Uncle Dave's book

Friday, February 6, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #6: Bartolomeo Stefani

     The Council of Trent meeting in the city of Trento (Trent) passed a resolution in 1560 A.D. that each parish church should keep a record of baptisms, this was so decreed by the Pope in 1595. So most Catholic Churches started keeping registers after 1595.  The Church in Sporminore, being near Trento, started keeping theirs right away.  In researching the Sporminore Church records on microfilm I traced my Great Grandfather Francesco Stefani's male line back eleven generations to Bartolomeo Stefani, father of Floriana and Giovanni Stefani whose birth records I found.  Floriana's record in 1563 and Giovanni's in 1565. Their mother is given as Zoanna (Giovanna).  This is all I know about Bartolomeo. I was amazed to find the records and to find eleven straight male generations in this family  in this same town.  The book, "Sulle Sponde dello Sporeggio" (On the banks of the Sporeggio) in the Chapter on Sporminore notes that Stefani is one of the oldest families in Sporminore ("una delle famiglia piu antiche di Sporminore"). It certainly seems so.

     Sporminore is in a valley in Trentino known as the "Val di Non".  The Non refers to a Celtic tribe that lived in this valley and is called "Anauni" by the Romans. The Romans occupied Trent and traded with the Anauni.  To this day the people refer to themselves as Anauni or, in Italian, as "Nonese".  So as far as I can see the people living there today are descendants of the Celtic Anauni. And it seems likely that the Stefani family, there in 1563 and with no indication they came from elsewhere, are as well.

     This leads me to red hair.  The Celts are known for having red hair, most notably in Ireland.  My mother's twin brother had a son born with bright red hair.  My grandmother, Edith Stefani daughter of Frank, said that she had had a brother with bright red hair but he died young.  When my sister and I were in Sporminore in May 2016, we met a young boy of the Stefani  family with bright red hair. These Stefanis are our distant cousins but they also descend from Bartolomeo of 1565. My conclusion? We are Celts from the Tyrol!
Baptismal record of Floriana Stefani, 1563
Baptismal record of Giovanni Stefani, 1565

1 comment:

  1. Yes, your discoveries are pretty amazing on multiple counts--to find a line of descent in Sporminore going back to the mid-1500s; that the area had been settled by Celtic tribes; and the red hair connection! Hooray for Bartolomeo!