Sicilian name change "i" to "e" for recognition?

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Sicilian name change "i" to "e" for recognition?

Post by joegov » 12 Apr 2014, 02:40

In identifying my ancestors in America and Sicily, I have found that some have an "i" at the end of our surname and others have an "e." I have recently been told that some of the Sicilian immigrants to America changed the "i" at the end of their name to an "e" in order to help others recognize them as Sicilians. I have never come across this explanation of the name change. Has anyone ever heard of this as the reason for a name change??


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Re: Sicilian name change "i" to "e" for recognition?

Post by PippoM » 28 Apr 2014, 13:40

I think that was because they were illiterate, and clerks did not know Italian; so, when they pronounced their surname ending in "i", the clerks wrote it as they would for an English name sounding the same. For instance, that's why a lot of surnames starting with the particle "Di" (Di Maria, Di Fonzo, Di Matteo...) got a starting "De". I don't think such change had anything to do with their being Sicilian. Of course, that's just my opinion...
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

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