Women’s History Month: Rispetto per i molti italiano levatrici nella mia genealogia

Women’s History Month:  Rispetto per I molti italiano levatrici nella mia genealogia.  There are many midwives in the Italian parts of my tree.  They were farmers’ wives, tailors’ wives, shepherds’ wives, innkeepers’ mothers, blacksmiths’ daughters, and landowners’ daughters.  One was even an unwed mother who was the Ricevitrice di Proietti (receiver at the foundling wheel).  She was a landowner’s daughter.

The first one I found was Maria Giuseppa Marcella.  She was there when my great grandfather was born.  She was named in civil birth records because the fathers weren’t able to report the birth.  She would have to go to the municipal hall to do this.  I was also lucky to find many baptismal records where a mammana or ostetrice is mentioned.

My great grandfather’s father was sick, so his sister, Maria Giuseppa went to town hall.  She delivered several of Filippo‘s children and the children of many others in Case Bruciate.

A levatrice not only assisted in birthings but provided medical help to women for all female ailments.  She also provided different kinds of help when there was unwanted pregnancies, as it was her responsibility to leave the baby at the foundling wheel.  If the baby’s health was in danger at birth, she would perform a baptism.  She also was known to assist women in their desire to maintain their youth, etc.

When I found one of these levatrice in Pescara, I could usually trace who in their close relationships was also a levatrice.  In Caserta and Napoli, I have not been able to do that yet.  I am positive I will find more in Campania and Abruzzo.

A couple years ago I was informed by a cousin that my great grandmother was likely familiar with midwifery because she was familiar with traditional folk remedies.

In honor of Women’s History Month this week, the following are the italiano levatrici nella mia genealogia:

Farindola:

Serafina Merlenghi, my great grandmother

Maria Giuseppa Marcella and

her mother Maria Carolina Colangeli (direct ancestress) and

her mother Maria Carmina Crocetta (direct ancestress) and

her mother-in-law Maria Carmina Marcucci Collalto (direct ancestress)

Maria di Costanzo (direct ancestress)

Maria Chiarella (direct ancestress) and

her mother Laura Marzola (direct ancestress)

Tomassina Carusi, Receiver of the Foundlings 

Sirico:

Cecilia di Falco (direct ancestress)

Nola:

Teresa Trocciola (direct ancestress)

San Felice a Cancello:

Teresa Ferraro 

 

How many did you find?

Happy Easter!

cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Immigrant #25 Great Great Grandmother Filomena Napolitano Ferraro

Filomena Napolitano was born in 1845 in Nola, Campania and immigrated to the United States, through Ellis Island in 1904 with her daughters and second son, my great grandfather Carmine Ferraro.  The title of this posting uses her husband’s last name after Napolitano because it was used on her death record in Columbus.  Had she stayed in Italy, she would have always been known as Filomena “Napolitano” because Italian women never change their surnames. In fact, Filomena arrived at Ellis Island as Napolitano as you can see on the Lombardia’s passenger manifest from April 28,1904.  manifestamferraro

I have written in the past on Filomena, Nola, and anything I could find on her father’s side: Carmine Ferraro’s Mother Filomena Napolitano from Nola, Napoli, Campania.

A post about the two headstones associated with her in the Mount Calvary Cemetery is here.  In case you are wondering, the cemetery still has no explanation on why she has two and why they are in separate places in the cemetery. This is her Find-a-Grave Memorial.

The following posts have already been written on her immigrant children:

Immigrant #5 ~ The Disappearing Antonio Ferraro

The Gift of a Genealogy Goldmine (An update on Antonio)

Immigrant #2: Angela Maria Ferraro Valerioti – Mother of a Renowned NYC Investigator and a NYC Refuse Company President

Immigrant #9 ~ Carmine A. Ferraro, Priest and Maestro

Immigrant #23 ~ Great Grand Aunt Elena Ferraro Scarnecchia

Two more immigrant children, Giovanina, and Gelsomina Ferraro Ciocco will be featured in upcoming weeks.

The post detailing her immigrant husband Angelo can be found here.

An earlier posting about her parents’ wedding is here:  On this day in 1842…

For approximately the past six months I have been researching Filomena’s mother’s interesting family, the Sabatinos from Sirico (now Saviano), Napoli, Campania, Italy.  They have been extremely easy to research, especially because Sirico was such a small town and appeared to have some money.  I literally have binders and files and piles of records from the microfilmed Sirico records from the Naples State Archives.  Filomena’s mother was Maria Michela Sabatino, born in 1809 in Sirico on Strada Napolitano, and at the time of her birth, her father Giaocchino was a sartore or tailor and was literate.  No, there is likely no connection between the Strada Napolitano and Maria Michela’s future husband – a Napolitano.  The surname is incredibly common in Campania.  Maria Michela’s mother was Santa di Conza and she was from Salerno.  I am patiently waiting for Salerno records to be put on Antenati.  Maria Michela appears to be the oldest of their eight children.

In the 1810s Giaocchino moved to being a vendittore di Piazza (seller on the Piazza), a tavernaro (tavernkeeper), and a bottegaro (shopkeeper).*  By 1822, Maria Michela’s father Giaocchino was a possidente or wealthy property owner.  He always seemed to be hanging around weddings in the town too signing as a witness where I found out about his wealthiest profession – possidente.  The signature of the man Giaocchino Sabatino was the same signature on his 1810s children’s birth.  I have an entire file of records that contain his signature.  One more thing I noticed in Sirico, all the literate Sabatinos of Sirico, too, spelled their surname with ONLY ONE ‘b’ when they signed their names.  ANNNNDDDDD, at one point in Sirico’s history, there was a Strada Sabatino according to the records.

possidente

Giaocchino Sabatino’s parents were Bartolomeo, a maestro sartore or master tailor, and Cecilia di Falco, an ostetrice or midwife.  That makes Filomena’s great grandmother from Sirico a midwife.  Giaocchino’s younger brother Lorenzo Sabatino was also a possidente and was Il Sindaco or mayor of Sirico from 1860-1861. 

From what I could find, Giaocchino only had brothers and from what I can surmise from viewing the town records, they were literate and educated like Giaocchino.  Their names and professions are as follows:

Federigo-calzolaio-shoemaker, vendittore di vino, industriante-trader m. Maria Felicia Ambruscino

Allesandro-sartore m. Domenica Vardolo

Giuseppe-sartore m. Marta D’Avella

Lorenzo-sartore, industriante, possidente, Il Sindaco m. Maria Giuseppa Tuzzolli

Giaocchino Sabatino died in 1847 in Ospedale degli Incurabili in Naples.  This is the Wikipedia link to this historical hospital with photos.  I found a reference to his death in that hospital on his son’s wedding record which I then located on Antenati.  Follow this link to his death record from the San Lorenzo quartiere of Napoli on Antenati.

As for Cecilia di Falco, she was born around 1763 in Sirico and I found many records about her and the babies she delivered.  She is the first midwife on my mother’s side.  Therefore, there will be more on the Midwife of Sirico as a later date…

Sources:

Ellis Island

Nola:  These microfilms

Sirico: All of these films

Antenati

I used this Roots Web link to help with older Italian occupations I found on microfilm.

*Some of the occupations found on the microfilms in Sirico were in the Neapolitan dialect. 

cinziarosagenealogy@comcast.net