Help from Messina on dual surnames: specifically, Molica ---?

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VotM
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Help from Messina on dual surnames: specifically, Molica ---?

Postby VotM » 07 Sep 2016, 12:36

In parts of Messina (Sicily) in general, and Gioiosa Marea in particular, there are several dual surnames beyond the Molica family that are of the form Molica ---; e.g., Molica Bisci, Molica Franco, Molica Garito, Molica Lazaro, Molica Nardo, etc.

From the brief time I had to look at the Riveli for 1711 and 1748, the use of secondary surnames in these families seems to have blossomed between the former date and the latter. In at least one case I am reasonably certain that a family which appeared simply as Molica in the 1711 Riveli appears a generation later as Molica Nardo in 1748.

My question: does anyone know enough about the history of this/these particular surnames to tell more about their origins? Do they represent fragmentation of a larger Molica family? Or are they the product of grafting of other families by marriage into the Molica line? Up until looking at the Riveli I had thought the latter; now I am not so sure.

Thanks in advance!
LDS Gioiosa Marea "road map" post at
http://italiangenealogy.com/forum/itali ... logy/33808

LDS Cefalù, Termini Imerese and Villaurea "road map" post at
http://www.italiangenealogy.com/forum/i ... 50#p239255

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Tessa78
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Re: Help from Messina on dual surnames: specifically, Molica ---?

Postby Tessa78 » 07 Sep 2016, 20:57

From an article (link below) in Best of Sicily Magazine on the History and Onomatology of surnames...
Contrary to popular belief, double names (not hyphenated in Italian), such as Messina Denaro or Vanni Lupo, usually do not indicate aristocracy but rather an attempt - perhaps centuries ago - to distinguish two large branches of the same family living in the same small locality. In some cases, the second name was actually a nickname, so the large Vanni family might have a branch called "Vanni Lungo" (Tall Vanni) and another called "Vanni Bassetto" (Short Vanni).

http://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art415.htm

AND from another link - not specifically about Sicilian surnames...

The sopranome had several purposes. It helped delineate close blood relatives so you didn’t accidentally marry your cousin, which could happen in a small, isolated community. It also identified a specific person. At any one time there could be five or six men named Giovanni Battista Genetti living within the village, as children were often named after parents, grandparents or other relatives. By adding the sopranome to the surname, one could tell the difference between Giovanni Battista Genetti Lanci and Giovanni Battista Genetti di Raina. Besides Genetti Lanci, I also found Genetti Onz, Genetti di Ovena (of Ovena) and Genetti di Raina (of Raina). These seemed to signify the main branches of the Genetti family tree.

https://genettifamily.com/2014/07/30/wh ... sopranome/

T.

VotM
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Re: Help from Messina on dual surnames: specifically, Molica ---?

Postby VotM » 07 Sep 2016, 23:17

Thanks for the leads, T. !

What's interesting -- at least for me :-) -- with the particular branch that I come from (Molica Nardo) is that the sopranome eventually became the surname for my family. Hence my "merge or split" curiosity.

I'm hoping to hear from someone in the area who can pursue the lead (waiting on two contacts for updates) and see if this particular split from the main Molica name occurred within the span of available records. The Riveli seemed to hint that this particular split might have taken place in the late 1600's or early 1700's; church records for Gioiosa Marea may offer a better guide.
LDS Gioiosa Marea "road map" post at
http://italiangenealogy.com/forum/itali ... logy/33808

LDS Cefalù, Termini Imerese and Villaurea "road map" post at
http://www.italiangenealogy.com/forum/i ... 50#p239255


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