Hospital in Via Laterano, Rome in 1890s?

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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!
User avatar
PippoM
Master
Master
Posts: 4371
Joined: 25 Aug 2004, 00:00
Location: Roma, Italia
Contact:

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

Post by PippoM »

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

Certificate requests and genealogical researches in Italy.
Translation of your (old) documents and letters.
Legal assistance in Italy for your Italian citizenship.
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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.
vale1303
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 03 Apr 2021, 03:19

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..
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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

Post by MaryLF »

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.
Pit
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Apr 2021, 15:36

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
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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

Post by MaryLF »

Hi Pit, This is in response to your post from April 10th:

Re:#1: Thank you for the link w/ photos. I believe this is the hospital that I refer to as ”L’ospedale delle Donne.” When Anne (the genealogy researcher who was helping me) and I visited, the porta on the right wasn’t open so we didn’t have access to really old part of the hospital. From my reading, I understand that L’ospedale delle Donne was reserved for women while the Ospedale del SS Salvatore, located across the street was for men.

Re:#2: I didn’t realize that home births continued in Italy well into the 1950s. From my reading, I understand that it was rare indeed for a woman in 1893 to give birth in a hospital so I have been trying to find information that discusses which women would have access to a hospital maternity ward during the late 19th century…would all women in Rome have access or would it have been reserved for women of a particular social class? It makes sense that difficult births would have been assigned to the hospital but, again, was this open to all women at that time?

Re:#3 My grandmother’s birth certificate from Rome specifically states that she was “…born in the hospital in via Laterano to a woman who does not consent to be named…” and continues to say that from the hospital, she was brought before an administrator where her birth was registered and given the first name Luisa and the surname Liaci. It further states that she was then to be taken to the Brefotrofio di Roma.

Re:#4; I understand that, based on Italian law, the birth mother of my grandmother, had the absolute right to conceal her identity. I have no expectation that any document with the birth mother’s name exists. The only documents that I have are my grandmother’s birth certificate and the record of her marriage, which is also noted on her marriage certificate.

In 2017, Ann & I went to the Archivio Storico Diocesano (Roma) to find my GM’s baptismal certificate. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any record which was quite surprising.
http://www.anagrafebbcc.chiesacattolica ... I300A00006

I am interested in learning anything possible about my GM from her time in the Brefetofrio until she was sent to live with a Carnevale family in Pico (Frosinone). I know that the City of Rome has archived records from the brefotofri: l’archivio storico dell’ex brefotrofio della Provincia di Roma. Ann visited the office in charge of the archives and was able to confirm that my grandmother had been at the Brefretorio for two years. Unfortunately, Ann wasn’t permitted to see the log book; and, I was subsequently told in an e-mail from one of the administrators that no other information existed. I find it difficult to understand that there is no additional information since the Catholic Church is known for keeping meticulous records. I would think that there would be a record of the family from Pico that took her into foster care; how much money they received from the Church or government for caring for her,; and, how much money was allotted for her dowry.


There’s a great book called "I Brefotofri di Roma" that Ann recommenced to me. I was finally able to get a copy but it takes me quite a while to read each section since my Italian is very rudimentary. You might find this book interesting if you haven't already seen it.
Pit
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Apr 2021, 15:36

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

Post by Pit »

Hi Mary,
While I'm preparing a text with more answers to your questions, I suggest you to download this reading that will give you an idea of Rome's healtcare in the exact years in wich your granny borned.

https://archive.org/details/b28137826

Qspedale delle Donne or "obstetrical clinic" was property and separate part of SS Salvatore Hospital. You can find information on this Hospital and Brefotrofio. Attached antique picture of Hospital where your granny borned as in 1880/90 years and a photo of S. Giovanni square and hospitals around 1880, no cars at all, only a carriage. Make a comparison with the place you visited in 2017...

Pit
Attachments
piazza s giovanni.jpg
Pit
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Apr 2021, 15:36

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

Post by Pit »

added not uploaded photo
Pit
Attachments
ospedale della donna.jpg
User avatar
MaryLF
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 19:50

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

Post by MaryLF »

Hi Pit, Apologies for the delayed reply. Thank you for the reading suggestion...I downloaded it and found it very interesting and noted that they author made mention of the maternity clinic and the Brefotofrio. I plan to read it through again. The photos are amazing...thank you. -- Mary
Post Reply