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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Are they Italian....or not?

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Are they Italian....or not?
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Eleven
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

In working with the trento baptisms, there are a lot of surnames that are not italian. Concin, Bettin, Postinghel, schvaz and loads of others. I am assuming that they originated from the country above this region. (Whats up there? Austria? Germany? I am bad with geography..lol)

Anyway..all of these non italian surnames..have ALL italian first names...which looks very odd. The only 3 first names that I have seen which arent italian are alice, esther and walter. But, they are very, very rare.

It seems I am getting a lot of pages now, for the 1920s (1920 & 21 so far).

Lo and behold, these odd surnames are beginning to italian-ize..legally. There are notations on the baptisms.

I have seen Concin become Conci and Concini. Bettin turned into Bettini and I just had a Marcart become Marcati.

I have also found a bunch of names..very popular that end with Z. Dalpiaz, Franez, giovanaz to name a few. Whats up with these names? What are they?

Now, these records begin at around 1808, sometimes 1812...where the surnames were original. But, we all know the names didnt originate in italy. And what about the ones ending in Z? I never saw Z endings before..they look almost spanish.

So..what are these people....Italian? German? Spanish? ???? I am sure the people carrying down these surnames..believe they are italian..but are they?
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JamesBianco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

My grandmother's family is from Valle di Cadore, Belluno (waaay up north near Austria). Her town has some very strange sounding last names such as Val, Chirubin, Tinion, Tizian, Gei and Burrei. Really strange names with Germanic influences. My great-great-great grandfather was Osvald-Antonio Davia.

In the north of Italy, surnames without a vowell at the end are plentiful.

Just my 2 cents Smile

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BonVal
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Funny coincidence - I was rereading Italian Genealogical Records byTrafford Cole - in his chapter about Italian Surnames he discusses this point - from 1922 - 1945 "there was a deliberate exaltation of Italian traditions from Imperial ROme to the twentieth century, and a political and cultural isolation from the rest of the world." He claims further that this meant that non-Italian sounding names were therefore changed - especially along the border near Austria and France, Switzerland, etc. Remember the Italian fought many bitter battles with Austria, France, and Spain for independence. This was actually a forced changing of their names!

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Carole
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Quote::
By eleven "....So..what are these people....Italian? German? Spanish? ???? I am sure the people carrying down these surnames..believe they are italian..but are they?

That particular area - the Alto Adige and Sud Tirol has been a battle ground of 'ownership' for centuries - one minute Austrian, the next Italian then Austro-Hungarian and so names, traditions, religions, food - you name it, they changed every five minutes.

As recently as the late 60's, early 70's there were still factions who believed it should belong to Austria and bombs and sabotage weren't exactly 'unheard of'... but things seem to have settled down over recent years and the area has found some stability. But of course historical records are what they are - they reflect the situation at the time the record was made - hence the variety of 'strange sounding names'!!!

I have posted a link on the Resource Pages forum with a site where you can see maps of all the Italian Regions, including one for Alto Adige

But in the meantime - >here is one< for the Alto Adige/Sud Tirol area in relation to the other countries that have influenced them over time.

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JamesBianco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

BonVal wrote:
He claims further that this meant that non-Italian sounding names were therefore changed - especially along the border near Austria and France, Switzerland, etc. Remember the Italian fought many bitter battles with Austria, France, and Spain for independence. This was actually a forced changing of their names!

Thanks for sharing that info, it explains exactly what Eleven is talking about then in the 1920s. That is awful!

And Eleven, I suspect that the remote ancestors of some of these unusual surname holders were indeed of foreign (non-Italian) descent in the paternal line. From what I understand there were a lot of conquests in the north of Italy taking place before the written record of Baptism, Marriage and Burial where we find these surnames emerging in the 1500s. I know I find these very odd surnames that far back (1500's) in my area with no apparent foreign reference, and almost always preceded by typical Italian first names.

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Eleven
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Thanks for all of this interesting info.

Bon Val, it doesnt seem that everyone jumped on the bandwagon with the name changes. So far, I am only coming up with a few..and these were individuals, not everyone who has the surname. I cant say for sure, but this doesnt looked forced, or then everyone with these names would be doing it..and those who couldnt add a vowel, would have to do a complete name change and these names are still showing up as often as ever.

I always tell people, that other than having my children, doing my genealogy was the most exciting, interesting and most significant thing I have ever done. It must not only be my family search that held my interest for all of these years..but genealogy in itself. I am supposed to be keying records..and instead..I am trying to make some sense of the notations, with my poor knowledge of the italian language (but, I do ok in making sense of some things). Or, I am looking up maps or names..or just pondering about the lives of some of these people. This group of records gives the ages or birth dates of the parents. One couple, the mom was 16 and the dad 17. I have been working with these trento baptisms since august. I feel like a am related to these people..lol When I arbitrate these (which is comparing the keying of two other people, to choose which I think is correct), I often dont even need to look at the document (but I do), to know who has it right and who doesnt..and sometimes..neither of them get it right. I am glad I enjoy working with these records. I feel its so important to get the italian records out there. I only wish either ancestry or the FHL would head south..lol But, I am doing my part, in the hopes that they will eventually get there.

Carole, I am gonna check your maps now. Everything I tried to bring up today wasnt helping me much. Maybe I will do better with yours. Thanks.


Edit: Carole. Where the heck did you find that. Out of all of the huge maps that I found, this tiny little thing was just what I was looking for to see what the heck was above this region. If I would have found out, I wouldnt have had to come on here and ask what the heck was up there..lol
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BonVal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Eleven...funny....I wrote a piece on my blog this week about the pull of genealogy rearch...it is as if they are begging us to find them...I think this does become a passion like no other!

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Eleven
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

I have gotten the feeling, very often, that I am/was being guided by someone..or something. I had some strange things happen to me when I was researching my own family..and even now, doing some of this indexing/arbitrating, in some cases..I feel like I am being helped....especially when I have no clue what something says one minute..and its clear as a bell, the next. When I cant figure a name out..I actually say a silent "sorry".
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charliemis
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

It has been a give and take there as well as other areas too.....the Alto Adige was given to Italy after World War I [good bye Sud Tirol; hello Alto Adige]. The French Riveria and the area known as Savoie or Savoy [our English friends liked to rename a lot of places] was part of Italy and was ceded to France as part of a settlement which allowed Italian Unification in 1861.....Nice was originally called Nizza......The French and the Germans have also traded the Alsace area back and forth as well....it is now part of France [another WWI settlement] , but in Strasbourg you will find a lot of German names. I am sure that there are many other examples along many borders throughout Europe and elsewhere.

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uantiti
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Eleven wrote:
In working with the trento baptisms, there are a lot of surnames that are not italian. Concin, Bettin, Postinghel, schvaz and loads of others. I am assuming that they originated from the country above this region. (Whats up there? Austria? Germany? I am bad with geography..lol)

Anyway..all of these non italian surnames..have ALL italian first names...which looks very odd. The only 3 first names that I have seen which arent italian are alice, esther and walter. But, they are very, very rare.

It seems I am getting a lot of pages now, for the 1920s (1920 & 21 so far).

Lo and behold, these odd surnames are beginning to italian-ize..legally. There are notations on the baptisms.

I have seen Concin become Conci and Concini. Bettin turned into Bettini and I just had a Marcart become Marcati.

I have also found a bunch of names..very popular that end with Z. Dalpiaz, Franez, giovanaz to name a few. Whats up with these names? What are they?

Now, these records begin at around 1808, sometimes 1812...where the surnames were original. But, we all know the names didnt originate in italy. And what about the ones ending in Z? I never saw Z endings before..they look almost spanish.

So..what are these people....Italian? German? Spanish? ???? I am sure the people carrying down these surnames..believe they are italian..but are they?

In North East Italy many family names end with a consonant. This is due to dialect influence. If you could see the telephone directory you will see a lot of surnames ending with "n" (Lorenzin, Scremin, Nicolin, Bettin etc.). Depending on the area, the wovel at the end changes. My husband surname ends with an "r" and he is Italian. Towards Friuli region you find names ending with "t" and towards Trentino with "z" or "t". Also in Piedmont you can find surnames ending with consonants.
Also first names as Alice, Ester and Walter are/were used in Italy and quite common and they cannot be considerer as not Italian...

Ada

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Eleven
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Uantiti, I noticed signature on the IG forum. You do know that ancestry is working on marriage and death records from that area, right? Just thought I would mention that, just in case.

Would you believe, that in my lifetime, I never met anyone (that I was aware of) who came from northern Italy (except my fathers cousin who lived in Milan, but he was Sicilian). Other than the letter S at the end of the italian name (di santis, dibellis), I never met an Italian without a vowel. I guess thats why these names seem so odd to me.

When I arbitrate these records from the FHL, I can always tell the new people. They want to add an I or an A at the end of every name..whether they see it or not..lol I know that feeling, because so did I. I was sure the priest left it out..but, I did what I was told and typed what I saw. When I get these vowel adding people, I have to chuckle. Some will even try to change the name Alice, when its plain as day, thats what it says..lol Also, I have noticed in this trento area, that most names that do have a vowel, that vowel is an I. Next popular would be A, but not as poplular as the I. And a few E. I also come across odd first names, too.

Both of the places trento and piemonti have a lot of cousin marriages, a lot. More than I saw in my own geneology and I did both mine and my husbands. Only his fathers family showed a few 2nd cousin marriages. Another thing I see a lot of is twins. One town, that I was doing this week, had two sets of twins born per month for about 3-4 months. I found one set of triplets, born in the early 1800s, and they all lived. I found that amazing.
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Cathy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

Eleven wrote:
I have gotten the feeling, very often, that I am/was being guided by someone..or something. I had some strange things happen to me when I was researching my own family..and even now, doing some of this indexing/arbitrating, in some cases..I feel like I am being helped....especially when I have no clue what something says one minute..and its clear as a bell, the next. When I cant figure a name out..I actually say a silent "sorry".
Funny you should say that 11...I have had a lot of strange things happen too! I always beleived when I started going though the Italian records someone was helping me and often felt a tap on my shoulder while I was whipping through I film to reach a particular year. When I felt the tap I would stop rolling the film to see who was tapping me (no one was ever there) look at the screen and see (perfectly centered) the record of a "lost" relative. This happened a lot. Thats just 1 example of many different things but I think most of them want to be found. And I beleive many of them are watching over me and helping me. When I began I would ask for their help. I don't ask anymore...lol. One of my Uncles beleives I am the reincarnation of his grandmother. I do not beleive that but I do feel a strange connection to her. I won't even mention the many stories I have regarding the saint in our tree!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

I have come across many names without the vowels in Montalto and Tropea. I'm not sure about Tropea yet but in Montalto the names (Oranges and Manes) come from the Aberesh town next door.

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Eleven
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

My stories are similar to yours, cathy. Very strange. I have found people..that I shouldnt have...very accidently. I can never shake the feeling, that I have help.
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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: Are they Italian....or not? Reply with quote

I believe this too. When I first started going to the FHL I went to look up my grandfather's birth act and funny enough, I rolled the film right to his birth act. That had to be the strangest feeling I ever had. I think now though I have to start seriously getting more focused and organized on my own research. I think sometimes I spend too much time looking through things that really aren;t a priority and I forget what I was doing. Thats what this weekend is all about for me. Organizing everything and trying to get back on track.

As for the names..I was always told that vowels in surnames are common in the South of Italy but Northern Italy vowel endings are not common. I guess this thread pretty uch confirms that.

Thanks for the history/geography lesson Charlie. Geography, as most people know is my worst area of expertise. I have no idea where anything is and as for history..well my Italian history is not where is should be either. I should try and spend more time reading up on it though. I will add it to my goals of things to do this year.

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