Saturday, February 6, 2010

Food for Thought on Italian Naming Patterns

While I haven't broken through my Italian brick wall (my grandmother's family), a recent find is making me wonder about some possibilities.  My great-grandfather, Giuseppe Lapiccirella had six children, three in Italy and three after the family came to Ohio in 1920 (in fact, one of them was born in Ohio one month after the family got to the States).  His first born was either named Clara or Carmella (I've seen it spelled both ways on several documents), then came Mattia (which turned into Martha once they left Italy) and then Michelena (I've seen various alternate spellings for this). 

What is interesting is that Giuseppe's brother, Nicola (aka "Nick") also lived in Warren, Ohio and had six children which included a daughter Carmella, a daughter Michalena and a son, Matteo.  Now it could just be that both brothers had a real fondness for those three names but I think it is more than that.  I think they are, in some way, family names.  Obviously, I like to think at least one of them was a parent's name but I really don't know.  One thing I find interesting is that I came across a Michele (aka Michael) Lapiccirella in an Ellis Island immigration record going to the same area in Ohio where Giuseppe and Nicola later settled.  Sadly, this is the only record of Michele I've been able to find, so I don't know how connected he was to my Lapiccirellas.  There are also a fair number of Lapiccirellas in nearby Ravenna, Ohio who I'm sure are in some way related to my Warren, Ohio Lapiccirellas.  In any case, I am now going to concentrate on any and all Carmella, Mattia or Matteo and Michele or Michalena Lapiccirellas I can find.  Of course, if I knew more about Italian naming traditions, I might have a better idea as to who (if any) the Carmellas, Mattia/Matteos, and Michalenas were named for.

1 comment:

  1. This is intriguing. (I'm betting Michele is related.) These may be the sort of clues that will help me in researching my husband's Italian lines (both of his grandmothers came from Italian immigrant families), so I am following your Italian research with great interest and look forward to reading more about the Lapiccirellas.

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