I want to talk a little about repeating names in our family and on some of the documents we have. Naming customs of our ancestors most certainly contributes to this and this can either make it very easy to follow a family line or can cause great confusion. I find it a blessing actually. There seems to be a warmth and familiarity that draws people closer, uniting them as family ~ at least for me, in the names being passed down honoring the ones who came before. In my case the name Francesco continues to repeat itself with my Grandfather being named Francesco and one of my brothers as well and as you will see in others sharing the wonderful name of Francesco.
In some of the early documents we have gathered we see last names such as Spano, Rella, Tetro, Perigena, Colavito, D’Amico just to name a few and it goes on and on with these names reporting births and deaths as well as learning the names of the mayors at different times; they all seem to come full circle in identifying who married who, who was a cousin to who or aunt or uncle, who was related by marriage and who wasn’t. Genealogy research for me is not just the names and dates but the landscape, the stories, the buildings, the lost history waiting to be found and shared, they all tie together in telling our story.
The first descendant I want to take a closer look at is
Francesco Civitano born 1763 and died 16 July 1829. He lived to be 66 years old. Francesco was a Contadino – peasant farmer. He was the son of Paolo and Giacoma Giannini. He was the last child of 4 children born (that we have record of) His first marriage was to Rosa Spano daughter of Giuseppe Carlos Spano and Donata Fattizza. With no marriage certificate we are assuming Francesco and Rosa was married prior to or by their first child being born in 1787, their children are as follows
Donata Maria born 1787, Giuseppe 1792, Nicola 1796, Giacoma 1797 and Vito Luigi 1803.
Rosa Spano Civitano died 1 May 1824. She was 60 when she passed. Francesco was 61 years old. Reporting her death to Major Giuseppe Lupis were her two sons Nicola and Vito Civitano.
After Rosa’s death Francesco married Rosa Careccia, 55, on 8 July 1824. She was the daughter of Vito Modesto Careccia and Vincenza Mitarotondo. This marriage was just 3 months after Rosa #1 passed away. My thought on this is that it must have been out of necessity for help on the farm, for running the home, and for companionship.
The marriage was short lived as Francesco passed away 16 July 1829, a short 4/5 years later. The people reporting his death were Lonardo Siciliano and Paolo Colavito to Mayor Giuseppe Lupis. Interesting that it was not one of his 3 sons, nor his daughters reporting the death as with Rosa #1.
Rosa (Careccia) Civitano died 15 Sept in 1845. She lived another 16 years. We don’t have much information on Rose #2 other than her parents names at this time and an additional spouse by the name of Angelo Serentino but I am unclear whether this was a 1st or 2nd marriage for her.
What comes to mind as I begin to write about our family back then and specifically about Francesco and Rosa #1 and Rosa #2 is where were all the grown children at this time? where were their children living? Was it a communal family farm effort? Did they all live together or did they share adjoining farming and pastoral lands? I am not sure we will ever know.