Saturday, December 11, 2010

Calabrian Records

I own several websites including Cosenza Exchange. I began working on getting the records online for my grandfather's home town, Montalto Uffugo and also put some records for other Cosenza towns there several years ago. Since the Cosenza Archive is doing the same, I will probably not be adding further stato civile records on Cosenza Exchange as soon as I get all the available years of marriages for Montalto Uffugo online. I will not take the site down, I just will not be adding further stato civile records.
Plans for Cosenza Exchange
I am looking at other records the archive has available to see what I may be able to add that will not mirror what the archive is doing. The Catasti of Montalto Uffugo, San Fili and San Vincenzo La Costa were generously donated by Francesco Fullone. I had spent several months extracting the Catasto of Montalto and alphabetizing it and adding the html code. A recent virus to my computer has wiped out most of this work so I have been working on that again along with adding missing years of marriages. I hope to be adding that shortly after the holidays. I will not be extracting the catasti of San Fili or San Vincenzo anytime soon. I will be adding to the extractions of the baptisms of Santa Maria La Castagna also generously donated by Francesco Fullone. I am planning a trip there this year and am hoping my life will not obstruct these plans. If I can go, I am hoping to visit the churches and obtain permission to copy the church registers.
Catanzaro Exchange
With my impending trip to Italy planned, and once the final year of marriages from Montalto Uffugo have been added to the Cosenza Exchange, my focus will return to my grandmother's town of Cortale and her mother's town of Tropea. I need to complete my work on my families in those towns before I go to Italy. So, I will be adding marriage records, birth and death indexes to those towns very soon. At some point, I will be adding the comune di Filadelfia, where my great, great grandmother Caterina Cipollina was born. But that project will probably not begin until later in 2010 or 2011.

Strange names through time

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.