Maternal Grandmother, Rose Lima. Circa 1940. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rose Lima (September 14,1898 Termini Immerse, Sicily, Italy – October 17, 1982 Toronto, Ontario, Canada) was my late maternal grandmother. Her family including my late mother, Dorothy Lima Perry believed that her maiden surname was “Mandia.” According to several documents, however, her surname was indicated as Mandia, Lamantia and Mantia. Hence, what was the correct version?

In order to solve the dilemma, I studied resource books such as Discovering Your Italian Ancestors by Lynn Nelson and Italian Genealogical Records by Trafford R. Cole. I conducted genealogical research that included searching for records on, and I also scoured family memorabilia and dialogued with others investigating our ancestral history.

As a result, I confirmed that the correct surname was “Mantia.” When Rose’s father, Antonino emigrated to Canada from Sicily in 1899, his surname was recorded as “Mantia” on the Ellis Island passenger manifest.

For an unbeknownst reason, it was changed to “Mandia” after he’d settled in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I have posted a few of the documents that verify “Mantia” was the correct surname.

Estratto dai registry degli atti di nascita. This birth record from the L’Ufficiale dello Stato Civile, Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy states that Antonino Mantia was born on May 4, 1873. His parents were Cosimo Mantia and Rosa Lo Presti. (Atto #270)

Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa, Ontario. Per lines 27 to 39, the enumerator recorded the family’s surname as “Mandia” on June 13/14, 1921.

Certificato di Matrimonio. This document from the L’Ufficiale dello Stato Civile, Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy confirms the marriage of Antonino Mantia, aged twenty-four and Giuseppa Bova, aged twenty on January 31, 1898.

Ontario, Canada Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1967. According to this burial record and the entry made on March 24, 1951, Antonino Mandia died, aged seventy-eight and on March 26, 1951, he was buried in Notre Dame Cemetery, Carleton, Ottawa, Ontario. (Page 82)

Ontario-Canada Record of Births, 1832-1915 for Antonino Mandia Jr. This document registers the May 12, 1906 birth of Antonino Mandia in Carleton County, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on May 28, 1906. His parents were Antonino Mandia and Giuseppa Bova. (#014748)

In conclusion, a family member contacted the Civil Archives in Termini Imerese, Sicily with respect to this issue. He was assured that the correct surname was “Mantia” and that it must have been anglicized to “Mandia” after Antonino Mantia settled in Canada. Though the family remains perplexed as to the surname “Lamantia” in Giuseppina Lima’s April 27, 1921 Certificate of Baptism, we are hopeful that we may someday solve its mystery, too.