Understanding house numbers in Cefalu (1870's-1900's)

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Understanding house numbers in Cefalu (1870's-1900's)

Post by VotM » 26 Mar 2015, 13:10

Here is a riddle I am hoping someone can unravel.

On the birth records for my great-grandfather's children, there is a phrase, "nella casa posta in Via Corte al numero" followed by a number. What is unusual is that the number is unique to each of the six children. And I do mean unique to each child: for the one son that died very young, the number given on the death record is the same as for his birth, even though there had been another child born between his birth and his death.

It almost appears as if a number was assigned to each person at birth, at least for those associated with "Via Corte". (It's certainly a better explanation that saying that the family moved to different houses on the same street six times, and one of the moves just happened to be back to the house where a child who would soon die was born.)

I'm assuming this was not a widespread practice. In Gioiosa Marea, for the few cases where I have found a number, the same number was shared by all of the people in the same family. It is only for my relatives from Cefalu that I have encountered numbers unique to each person.

Can anyone confirm this and/or offer any insights? Thanks in advance!

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Re: Understanding house numbers in Cefalu (1870's-1900's)

Post by Italysearcher » 26 Mar 2015, 17:40

Some towns didn't number the house, some changed the numbers at will. Some change the street names at will. Some streets change name every 500 metres (or so). On google maps the street I live on is shown as Via Passionisti. Officially we are Via Santa Apollonia. My house was built 50 years ago and still doesn't have a number. Apparently we were (are) missing some certificate that is needed to assign a number. Good thing the post office knows where we live:-)
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