When I first began reading the records from my Grandfather's town I had a difficult time with some of the Italian names. Giuseppe, Concetta and Raffaele were not strange to me as I had heard these names as early as I can remember. My father often called me "Caterina" which is my name in Italian. However, there were many names totally unheard of by me that I had to try to look up because they seemed so strange, I could not tell if I was deciphering the old handwriting correctly. I have worked on transcribing the records of several Italian towns but these names were so rare I thought I must be wrong. Here are some of the rare and more unusual first names I found:
Dorosilla, Remigio, Massimina, Columba, Pampilio, Fiorigga, Florindo, Conazioni, Delfino (and the female version Delfina), Dorina, Egisto, Erterina, Ettori and Stanislao.
Working on my mom's family, I found even stranger names, mostly in the 1600's used by the Puritans. Many of them I could not even figure out if they were male or female names. Here are some of these names:
Achsah, Supply, Preserved, Benoni, Experience, Hopestill, Wait, Waitstill, Unite, Return, Thanks and Mindwell.
The one thing I found in common in both Italy and the United States was these unusual names seemed to run in families. There were just a few couples on both sides of the ocean who seemed to prefer different names for their children. Perhaps it was a way of giving them a unique identity or expressing themselves in a unique way.