I've been reading birth records from the commune of Carpanzano, (province of Cosenza, Calabria) and I've come across a few entries that I don't quite understand. Is there a social distinction between moglie (wife) and donna di casa (house wife)? I've seen mothers names described both ways.
Also, I understand that gentildonna and gentiluomo are titles, but how did these people acquire them? By birth, or by their important standing in the community? Thanks.
These are titles but mainly ones used as a matter of courtecy unless it involves a member of the nobility.
gentiluomo: gentleman; nobleman: - di campagna, country gentleman
gentildonna: gentlewoman; lady.
The difference here is a little more subtle as the title moglie is a state of family whereas the role of the 'moglie' within that family (her job) is the 'donna di casa' or casalinga
Much as the man is the 'marito' but his profession is described separatley.
donna di casa (aka casalinga) or housewife
So a certificate/act could read:
Marito Rossi Franco, contadino - moglie Verdi Francesca, donna di casa (casalinga)