Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Greeks Included - Tampa - Italian midwife's records



"A genealogy treasure trove:  Translating an Italian midwife's records gives birth to history in Tampa" is the title of an article printed in the St Petersburg Times on August 1, 2010.  




"Angelo Lorenzo spread out 62 small notebooks, rubber-banded in packs, untouched for decades, freshly unearthed from a clothes closet. • Lorenzo wore white cotton gloves. He flipped the brittle pages with a letter opener. Each one recorded a birth in Tampa. Page one was Maria Ficarotta, born May 10, 1907. • He translated the page — handwritten in Sicilian a century ago by a Tampa midwife. The baby's parents were Antonio and Guiseppina, the midwife wrote in pencil. She was 23, he was 25. They lived on Main Street in West Tampa. • The translator had another 6,733 births to go.
The prolific midwife had birthed up to six babies a day from 1907 to 1939. On each page, she documented who the parents were, where they came from, how many other children they had, where they lived and how they earned their living.
..........Her notebooks told Lorenzo something about each mother she assisted. One had 18 babies. Only nine lived. She helped mothers who were Spanish, Italian, German, Albanian and Greek."



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