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#1: Baptism Document Translation Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:56 am
Thanks to the kindness, patience and generosity of Elizabeth, I'm finally making some progress on tracing my Epifano/Bifano ancestry. I'd greatly appreciate if someone could translate the following baptismal document for Anna Maria, daughter of Geniale Bifano and Cecilia Pagliaro. There is the possiblity that Geniale and Cecilia are my ggg grandparents. What I'm most curious about is how the mention of Aiello ties in to the rest of the document. I'm guessing but I believe that the Aiello in the document refers to Aiello Calabro. It's asking a bit but I'd be most grateful for a full translation.


#2: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: uantitiLocation: Biella (Piedmont) and Venezia/Venice, Italy PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:11 pm
I'll try. The priest says something about having found the date years later. In fact it's dated October 5, 1813 but it refers to 1785. Luca will understand for sure and explain better.

Main details are:

The church is "San Nicolò di Bari" in Aiello, district of Paola, diocese of Tropea, Calabria.
The girl is Anna Maria, daughter to Geniale Bifano and Cecilia Pagliaro daughter to Gaetano Pagliaro. Born on October 30, 1785 baptized on 31st.
Godfather was Giuseppe Cuglietta (?).

There are various names of priests but as I said it's better to wait for Luca.


#3: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: LucaLocation: Terni - Italy PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:30 pm
This is the translation (then, tell me what is still unclear):

Fassi (= si fa, faccio) da me qui sotto Parroco di San Nicolò di Bari di questa Comu-
ne di Ajello, distretto di Paola, diocesi di Tropea, Calabria
Citra. Faccio presente a chi [di competenza], con animo [?], come avendo dili-
genziato (=controllato) il libro ove stanno annotati i battezzati alla mia cura
segnati tra le altre particole ho ritrovato la sottoscritta, cioè:
Anna Maria figlia di Geniale(?) Bifano, e Cecilia Pagliaro
- figlia di Gaetano Pagliaro - coniugi, nata a (=il) trenta
ottobre millesettocentoottantacinque (=1785), battezzata a trentuno detto [mese]
da me qui sotto Parroco de licentia (= con mia licenza/permesso), dal sacerdote Don Giulio Ros-
si. Il padrino fu Giuseppe Cugletta, ed a fede, io Luigi Parroco
Vocaturo haec ibi. In onore della verità ne ho formato
la presente, sottoscritta di mia mano, e roborata (= dotata) del mio solito parrocchiale
suggello, ed a fede. Ajello lì 5 settembre 1813
Romoaldo Parroco Pucci

#4: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:42 pm

Thanks for your help.

According to my great grandfather Francesco Epifano's birth act from San Mango d'Aquino, he was the son of Domenico Epifano and Domenica Marasco. In checking the LDS microfilms, Elizabeth found a couple of interesting documents.

The one is the record I posted above which she believes was part of the documentation necessary for a marriage. Another record she found was a marriage document for a Domenico Epifano; it was his second marriage, and his year of birth was about 1785 in San Mango. His parents on the marriage document are listed as Geniale Epifano and Cecilia Pagliaro.

Although I cannot prove it, I believe that any documents in San Mango which have the surnames Bifano and Epifano are for the same family. Elizabeth is looking for Domenico Epifano and Domenica Marasco's marriage documents to determine Domenico's parents' names. If the marriage document for them shows Domenico's parents as Geniale and Cecilia Pagliaro, that would mean that he and Anna Maria in the above are siblings and that my ancestors might have lived in Aiello Calabro before relocating to San Mango since that's where Anna Maria was baptized.

In checking on the internet I found the following site on Aiello Calabro which mentions a San Nicola church.

"Ai primi anni del 1700 Ajello conta 3 parrocchie ( la Matrice, S. Nicola e S. Giuliano)..."

And an earthquake which occured in 1783.
"Sotto i Cybo il castello subisce grossi danni in seguito al terremoto del 1783 in cui perde la vita lo stesso castellano Giuseppe Parise."
Did the earthquake cause some of the Aiello residents to leave to neighboring towns because of the damage?

I'm trying to connect the dots but without documentation I just might be chasing my tail. One thing that bothers me is that on the Cosenza archives site there are no records thus far posted for the Epifano surname in Aiello Calabro but a bunch with the Bifano surname. However, if the Epifano's left prior to 1800 that might be why there are no records. Interestingly, the patron saint of Aiello is San Geniale and my cousin who lives in San Mango, Giovanna Epifano's father's name was Geniale.

The key to this mystery just might be Domenico and Domenica's marriage act but is it in the microfilms.


#5: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:53 pm
Biff I am so glad you're finally making headway with your research. Billie rocks, doesn't she? I am so far behind in my research and like Cathy, I just found out the my FHC will only be open one evening a week now - and it's on the one night that my husband has things to do! I think I will be done with the FHC until at least October. Not the best news I got tonight...

#6: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: uantitiLocation: Biella (Piedmont) and Venezia/Venice, Italy PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:40 am
when I gave you the translation I checked on Aiello's site to see if there was a church called S. Nicolò di Bari as I wanted to be sure of what I was writing. But I couldn't find any, the church has another name. So I assumed they just renamed it for some unknown reasons. I also could see that the Patron is San Geniale. Now I went through the site again and read about the earthquakes. Yes, one occurred in 1813 but others occurred years later. I guess the chuch had serious damages and may be they rebuilt it in another place and with another name. People probably moved to a safer town and San Mango is not very far.
The surname Bifano could easily be a variation of Epifano and vice-versa according to the way people pronounced it and because of dialect. Of course this is just my opinion but I saw many surnames changing according to the way officers and priest wrote them. But I'm sure you already know this. Hope you'll find soon a document proving it.

I tried to find something more on S. Nicolò on Google Books but I couln't find anything.


#7: Re: Baptism Document Translation Author: Biff83Location: Florida PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:17 pm

Thanks for all your help. Like you, I believe that Bifano is a variation of Epifano. From what I understand, in the local dialect (Cosentino?), the "E" was often clipped short and "P" sounded very like "B". That's how my grandfather's name was changed. When he began working on the railroad, the clerk entered his surname as Bifano on the roster. Likewise, his cousin Vincenzo's surname became Bifano and his cousin Luigi's surname became Befano.


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