Giuseppe Coppola (Mancino)

Found: 1 February 1827 ~Aci Santi Antonio e Filippo, Catania, Sicilia
Married Agata Barbagallo: 15 February, 1851 ~Aci Sant'Antonio, Catania, Sicilia
Died: 8 May 1870 ~Aci Sant'Antonio, Catania, Sicilia

Meaning of Coppola [KOHP-poh-luh]: 'hat, cap'

This is the 'birth' record of an abandoned child, found on the doorstep of a church in  in the town of Aci Santi Antonio e Filippo, Catania on 1 February 1827 by a day laborer, Andrea Bacarrone.  The foundling was registered in the nearby town of Aci Catena and given the name Giuseppe and the surname Coppola. 

A complete translation is being prepared.  The record was found with the help of two researchers in the facebook group Sicilian and Aeolian Islands Genealogy, Frank Santoro and Kevin Brogle.

Registri Stato Civile Aci Catena, 1827 Esposti Birth Record 2, Giuseppe Coppola


Below is Giuseppe's promise to marry Agata Barbagallo.  The left portion of the record is translated below, giving details of the betrotheds' births and parents.

to celebrate matrimony

[p. 1] Number 4
Year 18 fifty-one, day thirteen of the month of February at hour tewnty-three, before Us, Rosario Cristaldi Second Councilman and official of the Civil Record of the town of Sant'Antonio district of
Aci Reale, Province of Catania, have appeared in the Town Hall: Giuseppe Coppola age twenty-four, born in Aci Santi Antonio e Filippo, district of Aci Reale, Province of Catania, occupation stonemason, living in this town, son of unknown parents, age ______ occupation ______ living ____, and of ________ age _______, living ____; and Agata Barbagallo, age twenty-one, born in Aci Bonaccorsi, living here, daughter of the late Giuseppe age ___, occupation ___ living ____, and daughter of Palma Corsaro age forty-eight, who lives here.
The couple,
in the presence of witnesses who will be mentioned below, and produced by them, have requested to receive their solemn pro-
[p. 2]
to celebrate prior to the Church ceremony, according to the format prescribed by the Sacred Council of Trent for the
marriage which they plan between them
with the consent of the said bride and groom and the mother of the bride and allowed by us
   The notice of this promise was affixed to the door of the town hall of this town on Sunday the nineteenth day of the month of January of the current year.
 We, in accordance with their request, after having read them all the consistent documents:
First, the birth record of the groom
Second, the birth record of the bride
Third, the death record of the father of the bride
Fourth, the death record of her grandfather
Fifth, the marriage banns made in the town of Aci Bonaccorsi, to which there have been no objections
Sixth, a copy of the banns posted in
 [p. 3] this Town, to which there have been no objections bride.
and having also read chapter six under the title of marriage of the civil laws regarding the respective rights and obligations of the spouses, we have received from each of the parties, one after the other, the declaration, that they solemnly promise to celebrate marriage before the Church in the format prescribed by the Holy Council of Trent.

Page 3 continues:   We made the record of all this in the presence of four witnesses attending the solemn promise of marriage:
Priest Don Giuseppe Balsamo,
age fifty-seven, occupation Landowner subject of the Realm of the Knigdom of Two Sicilies, living here;
Don Gaetano Finocchiaro,
age forty-three, occupation Landowner
[p. 4] Subject of the Realm, also living here;
Giuseppe Battista,
age thirty-nine, occupation stonemason Subject of the Realm, living here;
and Alfio la Zara
age forty, occupation barman subject of the realm, living here.
We have read this record, which is inscribed on the two registers, to the witnesses and the bride and groom, to whom we have also given two consistent copies signed by Us, to be presented to the parish priest, to whom the celebration of the marriage pertains, and then it is signed by us atogether with the witnesses Balsamo and Finocchiaro and not by the others because they don't know how to write.

[Signed] Priest Giuseppe Balsamo, witness
Gaetano Finocchiaro, Winess
[Signed] for the Mayor due to his inability,
the Second Councilman
Rosario Cristaldi

The right portion of the record is the "Indication of the Subsequent Celebration of Cononical Matrimony",  which shows that the church received the Promise and replied to the Town Offices that the marriage took place in the Parish of Sant'Antonio on the fifteenth of February, 1851.
So Giuseppe Coppola, parents unknown, was a foundling.  There follow some conflicting records regarding his name.
Here is a birth record for Venera Coppola, born on 13 November 1854, daughter of Giuseppe Coppola and Agata Barbagallo.
Here is an 1893 marriage record for Antonino Mancino, a stonemason, son of the late Giuseppe Mancino, and Agata Barbagallo.  Antonino has the same occupation as his late father, who in this record was referred to as Giuseppe Mancino, not Giuseppe Coppola.
Here is an 8 May 1870 death record for Giuseppe Mancino, a stonemason, son of the late Giroalamo Mancino, and the late Venera Guarrera, husband of Agata Barbagallo.  However, on the right is a margin note that states "By order of the Provincial Magistrate the record on the left is corrected in the portion that is written 'has died Giuseppe Mancino son oif the late Girolamo, and of the late Venera Guarriera' with the words, instead, 'has died Giuseppe Coppola, son of unknown parents'."

Registri Stato Civile di Aci Sant'Antonio e Filippo, 1870 Deaths, No. 51, Antenati image 15, Giuseppe Mancini

What does this mean?  Although a child was abandoned and given the concocted name "Giuseppe Coppola, parents unknown", at some point he became aware that his true parents were Girolamo Mancino and Venera Guarrera/Guarriera.  Probably, he actually was raised by them.  He even named his daughter Venera, after his mother Venera.  His son Antonino used the surname Mancino when he married.

However, even though Giuseppe knew his parents, and they probably were known to neighbors and town officers, his parents never filed an official "rettificazione" acknowledging that he was their child.  Nor, evidently,  did they ever marry or name him in their civil marriage record, which also would have legitimized him.  Therefore, his death record had to be corrected.  Officially, he was NOT the son of Girolamo and Venera, he was the abandoned child of unknown parents, a foundling.

So strong was this requirement that in addition to the margin note on the death record, it was also filed in a separate civil rettificazione AND in the court records of the Tribunale Civile (Civil Magistrate) of the Province of Catania.  Those records are also shown below.

Rettifica di Cognome e Genitori
(Correction of Surname and Parents)


Registri Stato Civile di Aci Sant'Antonio e Filippo, 1870 Deaths, Part II No. 1, Antenati image 370, Giuseppe Mancini


Sentenza dello Tribunale Civile di Catania
(Judgement of the Civil Magistrate of the Province of Catania)


Click HERE for more about foundlings.


The Lady of the Wheel is a fictional account of events in the life of one foundling. Click on the book's cover below for more about the book.





2 3 4


Site Index

Gaetano & Rosina




























Hit Counter