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Di Lella Family - 1 introduction (1)

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Since the beginning of our family’s recorded history in 1809, several major families from ...

Since the beginning of our family’s recorded history in 1809, several major families from
Apricena have formed our lineage: the DiLella’s, Barone’s, Merlino’s, Della Monica’s, Cardella’s,
Rinaldi’s and Santelli’s.
A survey of the birth, marriage and death records between 1809 and 1910 show that
the majority of the DiLella families in Foggia resided in Carpino, Itschitella and Apricena. In fact,
the DiLella name only appears in southern Italy in the region of Puglia which stretches along the
coast from Foggia to Lecce.
As were the DiLella families located in the area of Foggia, so were the Della Monica’s
and Barone’s. There were many families with these names located in Apricena, Carpino and
San Severo. With regards to the Cardella, Santelli and Rinaldi Families, their distribution
throughout Foggia had a similar pattern. Cardella’s and Santelli’s resided in Apricena and San
Severo, whereas the Rinaldi name is found more widespread throughout other communes in
Foggia such as Apricena, San Severo, Cerignola, Foggia, and Carapelle. Whether our ancestors
from Apricena are related to families located in these communes in Foggia is unknown.

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    Di Lella Family - 1 introduction (1) Di Lella Family - 1 introduction (1) Document Transcript

    • INTRODUCTIONSeveral resources were used to research our family history. The two primary resourceswere: The Western Europe Vital Records Index— Italian Region (1809-1866). Family HistorySupport, Family and Church History Department, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2000, and Italia, Foggia,Lucera, Stato, Civile (Tribunale), 1866-1910 Images, Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti.FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org. The histories of Italy and Toronto and Italianimmigration to Canada were compiled from resources on-line and Canadian governmentdocuments. And, much information was received from family oral history through interviewsand family conversations.There are no civil records for Apricena prior to 1809. Before this time, births,christenings, marriages and death records were kept by the Church. Currently, these registersare not available to the public either because some have been destroyed over the centuries,some may be incomplete and those that have been salvaged are in private care and haven’tbeen released.When Napoleon annexed large portions of Italy beginning in 1804, he initiated theprocess of keeping civil records which improved administration in many regions of Italy. Inother words, births, christenings, marriages and deaths were not only recorded at the church,but at the ‘commune’ (municipality) and the ‘tribunale’ (court house). Civil registration tookplace in most areas of the ‘Regno di Napoli’ comprising most of southern Italy from Napoli andCampania down to Calabria and Puglia. After Napoleon was defeated in 1815, southern Italy
    • continued with civil registration. Italian civil registration throughout all of Italy became officialas Italy began its unification in 1860 and was made law by 1870. (1)The Western Europe Vital Records Index, is a collection of the civil records for centraland southern Italy from 1809 to 1866. The records include birth, marriage and christeningrecords for ten provinces and twenty two communes. These records are shown in the form ofan abstract translated into English. Although the marriage records begin in 1809, the birth andchristening records begin in 1851 and end in 1865. Furthermore, there are no death records forApricena from 1809 to 1865. The missing birth records from 1809 to 1851 and missing deathrecords are not yet available to the public.The second source used, Italia, Foggia, Lucera, Stato, Civile (Tribunale), 1866-1910 Images, Nati, matrimoni, pubblicazione, morti, is a continuation of the civil recordsmentioned above. This is a collection of the birth, marriage and death registers of Apricenafrom 1866 to 1910. The registers were put on line in November of 2012 by the FamilySearchCentre, Salt Lake City, Utah. The information in the registers is handwritten in Italian using inkand quill pen and a calligraphy style of writing. In the mid 1870’s, the registers change to usinglithographic prints bound into books with blanks that are filled- in by a recorder. Some of theregisters are in better shape than others. For example, the birth register of 1868 is difficult toread because of the thickness of the writing and smudging of the ink. Furthermore, the birthregister of 1899 has a cover page and indices but, the pages in between were torn out.
    • Since the beginning of our family’s recorded history in 1809, several major families fromApricena have formed our lineage: the DiLella’s, Barone’s, Merlino’s, Della Monica’s, Cardella’s,Rinaldi’s and Santelli’s.A survey of the birth, marriage and death records between 1809 and 1910 show thatthe majority of the DiLella families in Foggia resided in Carpino, Itschitella and Apricena. In fact,the DiLella name only appears in southern Italy in the region of Puglia which stretches along thecoast from Foggia to Lecce.As were the DiLella families located in the area of Foggia, so were the Della Monica’sand Barone’s. There were many families with these names located in Apricena, Carpino andSan Severo. With regards to the Cardella, Santelli and Rinaldi Families, their distributionthroughout Foggia had a similar pattern. Cardella’s and Santelli’s resided in Apricena and SanSevero, whereas the Rinaldi name is found more widespread throughout other communes inFoggia such as Apricena, San Severo, Cerignola, Foggia, and Carapelle. Whether our ancestorsfrom Apricena are related to families located in these communes in Foggia is unknown.When doing genealogical research, tracing surnames over a long period of time is oftenchallenging. With regards to the names of Rinaldi, Santelli and Barone there was consistencywith the spelling of these names, whereas, with the names DiLella, Della Monica, and Cardellathere were other spellings used.With regards to the surname ‘DiLella’, there were five spellings used in the registers;DiLella, DiLellis, DiLello, Delellis and delellis. To insure they were one in the same name, cross
    • checking was used with the parents. For example, birth, marriage and death records showAnna Maria’s surname either spelled as DiLella, DiLellis, DiLello, DeLellis or delellis, but herparents were the same on all documents; Giovanni DiLella and Maria Guiesppa Barone.The name ‘Della Monica’ also has several spellings in the registers; Della Monaca, DellaMonica, La Monica and La Monaca. Again, to insure these forms were all related, crosschecking was used with the parents of Achille Della Monica; Felicia Polichetti and Raffaele DellaMonica.Lastly, the name Cardella was spelled Cardello and Cardelli as well as Cardella. Forexample, an Antonio Cardella born in 1852 and had a sister Maria Caterina. However, MariaCaterina’s marriage record shows the name Cardelli. They were both brother and sisterbecause they had the same parents.There are several reasons attributed to the many spellings of the names. Firstly, withregards to capitalization, there was no standard form of capitalization in the Italian languageuntil the early 1900’s. So, it was common to find surnames sometimes spelled with a capitalletter and sometimes the same name using small case letters as with the La Monica, or laMonaca and delellis. (2)Secondly, endings on Italian surnames as well as first names were interchanged with ‘i,e, a, and o’, such as Cardella and Cardelli. Sometimes this can be the mistake of the recorder atthat time or a document that may have been difficult to translate because of the handwriting orstate of the register. Therefore, an ‘o’ could be mistaken for an ‘a’ or an ‘i’ mistaken for an ‘e’.
    • Lastly, the name could have been changed purposely by the people who held it to distinguishthemselves from another person or family. (3)The surname DeLellis first appears in church records in 1550. Camillus DeLellis was bornin the commune of Bucchianico, in the province of Abruzzo in the Kingdom of Naples (latercenturies known as the Kingdom of the Two Sciliy’s). As a young man, he served as a soldier inthe Neopolitan army. He was a known gambler, losing large amounts of money. Unable to payhis debts, he had to work for the Capuchin friars where he did penance and converted. Hemoved to Rome and nursed the sick and dying at St. James Hospital. After being ordained hefounded a new order in 1586 upon permission from the Pope. The ‘servants of the sick’ as theywere known gave hospice care, and several order houses were opened throughout Italy andparts of Europe. In July of 1614, at the age of sixty five, Camillus died. In 1742, he was beatifiedand in 1746 canonized by Pope Benedict XIV as St. Camillus DeLellis, Confessor and patron saintof Italy for the sick, nurses, physicians and hospitals. (4)According to Vincenzo DiLellis, relative and retired professor of Greek history andcurrently residing outside of Rome, Camillus is related to our ancestry. (5) Furthermore,Vincenzo also claims that the surname DeLellis was the original and correct spelling andmistakes were made over the centuries by recorders and translators.Our surname spelled as DiLella first appears in Apricena’s civil records in 1809. Birth andmarriage records from 1850 to 1866 use the surname DeLellis as well as DiLella. The surnameDiLellis is first used in Anna Maria and Achille Della Monica’s marriage record of 1884. Thesurname DiLellis is also used in their death records. Furthermore, her grand children from her
    • sons Vincenzo and Raffaele use the name DiLellis. And, to this day our ancestors living in Italyfrom Vincenzo and Raffaele’s lineage use the name DiLellis. However, Anna Maria and Achille’sson’s Pasquale and Felice used the name DiLella. Felice’s descendants in Italy and Pasquale’sdescendants in Canada use the surname DiLella.In conclusion, whether St. Camillus DeLellis is a related ancestor and DeLellis is the truespelling our surname cannot be proven, but only speculated upon. It appears that the truespelling of the ‘DiLella’ name was lost through various mistakes in recording, translating,members of the family choosing the way in which they would like to spell the surname, andother reasons unknown. According to Vincenzo DiLellis , Vincenzo and Raffaele’s ancestorschose DiLellis because they believed it was the original name. However, Pasquale and Felicechose to use the surname DiLella and for reasons are unknown. Furthermore, the birth,marriage and death registers show that Anna Maria’s relations as well as her brother’sdescendants use the name DiLella. It is assumed that there was most likely a debate in thefamily as to the correct spelling of the name.Finally, one of the oldest and most wide spread expressions of paternity used in Italy ischaracterized by the preposition di or la or della. The forms of di, preposition meaning of, andla, preposition meaning ‘the’ and ‘della’, the preposition meaning ‘of the’, were commonly usedwith Italian surnames. It was a system used to determine the father and lineage of a person.For example, the name Lella, Lelli and Lellis refers to ‘little one’. This would distinguish anindividual as the son or daughter of, ‘the little one’. (6)
    • REFERENCES1. Italian Records Extraction: An Instrumental Guide. Copyright by Corporation of thePresident of the Church of the Latter Day Saints; on-line.2. Ibid.3. Ibid.4. www.olrl.org/lives/camillus.shtml5. Vincenzo DiLellis is Achille DiLellis and Natalina Rinaldi’s son, Raffaele DiLella’sgrandson and Raffaele is Achille Della Monica and Anna Maria DiLella’s eldest son.6. Single page document ‘Printed at the Herron House, St. Jacobs, Ontario