The Legacy of Foundlings in Emilia-Romagna (Italy)

Luciano Nicolini, Stanislao Mazzoni, Federica Tagliavini, Matteo Manfredini


Between 1820 and 1929, in Iggio and in Tiola, rural parishes not too distant from the respective chief towns, a large number of marriages occurred between natives and former foundlings. The study of the distribution of surnames within the provinces of Emilia-Romagna (Italy) leads one to believe that the phenomenon was quite widespread in this area. This observation does not wish to call into question what is known about the extinction of families from the towns, their continual replacement by people who immigrated from the surrounding countryside and the resulting gene flow; however, it supplies evidence of how, in many cases, this was accompanied by a gene flow, limited but not negligible, in the opposite direction. The gene flow from immigration occurring over the last hundred years would seem to be on a completely different scale, with a notable impact on the genetic structure of the populations studied.




marriage; endogamy; foundlings; surnames; immigration

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