Anthony Vermandois has researched the families of Agropoli and other towns in the Campania region. His website, Imagines Maiorum presents the vital statistics for these families through the charts of descent he has created. For this week’s posting we have used the chart for the Scotti family.
Links to the online dictionaries used to translate words from Italian to English are provided in the Resources section at the end of this posting.
We have completed (for now) our study of the Serrapede family in Agropoli. With this posting we start getting to know our ancestors along the Scotti bloodline. Since there is always the possibility of new discoveries in the family research we may return to the Serrapede family in the future.
Pedigree chart for Sammy (Sabbatino) Serrapede.
Aniello Scotti was:
Sammy’s 3rd Great Grandfather along his maternal line.
EmilyAnn’s 4th Great Grandfather through her maternal Grandmother Josie Muro Serrapede.
Aniello Scotti, Possidente
Aniello Scotti was born before 1785. Anthony lists his occupation as “Possidente”. This translates as “Landowner”. His wife was Anna Maria Baldi. Anthony has researched the Baldi family in Agropoli but Anna Maria and her parents are not included in the findings.
No record of when Aniello married Anna Maria has been located. Any information we have must have come from the records of birth of their children.
The children of Aniello and Anna Maria were:
Giuseppe Scotti was born in 1802
Francesco Scotti was born in 1807
There remains a question of whether or not there were other children and if they died at an early age. We are descended from Francesco.
What did it mean to be a Possidente?
There are many fishermen and farm laborers in our Serrapede and Muro family lines but this is the first time we’ve come across a landowner. We looked up the meaning of the word to get a better idea of the scope of meaning in Italian.
At the website The Italian Dictionaries possidente is translated as:
- big landlowner
- landlord (noun)
- landowner (noun)
- owner (noun)
- property owner (noun)
- Latifonista Agrario-landdowner or landlord.
- Proprietarios-holder, owner, tenant, landlord/landlady, proprietor/proprietress, homeowner.
- Possessore-holder, owner, possessor.
Wiktionary defined latifondista as “landowner (of a large agricultural estate).
The Italian-English Family History Glossary provided us with other clues we could consider about the scope of a Possidente’s role and holdings:
- Possidente-One who has possessions, expecially houses, farms. Landowner.
Passing on the Land Holdings
Giuseppe and Francesco, like their father, are recorded as being Possidente. The land holdings or buildings or farmland continued in the family and obviously there was enough of it for both brothers to have a share in.
Ownership of property can continue along a family line when there is political and economic stability. There must also be good management by the family, too. We did a brief review of the historical period during which the Scotti family were possidente to see if there was any instability during this time period that would have resulted in a change of fortune.
Italy between 1820-1835, the years Aniello’s sons came of age and married
When Aniello and Anna Maria were born, sometime in the late 18th century, Italy was beginning to rebel against foreign rulership. The country had been under foreign rule for centuries. These events had an effect on the growing sentiment for a unification of Italy into one country:
- In the mid-16th century Spain ruled the kingdoms of Sicily Naples and the duchy of Milan.
- In 1748, Naples and Sicily, along with other duchies passed to the branch families of the Spanish Bourbons.
- The Spaniards increased taxation during the time of their rule.
- There was an increase in crime as the population grew and the amount of land to farm decreased.
- The French Revolution inspired Italians who longed for a united nation of their own.
- Napoleon’s victory in the Italian campaign of 1796-97 was welcomed by the Italians at first. But it soon degenerated into another form of rulership by foreigners as Napoleon appointed relatives to rule over a divided Italy. In 1808, Napoleon’s brother-in-law Joachim Murat was made King of Naples.
- An underground of Italian patriots began to form, all with the common goal of Italian unification. One such secret group was the Carbonari.
- Rulership and influence from foreign powers continued throughout the period 1814-1849. Naples and Sicily were united in 1816 as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Despite foreign ruler’s attempts to hold onto power, Italian unification remained a strong desire among the nationalists and a force to be contended with.
Discussion with Uncle Sammy, Saturday Feruary 21, 2015, 2:30 – 3 p.m.
As landowners or landlords how much of the drive towards unification affected the business and business making decisions of the Scotti family is unknown. We discussed some possible scenarios of what might have led to the family no longer being possidente by the mid-19th century. Our discussion is detailed in the next posting where we review the lives of Aniello’s sons, Giuseppe and Francesco.
LinkedIn Italian Genealogy Forum
Meaning of the word Possidente
Note: You do not have to be a LinkedIn member to view the discussion.
The Italian Dictionaries
Italian-English family history glossary
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/latifondista defines Latifondista
History of Italy
We used this source for the summary of events 1820-1835