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Thread: Quick question about Italian Surnames - for my Italian Rage buddies who can help.

  1. #1

    Quick question about Italian Surnames - for my Italian Rage buddies who can help.

    Kind of an odd question, but I have a request from a cousin to search for her family lineage that runs from Italy. This is my first foray into Italian history...

    Now with a portion of my own family history to use as an example... I have German ancestry and my immigrant relatives came here in 1881. When they came to the US, their surname spelling was changed from Schauster to Schouster.

    The name we are actually looking at is Strigaro. I was just wondering would the Italian original surname spelling might be. Here in the US, the name is spelled Strigaro, do you know if this spelling would have been different like the one I mentioned above. Her grandfather came here in 1907 from Southern Italy through the port at Naples to Ellis Island. Do you think they would have changed the spelling at all?

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I'm no Italian, but Ellis Island was notorious for writing names phonetically for those who could not write, and maybe some who could. So spelling was dependent largely upon which agent was making the entry into the books how they transcribed the sounds they heard from the immigrants. There was no fixed way as a result and certainly some guess work involved. . . or so I was lead to believe.

    But I would be curious as well. Why not go online to look at some phone directories from Italy.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
    I've been searching my regular haunts... fairly hard since Saturday. So far it seems as though I'm still looking for the same spelling. (possibly Strigario / Strigari which is based off search results on lemme tell ya, that engine comes up with some wacky results based on what I enter. )

    Ellis is definitely notorious for changing up spellings, several of my family names were changed over. In fact, I've seen the changes so often that it seems weird to me that this name has had (so far) no changes. This is why I've come out here to get the opinion of those who live in the country. I have no experience with Italy at all, but it is a different story if you were to ask me about Germany. I can go into great detail about Germany... but this man in particular hails from Cantanzaro, Italy. A new challenge, certainly good for practice for sure.

    I will see what else I can dig into tomorrow.

    Thanks for the suggestion and peeking.
    Last edited by MJSparks; 06-04-2013 at 06:14 PM.

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