Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Monday, November 18, 2002

Things have been quiet on this blog for the past few months, but I've been feverishly working away on a big project, abstracting the Catasto Onciario for San Potito, which was submitted to the King on 6 June 1754. The Catasto is basically a census of the village, but is also a delineation of the assets of each family, so the royal government knew how much tax to extract from them. The Catasto is divided into three parts. The first is an index by first name in reference to the second section, and I transcribed that entirely. The second, which forms the bulk of the document, is a detailed family-by-family inventory of assets and taxes. Each family's entry starts out by listing everyone in the household, with the relationship of each person to the head of household spelled out, something of clear genealogical value. That is the portion of the second section I abstracted. The rest of that section spelling out assets is going to have to wait. The third section is a list by first name of the head of household showing how much each household owned, and I transcribed that section in full as well. I've tried to submit the resulting database to Rootsweb's user-contributed databases, but the fields defined by the data don't match very well to the fields they've defined for Italian censuses. I don't think anyone ever contributed a Catasto Onciario from the 1750s to their databases. I'm still waiting to hear back from them about how I can submit it. In the meantime, I'll probably eventually post a searchable database of the information here on my own web site. I haven't started working on that yet.

The Catasto was submitted in 1754, but by cross checking against baptismal records, it appears that it was actually compiled over a few years, with some entries reflecting the state of a family as early as 1751.

I've been digging through the information I've abstracted, and I've been able to answer some questions and push some lines back another generation, sometimes in conjunction with the baptism records I have thanks to my friends the Sennellos. I'll be making a number of postings about that in the coming days. Here are a couple.

The Catasto did nothing to clear up whether the Michelangelo Masuccio who is my 7G grandfather with his wife Teresa Fattore is the same person as the Michelangelo Masuccio who is my 6G grandfather with his wife Anna Maria Paterno. In 1754, Michelangelo Masuccio was living with his wife Teresa Fattore. Their daughter Maria, my 6G grandmother, was ten years old at the time of the Catasto. Her baptismal record puts her birthdate as 26 Apr 1741, so the Catasto listing for this family appears to have been compiled in about 1751. Michelangelo was 40 years old, which would place his birthdate as about 1711, and is listed as being from Castello, a frazione of nearby Piedimonte d'Alife. Teresa is listed as being 38, which would place her birthdate at about 1713. But since the ages in the Catasto are supposedly approximate, these dates are flexible. There is a Teresa Fattore in the baptismal records born in 1718, but without further proof, it's hard to know if that's the right one. I kind of need to see a marriage record for Michelangelo and Teresa that lists their parents. That would prove if the Teresa born in 1718 is the one who married Michelangelo, and would also prove if this Michelangelo is also Anna Maria Paterno's Michelangelo, because thanks to the baptismal record of Judicta Masuccio, Michelangelo and Anna Maria's daughter born in 1779, I know that Anna Maria's Michelangelo's parents are Ambrogio Masuccio and Violante di Lello. If the marriage record with Teresa Fattore showed the same parents, then I would have proof for what I strongly suspect, that they're the same person.

In addition to Michelangelo and Teresa and their daughter Maria, the Catasto also lists three sons: Ambrosio, age 5; Pasquale, age 2; and Giuseppe, age 1. Ambrosio was born in late 1745 (baptised Francesco Ambrosio), and Pasquale was born in 1749, which points toward this entry being compiled in 1751. Giuseppe, on the other hand, was born 1 May 1752, so he may have been added later.

Because Michelangelo was officially from another village, he wasn't liable for any tax in San Potito.

The listing for the family of Gennaro di Matteo, my 7G grandfather, contained a very interesting piece of information. Gennaro was originally from San Lorenzello, near Cerreta, about ten or fifteen miles from San Potito. That's a village where Laura has ancestors, too. I haven't pushed her Faicchio/San Lorenzello lines back at all yet, but it's entirely possible that when I do, we may wind up being distant cousins. Of course, it's entirely possible that we won't be, too. This entry appears to have been compiled in 1751 as well, based on the age of son Domenico, given as four years old. Domenico was born in 1747. Gennaro is listed as 35 years old. That would place his birthdate around 1716. His wife, Cecilia Lombardo, is listed as 40 years old, which would place her birthdate around 1711. There is a Cecilia Lombardo, born to Salvatore Lombardo and Vittoria Martino and baptized on 27 Sep 1712, who might be her, but I would need more proof, like a marriage or death record showing that the Cecilia Lombardo married to Gennaro Matteo had those parents.

There are also three children listed. Son Giovanni, my 6G grandfather, was 8 years old. The previously mentioned Domenico was four. And daughter Lucia was ten.

Gennaro was another one of those people from elsewhere, and was also subject to no tax in San Potito.

It's getting late, so I'll continue this later this week.

Catasto Onciario records

Baptismal Records

Posted at 12:07:15 AM