Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - O is for .....

O is for...... .Orlando

In 2002 I registered the surname of Orlando with the Guild of One Name Studies. A name which has great presence in Italy as one would expect. The most occurrences of the name outside Italy is in the United States, some occurrences in the United Kingdom, and then across the globe. Australia is no exception.

At the start of the study it was important to have a general understanding of the geography of Europe and where European borders changed. An example of this is the population of Italy in the area that lies adjacent to Switzerland in fact became Swiss. This behaviour is not uncommon and the same happened in parts of Germany and Poland. 

Furthermore, Italians have been known to walk across Italy into neighbouring countries. Some remained in those neighbouring countries such as France, others travelled onwards to board boats to England, others boarded boats in Italy and sailed to the United Kingdom or to the United States. Some travelled as far as their legs and money would take them. Then they made a choice of whether to work to save for their initial plans or remain where they were. Post the Second World War, there was a real influx of migration from parts of Europe; especially Germany, Poland and Italy. 

One of the things that really stands out, as I research an Italian name is how the nationality is recorded. An example of this is from the National Archives of Australia. It reveals an individual who sought refuge in Australia with the surname Orlando. His nationality is recorded as Swedish. 

The links that Australia has had with the United Kingdom, meant that as the United Kingdom entered into War with Germany and her allies in the Second World War, there would be repercussions of how immigrants were viewed. Therefore we had people who had left Italy, Germany and alike prior to the war, being interned. The same happened in the United Kingdom and of course the same happened in Germany. Some choose to amend their name, so a Giuseppe Orlando, might become Joseph or Jo Orlando. Tweaks to surnames happened too and therefore Giuseppe Orlando becomes an Joseph or Jo Orland. 

For those reasons it is important to have an understanding of the history and geography of Europe as this might explain the sudden disappears of an individual and the emergence of someone apparently new.

The link for the A-Z Challenge 2011 post is HERE

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