I was just starting to understand the gist of the various atti di nascita from my ancestors' comune of Garzeno, but then I ran across this mystery, and I need some help. The section of the atto that tells where the baby was born refers to a casa posta. In most records that I've seen, the town's name is listed here, followed by the house number. I've attached a snippet from an atto that has something different. In place of the town name, it says something like "Siresio". Oddly, all of the atti on that page (4 altogether) use the same convention. What's going on?
Thanks, Laura. Since there seems to be no town named Sireglio near Garzeno, and since all records refer to "Garzeno" as the birthplace, marriage place, death place, etc., could "Sireglio" refer to a street or something? It just seems strange that records on this page refer to Sireglio, but it's from the Town Hall of Garzeno. It makes my head spin.
The word is "Siresio" and is not the name of a town but more likely a small hamlet or just a bunch of houses, may be on a hill, which were part of Garzeno. You will see there is also a number "ventisei" 26 which indicates the house.
The place probably changed it's name in the years. It could have indicated an area having many cherry trees as the word might come from dialect "seresa, ceresa" which means cherry. This name could have been very popular in the area as also the Lake of Lugano, just on the other side of the mountain, has another name: Ceresio (also Seresio in the past).
Thank you, Laura! You've helped me learn a lot more about Garzeno and, more importantly, about some Italian resources for researching history. This is great.
I'm understanding, with my limited Italian language ability, that Garzeno was always part of the Dongo pieve (group of parishes), along with Scireso, Cotasco and Catasco. (I haven't been able to find the translation of "cassinaggi".) It's possible, then, that Scireso is a hamlet near Garzeno or at least the local name of a hamlet that by the late 1800s was considered just a part of Garzeno. The sindaco writing in the record books might have used the historical name (but why would he misspell "Scireso" as "Siresio"?). I wonder if I showed up in Garzeno today and asked directions to Scireso whether anyone would know.
I appreciate your research, which has indicated several more paths to explore in my family history.
I will be in Garzeno in August 2009, and some of my ancestors atti also refer to Siresio, so I will ask about that while there. As best I can tell from my research, the village streets were not named, at least for use with addresses, until the 1930's. Before that, the home in which the child was born was referred to as casa posta with a house number. Catesco is the lower hamlet down the slope from Garzeno proper, but still for civil records purposes, in Garzeno. Some of my ancestors' birthplaces were also listed as Catesco.
What are your ancestors' family surnames? From the records I have been researching, there were only a few surnames and lots of intermarriages between those families over the generations, making family history research challenging and fun!