Help with annotation on a birth record

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Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby jwazevedo » 16 Dec 2009, 22:11

One of my distant relatives was born in Como to a "widowed woman who doesn't consent to release her name". The birth report was given by the midwife, and the children seems to have been taken to a hospital in Como. At the end of the birth record for the child, who was given the name Giovanna Gerli, there is this notation:

http://img215.imageshack.us/i/gerlifoundling.jpg/

I believe it talks about where the child was taken and what she had with her, but the script perplexes me. I could use some help with a translation.

Grazie mille,
Jerry
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby Lucap » 16 Dec 2009, 22:44

Transcription:

Detto bambino viene da me inviato al brefotrofio di Como per mezzo della dichiarante di ciò incaricata, alla quale rimetto una copia del presente atto perché si (=la) consegni al direttore di quel brefotrofio insieme col bambino e con gli oggetti trovati presso il medesimo, che consistono in 3 fascie di cotone, 2 camicie(?) di tela, 4 pannetti ed 1 g...apponcino di cotone e 2 cuffiettine. La dichiarante ha denunciata la nascita suddetta per avere nella suindicata qualità di levatrice prestati i sussidi dell'arte sua nell'atto del parto. Letto il presente atto agli intervenuti l'hanno questi meco sottoscritto.

What does leave you puzzled?
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby jwazevedo » 16 Dec 2009, 23:44

Grazie, Luca. I don't understand "brevotrofio". An institution? It seems that the director of the institution sent the midwife with a copy of the birth record to the town hall of Garzeno so that the birth could be recorded. She was sent because she was the one who actually assisted with the birth. Presumably the mother or father, both unnamed, must have come from Garzeno, or why would the birth be recorded there? I don't know what "pannetti" are. (Diapers?) And "cuffiettine" are small bonnets? And I'm curious about that "g..apponcino". I just find this so touching that this little girl was provided with a few things to start her fragile life.

And I wonder also about how my male relative might have met the 19-year-old girl and then decided to marry her, but that question is beyond the scope of this forum.

Grazie,
Jerry
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby PeterTimber » 17 Dec 2009, 01:26

Dear Jerry how they met and married is lost in the mists of time. =Peter=
~Peter~
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby liviomoreno » 17 Dec 2009, 09:09

jwazevedo wrote:Grazie, Luca. I don't understand "brevotrofio". An institution? It seems that the director of the institution sent the midwife with a copy of the birth record to the town hall of Garzeno so that the birth could be recorded. She was sent because she was the one who actually assisted with the birth. Presumably the mother or father, both unnamed, must have come from Garzeno, or why would the birth be recorded there? I don't know what "pannetti" are. (Diapers?) And "cuffiettine" are small bonnets? And I'm curious about that "g..apponcino". I just find this so touching that this little girl was provided with a few things to start her fragile life.

And I wonder also about how my male relative might have met the 19-year-old girl and then decided to marry her, but that question is beyond the scope of this forum.

Grazie,
Jerry


It is the other way round.
The vital record officer told the midwife to bring the child to the foundling institution, together with a copy of the birth record.
Pannetti are diapers and cuffiettine are bonnets I believe the mystery word could be Giubboncino = small heavy coat
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby Lucap » 17 Dec 2009, 10:18

Brefotrofio = orfanorofio = orphanage
The small things that the natural mother gave to the midwife to endow (i don't know if it's the exact verb) her son/daughter had not only the aim to dress the baby, but to have the opportunity (in future times) to recognize him/her describing the things she gave the midwife at the moment of the birth. These things often consisted of the dresses but as well the half of a photograph, the half of a medal or similar objects.

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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby jwazevedo » 17 Dec 2009, 16:38

Thank you both for not only the words but also the stories behind the words. These understandings of the culture of the time really add depth to the images of our ancestors, and you are kind to contribute such helpful tidbits.

Grazie mille,
Jerry
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby misbris » 17 Dec 2009, 16:40

Endow is a perfect word to use to describe this process. It is amazing that a brief objective historical record could still have such an emotional impact. :)
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby donnawright » 17 Dec 2009, 20:43

So, mom was hopeful to meet her baby once again some day. I can feel her pain, Jerry.
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby Lucap » 17 Dec 2009, 23:36

donnawright wrote:So, mom was hopeful to meet her baby once again some day.


Not always, obviously. Most of the times the abandon was definitive since from the first moments: the mother knew that she'll never had the opportunity to ask for her child (not always this fact depended on her, unfortunately).

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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby jwazevedo » 18 Dec 2009, 07:23

I want to make sure I understand this (as well as anyone can), so I'm posting the full birth record here:

http://img8.imageshack.us/i/gerlibirth.jpg/

This record is from the town of Dongo (CO). The midwife is a resident of that town, and she is reporting a birth at a house on Via Regina, which I assume means in the town of Dongo. The mother is a widow from the Province of Como. Would we assume she's from Dongo? Or could she have come to the midwife's house in Dongo from someplace else?

The records clerk gave the child the name of Gerli. Would this be a random choice, or would he have known something of the child's history?

The clerk is sending the child in care of the midwife to the orphanage in Como with a copy of the record for the Director. Who provided the belongings for the child? Is it implied by the wording of the record? And finally, what baby garment would be called a "fascie"?

Thank you for any explanation of Italian customs suggested in this record.

Grazie,
Jerry
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby liviomoreno » 18 Dec 2009, 07:50

The mother could have come to Dongo from any place in the Province of Como.

There's no way to understand how the surname was chosen.

The belongings of the child where very likely provided by the mother or the midwife.

Fascie = swaddling-bands, swaddling clothes. Before the inventions of throw-away pampers, babies where dressed with washable diapers that were fixed to the body through a kind of bandage. In Italian we still call fasciatoio the babies changing table.
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Re: Help with annotation on a birth record

Postby jwazevedo » 18 Dec 2009, 07:54

Grazie, Livio. You always open a window into Italian culture, past and present.

Jerry
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