Need translation for adoption record, please

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jllaf
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Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby jllaf » 12 Feb 2011, 15:38

I have found what I believe is the adoption record of my great-grandmother, Filomena Pronio, from Ferrandina, Basilicata, in 1861.

It's hard to decipher, but I'd appreciate any translation help anyone can provide - it's two handwritten pages, which may tell the story behind the adoption.

I'll try to attach four different files that contain the two pages - some parts are more legible on some pages than pthers.

Many thanks for your continued help.

John

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Tessa78
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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby Tessa78 » 12 Feb 2011, 15:42

Hi John,

Not able to view the images... no link :-(

Can you upload to www.imageshack.com or www.photobucket.com?

T.

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liviomoreno
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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby liviomoreno » 12 Feb 2011, 17:10

T. if you right click on the name of the images you can see them...

http://www.italiangenealogy.com/uploads ... 211291.tif

http://www.italiangenealogy.com/uploads ... 211292.tif

John, there are only two images and unfortunately they are unreadable...
the document is dated 29 September 1861

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Tessa78
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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby Tessa78 » 12 Feb 2011, 17:45

liviomoreno wrote:T. if you right click on the name of the images you can see them...


Thanks, Livio :D :D :D That worked!

Learned something new from you, yet again!!!! Grazie mille :wink:

T.

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Italysearcher
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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby Italysearcher » 13 Feb 2011, 11:02

Also it appears to be a birth record not an adoption record.
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby maestra36 » 13 Feb 2011, 14:24

I agree with Ann that this is not an adoption record. I believe it is a record for a foundling. The date of the record that Livio gave you above is correct-also the time of the record was 6 P.M.

The informant on the record who was presenting the infant to the town official was a 24 year old peasant/farmer living in Ferrandina by the first name Lonardo. I can't make out his last name, but he was the son of a Domenico. He found a young girl at 10 a.m.. I can't tell if it was on the same day or not. I see it says something about his habitation, but I can't tell if the baby was left specifically at his house. I believe it says there was no note There is a street name for his house, but I can only read the word strada for street and not the name of the street. I also see the record gives the apparent age of the baby, but I can't read that info either. I see her name in the record though. Other than that, I am not having much luck deciphering any other info from the record.

Peg

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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby jllaf » 13 Feb 2011, 16:13

Thank you, Peg.

It is indeed a record for a foundling. It is not a birth record, as that is a separate record which I had discovered earlier. The informant was a she, not a he, and her name was Leonarda Petraglia, who became her wet nurse/mother. The birth record said they lived at Viale del Purgatorio, which looks to be the street named on the foundling record. It still exists in Ferrandina, Basilicata.

The birth record lists the date of birth as Sept 28, and the record itself was dated Sept 29, the same date as this foundling record.

Maestra, you had written earlier that many foundlings were actually birthed by their adopted mothers, who would then get paid for the adoption, but that there was no way of actually knowing that for certain. I was hoping that the discovery of this new document would lead to a better undertanding of the circumstances surrounding the birth/adoption.

One small thing: In addition to the date of birth, the birth record lists an actual time of birth, 4am. The foundling record says the baby was presented to the mayor at 10am. If the baby was found, how could they know the exact time of birth? It's still possible that Leonarda was the actual mother, or was it common for the mother to remain anonymous but have pre-arranged for Leonarda to become wet nurse/mother, and the birth was actually supervised by Leonarda?

As always, many thanks for your attention.

John

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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby maestra36 » 13 Feb 2011, 17:08

John
First of all, I never previously wrote that many foundlings were actually birthed by their adopted mothers. I believe that someone else posted that info on the forum. If the foundling had been abandoned at an institution, then the birth mother may have also been at that same institution but, if the institution knew who the birth mother was, they would often assign her other babies and not her own to breastfeed. In the case where an infant was abandoned near the vicinity of someone's house, or on the doorstep of someone's house, then that person who discovered the infant, in this case, Leonarda, would go to the town hall and present the infant and any items which were left with the infant. Any items left with the infant-would then be recorded by the town officials. Also recorded would be if there were visible marks on the baby's body, or if there weren't any. If there was a diaper bag, diapers, a blanket, a ribbon with a saint's medal, the color of the ribbon,a note left, etc. In this way, if the natural parents ever came back to reclaim the infant (most abandoned infants were never reclaimed), they could prove their relationship to the infant by describing the items which they had left with the infant. There was no DNA in those days which could be used to prove or disprove maternity or paternity.

I did not know what day this infant was born. There is an apparent age in the record, but I can't read what that is. Normally these records will state that the infant was of the apparent age of one day, or possibly several days. The only thing I can tell from this record is the time when the informant, Leonarda went to the town hall to present the baby and tell her story about finding the infant. She either found the infant on the same day as the date at the top of the record, or she found the infant possibly the day before. The presentation to the town official was at 6 P.M and not at 10 a.m. Six p.m. is the time that appears at the top of the record with the date that Livio gave you. Ten a.m. is the time that Leonarda found the baby, but I can't read if it was on the same day, or the day before. If the baby was born at 4 a.m, and you know that info from another record, then Leonarda did not discover the baby until 6 hours later, and she didn't report the birth to the town hall until several hours after her discovery.

Women who were abandoning their newborns did not prearrange for a wetnurse to care for their infants. If she had, then why would she not have just gone up to Leonarda's house, ring the bell, and give the baby to her? The new mother wouldn't have just left the baby outside.

Some women in a town were known as external wetnurses. What that means is that they did not wetnurse in an institution, but did so in their own homes to supplement the family income. So, I'm sure that women who did wetnurse in their homes were known to other town residents. When my paternal grandfather was abandoned, he was left on the doorstep of a house of a woman who was a known wetnurse in his town. I am surprised though that you say you have another birth record for this same baby that gives the exact time of birth. The informant, Leonarda, who discovered this infant would not know the exact time of the infant's birth unless she was present at the birth and assisted in the birth (was a midwife or close female relative of the infant's mother) or was the birth mother herself.

Peg

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maestra36
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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby maestra36 » 13 Feb 2011, 17:19

I think what I may have said in a previous post was that there were some women who may have staged the abandonment of their own infants in order to collect stipends from their town for wetnursing. Some women were so poor that their only recourse for supporting themselves and their infants born out of wedlock may have been to abandon their infant and then go to the town and claim that they had discovered an abandoned infant. I think this was a rare occurrence though, as there was a great deal of shame and dishonor brought to a young woman and her family if she gave birth and was unmarried.

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Re: Need translation for adoption record, please

Postby liviomoreno » 13 Feb 2011, 17:47

[quote=jllaf]
It is indeed a record for a foundling. It is not a birth record, as that is a separate record which I had discovered earlier. [/quote]

John, let me try to clarify.

The document in this post, namely http://www.italiangenealogy.com/uploads ... 211291.tif , is the actual birth record.

The document that you posted earlier (see post http://www.italiangenealogy.com/Forums/ ... 20005.html document
http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/5691/petraglia2.pdf ) is a letter from the Mayor to the Parish Priest where he notifies the birth and request that the baby is baptized.

The birth act is very difficult to read and you were very lucky to find the letter from the mayor, which gives you all the needed details! :wink:


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