Solving Problems With a Reasonably Exhaustive Research and Genealogical Analysis

Francesco Catan­zaro lived just 27 days, yet the records cre­at­ed in that short peri­od of time dif­fered as to what his father’s name was. The inac­ces­si­bil­i­ty of eccle­si­as­ti­cal records fur­ther lim­it­ed the avail­able resources and less­ened the strength of this proof argu­ment.  Yet, we will seek to prove that Francesco’s father was Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo, the hus­band of Ros­alia “Rosa” Catan­zaro.

The first record, the record of Francesco’s birth, shows his par­ents as Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo and Ros­alia Catan­zaro.[1]  Log­i­cal­ly, his birth alle­gati [supplement/attachment] shows the same,[2] since both records were cre­at­ed close in time and by the same civ­il records offi­cial.  These two doc­u­ments pro­vide direct evi­dence that his father was Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo, the hus­band of Ros­alia Catan­zaro.

Yet, to con­fuse mat­ters, his death record just a scant twen­ty-sev­en days lat­er gives his father’s name as Giuseppe.[3]  All three of the above doc­u­ments show Rosa or Ros­alia Catan­zaro as his moth­er.[4]  Since deaths in Ter­mi­ni Imerese were often report­ed by a neigh­bor or friend,  the infor­ma­tion con­tained in his death record would be sec­ondary even while the evi­dence is direct.  The report­ing par­ties were not lit­er­ate so they would have relied on their mem­o­ries when relay­ing the infor­ma­tion on the child’s fam­i­ly to the civ­il records office.[5]

Francesco’s age of twen­ty-sev­en days when he died on 29 August 1833 pro­vides indi­rect evi­dence of a birth date of 2 August 1833[6] and lim­its the amount of records avail­able to prove who his father was.  There were no oth­er Lo Schi­a­vo chil­dren born on this day in Ter­mi­ni Imerese with a moth­er named Ros­alia or Rosa Catan­zaro.[7]

Addi­tion­al­ly, indi­rect evi­dence is found in the fact that this child was named Francesco in con­junc­tion with his birth order in the fam­i­ly.  If nam­ing cus­toms were fol­lowed, the sec­ond male child of Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo and Ros­alia “Rosa” Catan­zaro would have been named Francesco for his mater­nal grand­fa­ther, Francesco Catan­zaro.[8]

Con­clu­sion

[cita­tions omit­ted if pre­vi­ous­ly cit­ed above]

Two out of the three avail­able records cre­at­ed in Francesco’s short life pro­vide direct evi­dence that his father’s giv­en name was Antoni­no.  The third one, the record of his death, pro­vides direct evi­dence that a Giuseppe Lo Schi­a­vo was his father.  His mother’s name remained con­sis­tent across all records vary­ing only between Ros­alia and Rosa.  The fact that there were no oth­er Lo Schi­a­vo chil­dren born in Ter­mi­ni Imerese to a Ros­alia or Rosa Catan­zaro on Francesco’s date of birth is fur­ther evi­dence [albeit indi­rect] that this is the same child and there­fore the son of Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo.  All three doc­u­ments are image copies of the orig­i­nal sources yet the death record’s infor­ma­tion is sec­ondary due to the fact the report­ing par­ties were not par­tic­i­pants in the event and were most like­ly relay­ing on infor­ma­tion told them by the the child’s fam­i­ly.  This would have been done by mem­o­ry as the doc­u­ment indi­cates that they were illit­er­ate.

The avail­able evi­dence sup­ports the prob­a­bil­i­ty that a mis­take was indeed made when record­ing Francesco’s father’s name on his civ­il death record and that his father was indeed Antoni­no Lo Schi­a­vo, the hus­band of Ros­alia “Rosa” Catan­zaro.

[1]        Ter­mi­ni Imerese, Paler­mo Province, King­dom of the Two Sicilies (KTS), “Reg­istro degli Atti di Nascite [Reg­is­ter of Acts of Birth], 1833”: record 260, birth record of Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; Fam­i­ly His­to­ry Library micro­film #1,688,171.

[2]        Ter­mi­ni Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro degli Alle­gati di Nascite [Reg­is­ter of Sup­ple­men­tal Births], 1833”: record 260, birth sup­ple­ment for Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; FHL micro­film #1,982,140.

[3]        Ter­mi­ni Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro degli Atti di Mor­ti [Death Records], 1833”: record num­ber 333, death record of Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; FHL micro­film #1,714,033.  Francesco’s father’s name was record­ed in this record as Giuseppe Lo Schi­a­vo. 

[4]     Ibid and Ter­mi­ni Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro di Nascite [Birth Records], 1833”: record 260, birth record of Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; FHL micro­film 1,688,171.; and  Ter­mi­ni Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro degli Alle­gati di Nascite [Sup­ple­men­tal Birth Records], 1833”: record 260, sup­ple­men­tal birth record of Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; FHL microgilm #1,982,140.

[5]    Ter­mi­ni  Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro degli Atti di Mor­ti [Death Records], 1833”: record 333, death record of Francesco Lo Schi­a­vo; FHL micro­film 1,688,171.  It is not­ed at the end of most civ­il doc­u­ments who is lit­er­ate and who is not.

[6]     Ibid.

[7]     Ibid.

[8]     Joseph Fuchilla, Our Ital­ian Sur­names, p. 3; and Ter­mi­ni  Imerese, Paler­mo Province, KTS, “Reg­istro degli Atti di Mor­ti [Death Records], 1829”: record 349, death record of Francesco Catan­zaro; FHL micro­film 1,714,032.