Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Mar 2010, 05:36

The genes will out Felicia sun or no sun....=Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby figlia » 10 Mar 2010, 00:03

My Calabrese mother had fine, dark auburn hair which I inherited along with green eyes. My brother is more like my father darker skinned, black thick hair and but he has blue eyes. My daughter is blonde and blue eyed. My brothers children are darker with big brown beautiful eyes. I guess it's all in the genes when the climate is out of the equation. We no longer live outdoors in an agricultural society. Environment and genetics. \ :D
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 10 Mar 2010, 00:45

Dear Alicia sorry I referred to you as Felicia..(she is an old girlfirend from South America and no doubt in her wheel chair by now) =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby figlia » 10 Mar 2010, 15:54

There are so many reasons for people to have darker ancestors than what we may have now.
There are no set rules and genetics does what it wants unless they are manipulated.
I give a case in point, the Athabascan Native American who have their roots in Canada, they have dark skin just as the Inuit People do (eskimo) living in the Arctic they also had very dark skin.
[The Athabascans eventually migrated south to the Southwest where they settled in New Mexico and Arizona. They became Dine`or the Navajo, they prefer to be called their original name of Dine`. The Navajo were not originally from the Southwest they were intruders to the Native people already there.]

I know that is not about Italians, but whether it be a very hot, sunny climate or the reflection of snow in the Arctic, if they lived outdoors most of their lives their skin darkens. Some of it is simply the environmental impact they live in.
If I had a DNA test I would not be surprised to find Greek ancestors in my family from Calabria. I would not be surprised if I had Arab influences either. There are many Italians who have Albanian ancestors also.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby JamesBianco » 10 Mar 2010, 16:02

figlia wrote:If I had a DNA test I would not be surprised to find Greek ancestors in my family from Calabria. I would not be surprised if I had Arab influences either. There are many Italians who have Albanian ancestors also.


My grandmother is from Sicily and she has Albanian ancestry. I was lucky enough that the church records go back into the early 1500s and it can be proven directly. And you are correct, it is highly likely a native of Calabria (or Sicily for that matter) would have Greek and Arab blood.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 14 Mar 2010, 18:48

Dear Figla and James there are 1600 names taken from the Dizionario dei Cognomi e soprannomi in Calabria and a majority of the names are from 3 provinces of Calabria (Cosenza,Catanzaro and Reggio-Calabria. Names from other soutrhern regionsof Italy Puglis, Basilicata, Campania and Sicily are included with dates ranging from the 8th century to 1650

Since southern Italy was dominated by so many different cultures even in this period names of Byzantin, Greek, Germanic, Arabic,French, Spanish, Jewish origin will be found in Latin spellings. There are even Slavic (Albanian I presume) names.

There is even a Greek=-Calabrian dialect identified as a native language in the province of Reggio Calabria and called locally "GRECANICO oor GRECO VUTANO and grouped with other Greek native languages.

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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby JamesBianco » 14 Mar 2010, 20:29

While some of the exact foreign origins of Southern Italian families pre-date genealogical written records unfortunately it is difficult if not impossible to find a specific place of origin and time frame for a particular individual.

Fortunately in Sicily, church records began to be recorded early enough (finding an elderly man or woman's burial record from the early 1500s for example stretches you back into the 1400s for a specific ancestor) and you may know the exact year your ancestor arrived and from what village he came ..

for example my ancestor Matteo Norcia was a part of this (Himarë, Albania) group:

(Wikipedia Piana degli Albanesi History)

The town was founded on 30 August 1488 by refugees from the region of Himarë, Albania.

In 1482-1485 a Ottoman Muslim Turkish attack forced these families to the Adriatic coast where they hired ships from Venice and escaped by sailing to northern Sicily. They apparently were housed in temporary camps somewhere near city of Palermo until about 1486 or 1487, when they then applied to Cardinal Giovanni Borgia, Archbishop of Monreale, for the right to make permanent settlement on his fiefs of Merku and Daidingli, known as the "Plain of the Archbishop" in the mountains above the city of Palermo. The official concession of land was granted to the settlers in 1488.

In 1534 another group of families, known as Coroni, settled in the village. They were Arvanites, who came from the town of Koroni in the Morea region of southwestern Greece. The quasi-national anthem of the Arberesh of Piana degli Albanesi is the song "o e bukura morea," which talks about the bereavement of leaving Morea behind for Italy.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 14 Mar 2010, 21:29

You certainly did your homework on this interesting period and I wondered whether you might know if the Albanians used ARABESH as a language or were known to be Arabesh as a group or both? Thereis a website you might find interesting www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/arabic-language uses the word Arabesh as an Arabic Chat Alphabet??

I found your research very interesting since it is specific to a very interesting time in Southern Italian History and to me as it relates to the Arabic invasions of Sicily and southern Italy. A letter was written in 1481 granting favors and titles to one of my surnamed relatives who collected troops and kept the King Ferdinandus in his home getting ready for a war against a "saracen" invasion at Taranto. Unfortunately the letter was written in a Latin Vulgate as a footnote to a book about someone else.I can't help but think that we are talking about the same "war" =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby corrado » 15 Mar 2010, 01:33

Salerno, some of the relatives have red hair and blue eyes.....
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby carolinechurch » 15 Mar 2010, 07:32

I guess it comes down to how dominant the particular genes of the individual are.
There was only one Italian in my family, six generations ago, and we all still have mad dark kinky hair that stands on end, and are suntanned all year round.
Meet my father!
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby liviomoreno » 15 Mar 2010, 07:36

PeterTimber wrote:You certainly did your homework on this interesting period and I wondered whether you might know if the Albanians used ARABESH as a language or were known to be Arabesh as a group or both? Thereis a website you might find interesting www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/arabic-language uses the word Arabesh as an Arabic Chat Alphabet??


Albanians were called Arbëreshë (not Arabesh) prior to the Ottoman invasion of Albania. The word Arbëresh means land-worker.

The Arabic chat alphabet is used to communicate in the Arabic language over the Internet or for sending messages via mobile telephones when the Arabic alphabet is unavailable.

I could not find any reference to Arabesh, or Arabish or Arabisch or Arabic Chat Language in http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/arabic-language
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2010, 14:09

The reference to arab chat alphabet was in my fast browser search explaining the contents of the website. It would seem that if the title bore a reference it would be contained in the text don't you think? =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2010, 14:27

Dear Caroline Church you might wish to do a name check at an english website at www.findmypast.com. It is a paying website but yiu can access names and dates which should pique your interest and perhaps if found might wish to make a payment for more information.

I did a quick check and found post 1761 references to 3 Ciaccia so there is some indication to tempt one. Further there is a reference which you no doubt have come across which is his marriage in May 1813 to the same named persons you furnished at www.familysearch.org under ancestor search amongst the 107 Ciaccia references persons, =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby liviomoreno » 15 Mar 2010, 15:43

PeterTimber wrote:The reference to arab chat alphabet was in my fast browser search explaining the contents of the website. It would seem that if the title bore a reference it would be contained in the text don't you think? =Peter=

I do not trust Google abstract (or any other search engine) and always check the content of a site before posting in it as a reference...
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2010, 18:57

My interest was miniscule and centered about one specific item and was something that a cursory reading of a subject did not disclose, hence the inquiry. =Peter=
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