My paternal grandparents arrived in America on December 6, 1920. After living in different Midwestern cities, they would surprisingly settle in rural southeastern Ohio. Given that area is considered as Appalachian, it is surprising how the letters A, I, and O played a prominent role in my youth. While the closest association most people have is through pizza, spaghetti, and jello (which isn’t Italian) – mine is a bit different.
A – Adrianna, Angela, Elisa, Gemma, Gilda, Gina, Nella, Olga, and Zita.
I – Angelleti, Barsotti, Bastiani, Casci, DiPiero, Girolami, Lippi, Marchi, Marzetti, Menchini, Periotti, and Rocci.
O – Basilio, Bruno, Franco, Gino, Guido, Livio, Remo, and Renzo. Of course, others had already morphed into society as Bob, Leroy, Ned, Oscar, and Paul.
My family tree follows a similar pattern.
A – Guiletta, Maria, Neva, Nina, Rosa, Rosanna, Rosetta, Verdiana, Vidia, Vivianna, and Vivitta.
I – Andreucci, Barsi, Cecchi, Giacchini, Landi, Lucchesi, Mariani, and Pini.
O- Alvaro, Domenico, Ersilio, Enno, Francisco, Mario, Olvido, Rafaello, Rigolleto, and Turiddo.
Meanwhile, my most of my cousins and I have American names ending in consonants, and married non-Italians with consonant-ending names. Meanwhile, A, I, and O continue to live on through my maternal first cousins still living on the Mediterranean boot.