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Kinship networks and urban mobility. Which sources and what methods? (Ferrara 1800-1930)

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Kinship networks and urban mobility. Which sources and what methods? (Ferrara 1800-1930)

Michele Nani, CNR-ISSM. Presentation at the Meeting:

"La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”
Bologna, 24-26 ottobre 2018
ABSTRACT: Le relazioni di parentela sono al centro dello studio storico e sociale della mobilità residenziale. In Italia le fonti urbane sono di vario tipo, anche se non sempre conservate o accessibili. Quelle quantitative possono essere "spremute" per ricavare traiettorie connesse, anche se restano problemi: parentela teorica e attiva; trappola del cognome (false parentele da mera omonimia); iper-mobilità. Si richiederebbero vasti database, ma individualmente è più semplice ridurre la scala e tentare affondi qualitativi. Si presentano casi di mobilità-attraverso-parentela dei residenti di Palazzo Costabili (Ferrara 1812-1921), una dimora aristocratica rinascimentale convertita in condominio popolare fra Otto e Novecento.

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Kinship networks and urban mobility. Which sources and what methods? (Ferrara 1800-1930)

  1. 1. Kinship networks and urban mobility Which sources and what methods? Michele Nani michele.nani@issm.cnr.it This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License Ferrara 1800-1930 La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali (Bologna, 24-26 ottobre 2018)
  2. 2. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Social sciences, residential mobility and kinship relationships: yesterday and today
  3. 3. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Historical migration and family ties
  4. 4. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Sources for urban (inner) mobility 1. Migration register: flows of in- and out- migration (County level) 2. Internal mobility register: required by law, but not kept or preserved 3. Population register: movements not always dated 4. Family sheet: only for 20th century, access often forbidden
  5. 5. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 How to connect to kinship networks? absence or scarcity of qualitative sources (i.e. letters; i.e. police files): squeezing the quantitative “theoretical territory”: places of birth and past residences of members (Rosental)... ...but the network isn’t always “effective” (“on paper” relationship: Bourdieu)
  6. 6. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Operationalizing and its troubles Homonymy: surname is not a good guide Total reconstruction: following hundreds of individuals for decades in a modern european city (pop. 10/100.000) requires a life… (or a large team) Extra-problem: past hyper-mobility and circulation between the town and the countryside Places of residence of Luigi Lombardi (1861 to 1901)
  7. 7. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Better go micro! Palazzo Costabili (from 1932: Museo archeologico nazionale) Reducing the scale and trying qualitative research on all possible sources Demographic ones: Ruoli di popolazione: 1812, 1835, 1860 Censimenti: 1861, 1871, 1881, 1901, 1911, 1921 Registro di popolazione: 1861-1902 (still working for access to Anagrafe: 1900-1960) More than 1100 individual records (before linking)
  8. 8. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Surnames as a trap Even at the small scale of a tenement, the same surname is not a reliable marker of kinship Population of Palazzo Costabili (1853-1931) households persons members (avg.) 1853 15 50 3,3 1861 9 42 4,7 1871 16 56 3,5 1881 17 62 3,6 1901 35 168 4,8 1911 58 304 5,2 1921 54 262 4,9 1922 29 1927 22
  9. 9. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 An apartment near my sister’s one After her mother’s death (1837), the weaver Orsola Brenta (Ferrara 1803ca) arrived to Palazzo Costabili, in the apartement of the spinner Ottavia Fedeli (Ferrara 1791ca), who had lost her brother and her sister in law in the previous years. Later, before 1847, Orsola’s sister Teresa (Ferrara, 1798ca) joined the tenement, whit her husband, the servant Luigi Scabbia (Denore 1795ca, coming from the countryside in 1820s), and their sons (all working in tailoring). They were still there in 1853, but before 1860 both moved
  10. 10. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Another apartment near the sister’s one Since 1841 the palace gardener had been Luigi Ferrari. His wife was Luigia Pocaterra, coming in her teens from one of the southern suburbs of Ferrara, just outside the city walls (Borgo San Giorgio, 1806ca). Before 1847 her sister, the seamstress Clelia (or Cleria, born 1809ca) moved to the tenement. She was alone, even if she was married with Andrea Covelli: the sources reported they were “separated”. At 1853 Census they were still there, but Clelia lived with a painter. Clelia moved before 1860, while Luigia remained in Palazzo Costabili until her husband’s death (1882).
  11. 11. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Going temporary with parents, then besides them The oldest Luigi and Luigia’s daughter, Maria Ferrari (Ferrara 1832), got married with a clerk, but in 1860 she was registered as living in her parents’ household, with a 5 years old daughter Etelvige. It was a temporary thing: in the Population register (1861) Maria lives with her husband and daughter in the neighbouring via Formignana. But in 1867 they moved to Palazzo Costabili, near Maria’s parents, where they stayed until 1871
  12. 12. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 A place for the servant’s kin In 1841 the large family of Buonafede Felloni (a porter from Codrea, almost 40 years old, arrived in Ferrara years before) lived in Palazzo Costabili: one of his daughters, Carlotta (born in Ospitale Monacale 1820ca) had left the household, in order to work as handmaiden for Bertoni family, the owners of an half of the tenement. Carlotta came back to her family, but the relationship with the owners probably facilitated also the housing of one of her sisters: in 1853 Rosa (Ospitale M. or Codrea 1827ca) lived in the tenement with her husband (a cabinetmaker); a step-brother lived there, too.
  13. 13. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 A place for the servant’s kin, again In 1881 Domenico Incerti (a foundling, coming from Reggio Emilia, born in 1823) was registered in Palazzo Costabili with his family (he married a woman from Argenta, in the province). He had been working and living since many years as servant in the house of Marco Beltrame, the new owner of the tenement, who resided in the same road (corso della Ghiara). Apart the one for his family, Domenico got also an apartment in the tenement for the family of his son Francesco, a waged tailor born in Ferrara, who was then 24 years old.
  14. 14. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Filling the tenement with relatives In 1911 Census the cases of housing through kinship multiplied: a labourer and the family of his nephew, a waged bricklayer; a nurse of the nearby madhouse and his son, a shoemaker; a widow, with children, and the family of her brother-in-law; a shoemaker and his son, a baker; the spouse of the latter and her sister, who married a small trader; the large family of a bricklayer and his sister, a peddler married to a baker. They were often in-migrants to town. Maybe it was the best or at least the easier way to implement the new owner’s choice: filling the tenement to get a bigger amount of rents. The population of Palazzo Costabili almost doubled from 1901 to 1911, reaching the peak of over 300 dwellers.
  15. 15. Michele Nani Kinship networks and urban mobility “La famiglia tra mutamenti demografici e sociali”, Bologna, 24-26 Oct. 2018 Thank you for your attention!

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