Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

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MaryLF
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Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

Post by MaryLF »

Please help. I'm looking for information that might give me more information about abandoned babies in Italy during the late 1800s.

The persistent efforts of Ann Tatangelo from Angel Research (http://angelresearch.wordpress.com) for the last year confirmed that my maternal GM was at the Brefotrofio of Rome from 1893 - 1895. Ann was also able to confirm from the records at Santo Spirito my GM's date of birth March 4, 1893, and that she was 2 years old when she left Santo Spirito to presumably go to Pico,FR where she was raised by a Carnevale family.

With Luisa's date of birth confirmed, Ann was able to request Luisa's birth record from Rome. Here is a summary of Luisa's birth record:

“...a hospital in Via Laterano...from a woman who does not consent to be named...born a baby of the female sex which was presented to me and to whom was given the name of Luisa and the surname of Liaci...The said baby girl is ordered to be taken to the Brefotrofio of Rome by the declarant above stated together with a copy of this act together with the baby and to be given to the Director of this place...”

I have so may questions that will never be answered, but I'm hoping that someone in this community might help me answer these questions:

1. Does anyone know the name of the hospital (from 1893) near San Giovanni Laterano that is referenced and have any information about it?
2. In 1893, who were the women that gave birth in hospitals in Italy? I read that during the 19th century, the women who gave birth in hospitals were poor (could not afford a midwife, etc.).
3. Based on the social values of the time, is it fair to assume that my GM's birth mother did not consent to be named because she was unmarried?
4. My GM was given the surname Liaci at City Hall...that last name was probably chosen at random, correct?

Thank you!
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PippoM
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

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1) An important hospital named "San Giovanni" still exists in Roma near the Basilica
2) I think that was the time when in cities women started giving birth in hospitals, while in villages they went on doing that at home, because of absence of fast means of transport to places with hospitals
3) Yes, of course
4) Yes, it is possible. The Registrar himself chose surnames at random or following some "strange" rule of his own.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi

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MaryLF
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

Post by MaryLF »

Hi Pippo,

Thank you for your reply! :D

Today I found references & photos of the Ospedale delle Donne al Laterano which sounds like it functioned as the maternity department of the Ospedale del Salvatore located nearby. Unfortunately, I have not yet found any historical/sociological information about the Women's Hospital; but, I did find a reference that Maria Montessori was studying pediatrics & women's health issues at San Giovanni Lanterano in the late 1890s. 

I am thinking that the Ospedale delle Donne al Laterano was probably the maternity hospital where my GM was born. I will keep looking for information about the women who went there to give birth during the late 19th century.
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

Post by vale1303 »

There was a hospital ward in San Giovanni called "delle celate" where women could give birth anonimously. Check on google and read the story of Francesca Darima. I am in a similar situation, looking for info about the birth of my grandfather..
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

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Hello vale1303,

Thanks for your reply. I will do a google search on "delle celate" and Francesca Darima.

Since posting these questions in 2013, I've been to Rome a couple of times looking for info. One of those times, I met up with the genealogist who had been helping me track down info on my GM. We went to the L'ospedale delle Donne in piazza S. Giovanni. The section of the old hospital where the wards would have been have been turned into exhibition space and we couldn't enter. We then went to the "new" S. Giovanni hospital to see if we could find any info about archived records -- but we didn't get very far.

It's very disappointing that after 100 + years since my GM's birth in Rome, I'm not able to even see the papers that from the foundling home that are archived by the municipality. I know that they won't contain any info about parents but I'd just like to put eyes on anything they have.
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

Post by Pit »

Hi Mary,
This is Pit from Roma,
I studied a lot about story of my city and her people’s life of the period you’re interested for, I made deep research on my family trough official data record disposable. Here some answer to your question, very often I meet problem like yours.

1-The Hospital named “Antico Ospedale del SS Salvatore in Laterano” was very old and was in Basilica S. Giovanni in Laterano Church. In 1870 a woman related to my family died in this hospital. This hospital had a separate section for women only. History on this link:
http://www.annazelli.com/ospedale-del-s ... o-roma.htm

2- Women regularly gave birth at home until the end of 1950. My mother (1941) and their sisters since 1945 borned (and died) at home in Roma from a medium class family . In 1958 only one/ third of women gave birth on hospital and in most cases due to disease or difficult for the baby. I borned in private hospital in 1964. In 1890 hospital was rare and you can reach it only if you’re seriously ill, not for gave birth practice. Shurely she gave birth on this hospital due to ill or related to gave birth complications.

3- From 1870 with the new Law & Order of Italy State your are obliged to declare the birth of a baby in a “Birth, Marriage, Death” State Office in front of a Public Officer and witness to legalize his personal identity. But the problem of unwanted, abandoned sons reamained. With new Law & Order a woman could went in front of Public Officer giving the name and last name to the baby without revealing her own identity and/or father’s identity. She could freely declare/decide to take him to Brefotrofio. If a man had a baby with a woman could legalize the baby without revealing mother’s name but he have to declare that this woman wasn’t yet married with someone else, neither is relative to him and/or near his family.
It was made to protect the “woman’s reputation”, considering the reputation is “the only and most precious thing a woman had” in this historical period and loosing it drive the woman in serious troubles. Italian Civil Law & Order derived directly from French Revolution new Law & Order. We continue to see French Revolution as a “guillotine period” while conquest of uman rights remains underestimated. We are all sons of French Revolution.

4- Baby was sent to Brefotrofio for different reasons:
Baby has a regular married family but too poor to maintain another son.
The mother wasn’t married, poor, and couldn’t maintain the baby.
The mother was an occasional prostitute.
The baby has malformation
The baby wasn’t the son of her husband and so long.

The name could be given by her mother, in this case Liaci could be her last name as unmarried or her husband last name. As usual at the period, in Italy, first male/female son will receive the same name of grandfather/grandmother, depending mostly on husband decision. In this case Luisa could be the name of the mother of her mother.
Difficult to be a fantasy name given by her mother, in this case she could let the decision to the Hospital or the baptizer churchman. Shurely the baby was baptized in Hospital by the always present churchmans. But churchmans generally gave first name as calendar day’s Saint and last name related to religion aspects like De Sanctis, De Angelis, Graziadei and so long. Remember this Hospital was inside one of the most important church in Roma.
Liaci is a last name concentrated only in south of Italy, Puglia region. Does she came from there?

Finally there is no secret place in wich you can find Luisa’s mother name, because simply she legally could hide it, and she did it. Nobody had the right or reason to ask her it.
But I’m thinking about collateral searching. As I often do.
What copy of original official documents have in your hands?

Pit
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Re: Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

Post by MaryLF »

Hi Pit, Thank you so much for your very informative reply! Just want to let you know that I need to find a few old records, etc. and then will reply in detail to your post. -- Mary
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