Friday, August 19, 2011

Another mystery solved?

My grandfather (Michael Barresi) had a brother named Agrippino and Agrippino went by the name of Conrad. I remember my grandfather talking about his brothers Sal, Angelo and Conrad smoking cigars, playing cards and drinking wine, but that's all I knew. I remember it was a cool moment when I found Conrad's birth name. But Conrad always seemed out of place for an Italian kid in Boston and Revere, MA. How did he get that name? Now I think I finally know.

My great grandmother Caterina Nolfo's father was Corrado Nolfo (maybe Corado.) Therefore, Corrado Nolfo would have been Agrippino's grandfather. I have a feeling this was Agrippino's middle name, Agrippino Corrado Barresi. In the 1920 US Census, Agrippino is listed as Corrado!  By the time he was 2 or 3, his family was already calling him something other than Agrippino, something less ethnic. Corrado is still Italian sounding, but nothing like Agrippino (fyi, Agrippina is the town saint for Mineo, Catania, Sicily, where my family was from.) I can imagine a 15 year old Corrado Barresi, in 1926 wanting to sound even less Italian and started going by Conrad. Perhaps his parents began the Anglicization of Corrado to Conrad, but either way, it's an easy progression. A lot easier than Agrippino to Conrad.

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