Immigrant Name Changes

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rjmichaels
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Immigrant Name Changes

Postby rjmichaels » 07 Nov 2015, 08:08

Hello all,

As another point of discussion, I would like to see how others have seem immigrants to the United States dealt with language disparities in relation to their names. I have come across one baptismal record in Italian that gave the baptismal name and, afterwards, said "Eng:" for English.

"Universal" ones that I have seen are as such:

Vincenzo to James
Pasquale to Charles and Patsy/Patrick
Carmela to Clara
Raffaele to Ralph

What else has everyone come across?
Ray

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby xdream4 » 07 Nov 2015, 13:01

I am seeing it with my great grandfather. He is Joseph in America but I'm finding Josef and even Giuseppe. Also to answer your other post I've seen Giusseppe "Josef"

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby beandsw » 07 Nov 2015, 16:53

Rosaria is often Rosario for a women. In English it translates to Sara and less frequenlty Rose. Tindaro translates to Tony or Tino, Antonio translates to Anthony, Antonina is Lena,( but some times more recently granchildren have becone Toni) Carmello is sometimes Carmen, Filippo is Phillip, Tindara is Thelma. Concetta is Connie. Salvatore is Sam. Guido is Guy. O at the end usually indicates a male and A a female, but due to miscommunication and language barriers during immigration spelling were often in error.
Some other names can arise from a given name because these names above were really common and many family member had spouses and cousins with the same names so they chose another American name. I have a cousin named Josephine but her brother married a Josephine so one of them started going by Lily her middle name.
As far as baptismit was common to have a saint name to be formally baptized in the Catholic church so a saint name is put before the birth name or as a middle name. My mom's name is Concetta and all records indicate this exept for baptism certificate it has "Maria" Concetta. My middle name is "Rose" because there is no saint with my first name.
All of the above are names in my family and I personnaly know or have known these people so I did not guess on this. My family is from the region of Gioiosea Marea, Sicily so not sure if the main continent and areas of the islands have different translations.

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby suanj » 07 Nov 2015, 18:13

here someone:
Vincenzo=James or Vincent
Concetta=Connie
Salvatore=Sam
Gioacchino=Jack
Giacomo=James or Jack
Gaetano=Guy
Rosario=Ross
Santo=Sonny
Girolamo=Jerome
Anna=Annie or Anne
Rita=Reta
Margherita=Margaret
Pietro=Peter
Paolo= Paul
Andrea=Andrew
Marco=Marc or Mark
Matteo=Matthew
Antonio=Anthony or Tony
Roberto=Robert or Rob or Bob or Bobby
Giovanna=Jeanne or Jennie
Gennarina=Jennie
Raffaele=Ralph
Pasquale=Pascual or Patsy or Patsey
Nicola=Nicholas
Michele=Micheal
Luigi=Louis or Lewis
Lorenzo=Lawrence or Lewis
Celeste=Chester
Caterina=Catherine or Katherine or Kate or Katie
Domenico=Domenick or Dom
Valentino or Valente=Valentine
Alessandro=Alexandre or Alex
Alessio=Alex
Cristiano=Christian
Davide=David
Beniamino=Benjamin or Ben or Benny
Calogero=Charles
Carlo=Carl or Charles
Rosanna or Rossana= Roxanne
Lucia=Lucy
Luisa=Louise or Louisa
Luigia=Louise or Louisa
Filomena=Philomena
Pasqualina=Lena (ditto for Carmelina, Angelina etc)
Bartolomeo=Bartholomew
Bernardo=Bernard or Bernie
Ernesto=Ernie
etc
Visit my website:
ITALIAN ORIGIN SEARCH

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby krash142 » 07 Nov 2015, 19:13

Gaetano = Guy
Giovanni = John
Antonino, Antonio = Anthony
Giacomo = Jack
Giacchino = Jack
Nicola, Nicoló, Nicolo = Nicholas
Giuseppe, Pepino = Joseph
Pietro = Peter
Luigi, Ludivico = Louis
Luciano = Louis, Lucian, Lucius
Osualdo = Oswald
Francesco = Frank, Franklin
Nunzio = Surprisingly Nunzio
Ciriaco = A MALE NAME BUT ONLY TRANSLATES INTO FEMALE NAME Kiki

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rjmichaels
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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby rjmichaels » 07 Nov 2015, 19:27

Thanks, everyone! I have seen many that I already knew, but I knew I had not encountered. BTW, suanj, my ancestor, Rosario Tomaino, used Roy, which has been memorialized in the names of numerous descendants of his. It is odd how some immigrants translated their names. However, I have found the Vincenzo to James thing as universal (many seem to take on the visage of James Vincent late in life). I have also found Pasquale to Charles several times.

While a name existed for many (easily translatable), some went by seemingly random methods. The Carmela's in Pittsburgh took on Clara. It seems universal that Raffaele's became Ralph's, despite the translation literally being Raphael. It's nice to see what others have encountered. I, for one, was puzzled looking for an "Aunt Jessie." Since she had no children and I had the (rather large) family mapped out, I started looking at all the cousins individually and finally found that "Aunt Jessie" was born Gelsomina.

Ray

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby Robin B Mc » 08 Nov 2015, 00:48

I use http://www.behindthename.com/ to find the English/foreign variants of names.

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby James Snavely » 08 Nov 2015, 06:24

Why would Vincenzo become James instead of Vincent?

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rjmichaels
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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby rjmichaels » 08 Nov 2015, 06:45

The only answer I have found for the Vincenzo to James phenomena is pronunciation. The second syllable, cen or cenz, can sound similar to the name James to a non-Italian ear. The same with Pasquale to Charles...the quale part could easily sound like "Charlie" to a non-Italian. Hence was the point of my post. I want to see what other users have encountered in the rendering of names post-immigration.

However I have found that most Vincenzo, although they went by James in America, can be found as James Vincent or James V, at time of death, so the name wasn;t fully lost.

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby carubia » 08 Nov 2015, 11:11

Some other examples and responses to earlier posts:

Vincenzo to James was because of the pronunciation, with "cenz" sounding like the English word "chains." But Vincenzo to "James Vincent" was also common. Many Vincenzo did use Vincent without James, and some people called James were originally Giacomo.

I generally see Pasquale to Patrick (Patsy), rather than Charles. I find Charles in the US was usually Calogero in Italy. Then again, Girolamo to Charles was also common in my family.

I see a lot of Carmela to Nellie, Millie, or Helen. Also, Mildred and Camille. I only have found 1 case of Carmela to Clara in my tree (40,000 people).

Rosaria to Rose or Sara/Sarah. Most of the Rosarias in my family were Rose, but my GM was Sara. Never Rosaria to "Rosario," a man's name.

Rosario became Roy in my family, but I've also seen Russell and Ross.

Domenica usually became Mamie, but also Minnie.
Gioacchino became Jacob (Jake) or Jack.
Baldassare became Bernard (Barney) or Benjamin.
Giacoma became Jennie (Jenny)
Francesco became Frank or Francis
Francesca became Frances
Antonina became Antoinette, Nina, Anna, or Lena
Giuseppa became Josephine

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rjmichaels
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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby rjmichaels » 14 Nov 2015, 13:19

I think a lot is origin and areas settled. I have seen Pasquale=Charles many, many times (early-1900s - later on I see Patsy or Patrick; I think the Pasquale to Charles is Quale to Charlie pronunciation).

I have at least five cases of Carmela to Clara (one even noted as such on the baptismal record...I have ~27,000 in my files but these five were all extended family in Pittsburgh so maybe it was a familial thing!).

Rosario was Roy in my family, but some family reverted (i.e. my grandmother's brother's birth certificate is Roy Tomaino but he went by Joseph Rosario Tomaino his enitre life).

It is good to see such extensive lists. I belive some may have been based on region of origin as well as settlement. The more, the better!

Ray

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby kaygee » 15 Nov 2015, 14:58

A few I haven't seen mentioned:

Virgilio- James
Cirino- Charles
Filippa- Fannie
Tommaso- Thomas
Amedeo- Edward/Eddie
Arturo- Arthur
Leonilda- Lena
Vittorio- Victor

All of my Pasquales became Patsys.

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby erudita74 » 15 Nov 2015, 16:26

Some of the changes in my own ancestry, my husband's, and one of my daughters in law:

Carmela called Millie or Minnie
Lucia Benia called Minnie
Giacomo called Jake
Antonina called Nina or Nellie
Calogero called Charles or Carl(o)
Vincenzo called James or Jimmy
Gaetano called Guy or Tom

Now to one really unusual one. Recently a woman contacted me through an ancestry.com message board, and we discovered that the "Charlie" in her ancestry was actually a Vincenzo. So I started doing more research into this and discovered inquiries all over the internet whereby others have ancestors with Italian first names such as Giovanni, Angelo, Giuseppe, and Domenico who were also called "Charlie" in the U.S. Even the famous Charles Atlas, born in Acri, was an Angelo. So I've been trying to find out the reason for this since obviously the nickname "Charlie" does not in any way correspond to these Italian first names. One woman said that the immigrant inspectors couldn't understand her ancestor who was a Domenico and just wrote down "Charlie" I also discovered that the nickname "Charlie" was used for non Italian immigrants as well-Swedes, Irish, Japanese, Chinese, etc. I just can't find anything about the significance of the nickname "Charlie" in the late 1800s and early 1900s. So, if anyone has read anything about this nickname specifically, or has any ideas on this, I'd be interested in knowing.

Erudita

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby carubia » 16 Nov 2015, 02:43

As I mentioned earlier, my Uncle Charlie was really Girolamo. I've seen Vincenzo to Charles, too. I guess Charles/Charlie was like John back then. I've seen a lot of different Italian names changed to John as well (e.g., my GGF Baldassare went by John for a while).

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Re: Immigrant Name Changes

Postby erudita74 » 16 Nov 2015, 14:29

I'm sorry, carubia, but I hadn't noticed that you had written that your Uncle Charlie was really a Girolamo. My maternal grandmother's brother born in Menfi was a Girolamo. My mom had originally told me that he went by the name Jerome in the U.S., but all of the U.S. records I have found for him say "James" or "Jimmy."

Anyway, I found that, in his book called Our Italian Surnames, Prof Joseph G Fucilla has an initial chapter on "Given Names." He states that "Italian names for which there are no popular English equivalents in the community often suffer changes in order to be made to sound or to appear like English names in general currency. He mentions Agata to Agnes, for example. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this above. In my family though, Agata was called Ida and not Agnes. He mentions Natale to Ned. Rosario to Ross. Carmine to Herman, and some of the others previously mentioned in the posts above. He then states" "Where no similar English name appears to be readily available, the Italian name may be replaced by a completely new and different name. Thus Vincenzo and Pasquale re-appear in this country in the strange guise of James (Jimmy) and Charles (Charlie). These changes echo an innate desire on the part of the Italo-American to tone down or to erase what seems to them to be an unassimilable trait, a desire to be like the others with whom they associate."

Erudita


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