it, but growing up as a child, promising inheritance to their death, if he/she had assisted in old age, gave them certainty... an old age insurance.

This custom was for orphans, as a well for child of living but poor parents. A rich couple, without children, asking to parents of many children, to give him one to breed and keep with them, with promise of inheritance to their death. The poor parents, knowing that the their poor social status It would not be changed for who knows how many future generations, agrees to give the opportunity to a child to eat them every day and escape poverty. The couple chose one, usually the smallest, and the deal was done.

And also- if it was adopted a girl- they promise to do the dowry. Possessing a good dowry, she easily would find a possible husband. And he also knew that, in futuro, she it would inherit....and he had a profit.

Surely, the wife of your ancestor had a similar situation... That explain the class change, and if who raised the wife had a workshop of goldsmiths, when they deceased and she inherit, her husband continued the goldsmith work, also because knew it, he learned his trade in his spare time....

That is just my idea, but I believe so..
suanj
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rjmichaels
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Re: Class Change?

Postby rjmichaels » 11 Nov 2015, 09:47

Hi suanj,

I have believed what you have said for a long time. It is great to know that you have seen such circumstances. It is worth to note that the spouse didn't go from cobbler to goldsmith until his late-40s. ~1857 if I remember. I checked the marriage record though and it is witnessed by four; three of which were possidenti.

Ray

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Re: Class Change?

Postby rjmichaels » 11 Nov 2015, 14:31

How does one find who raised an individual? Rosalina was orphaned at 1. And her family was originally from another town. I feel one of the 3 or 4 witnesses to her marriage probably raised her (and accounts for Giuseppe becoming a goldsmith eventually).

The family itself did quite well; even the younger ones who immigrated had children that reported "we always had money" when asked about the Great Depression.

Ray


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