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.