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Very few works have been published in English on the topics of Italian heraldry, nobility and onomatology as these relate to genealogy. Yet all three fields depend upon genealogical research. This concise presentation is not intended as a historical treatise, but rather as a simple guide for those interested in these subjects.In common parlance, he...
‚ÄčItalians have a long and deep-rooted tradition of beliefs about luck and things that give either good or bad luck. In Italy there are colloquial names for bad luck. Think of:"sfiga" or "jella" (read it as "yella), but the most scary thing for millions of Italians is "Il Malocchio", which translate as "the evil eye".Il Malocchio is a condition of u...
The dialects of modern Italian all have their roots in the spoken form of Latin (Vulgar Latin), in use throughout the Roman Empire. Vulgar Latin had, no doubt, its own local peculiarities before the fall of the Empire. The political instability that followed Roman rule kept Italy from re-uniting as a nation until the nineteenth century. This long p...
Contrary to popular belief, not all Italian given names have Christian or classical roots. Many names encountered in older records are almost whimsical, and some cannot be translated into Latin or any other language. In order to avoid possible mistranscription of a given name with which the researcher may be unfamiliar, it is helpful to know some o...
An Italian novel for kids called "La Freccia Azzurra" (The Blue Arrow) says that all the children in the world wait for Christmas Eve to get presents from Santa Clause, but Italian kids are the luckiest in the world because they get presents again on the 6th of January by the Befana.Who is the Befana? She's an old woman, looking like a wi...
In its most general sense, the term genealogy refers to the study of family history, while encompassing such related fields as ethnology, onomatology and --in rather few cases-- heraldry. It is important to bear in mind that genealogy forms part of the framework of general history. The best genealogist is a competent historian, but also a good dete...