Naming Conventions

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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Naming Conventions

Post by darkerhorse »

My Sicilian great-grandparents didn’t exactly follow naming conventions for their children and I’m trying to reason why.

The couple were named Salvatore and Antonia. His parents were Rosario and Carolina, and hers were Sebastiano and Vincenza.

Their first five children were (in birth order): Sebastiana, Sebastiano, Rosario, Carolina, and Vincenza. You can understand the last three but why Sebastiana and Sebastiano first?

I have a few possibilities:

1. Their town’s patron saint is St. Sebastiano. Sebastiana and/or Sebastiano might have been named after him.

2. When the children were born three of their grandparents were still living but their maternal grandfather Sebastiano was deceased. So Sebastiana and/or Sebastiano might have been named after him.

3. Before Antonia was married to Salvatore she was married to his brother Sebastiano. So Sebastiana and/or Sebastiano might have been named after him.

4. Daughter Sebastiana died before son Sebastiano was born so he might have been named after her.

Of course, it could have been a combination of reasons - the names were perfect because they fit multiple persons to honor.

What do you think?
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Re: Naming Conventions

Post by BrownEyedGirl »

Hi. I think it's Nos. 2 and 4.

Maybe the grandfather, Sebastiano, was named after the saint. And Sebastiana was named after the grandfather. Maybe they decided to name their first child Sebastiana or Sebastiano depending on the sex. After she passed away and they had a boy, they decided to use the male version for him. Basically, they wanted one child named a Sebastian variant.

My beloved grandmother's name was Philomena (Mena for short). She had a sister who died in infancy before she was born. Her sister's name was Philomena, too. There were so many Philomenas in the family, and my great grandmother wanted to name her daughter after the lot of them. They were from Campania-Molise so that must have been a common practice all over Italy. I've heard of others doing the same.
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