Racca surname help

+2 votes
Added: Just uploaded 3 photo documents on his profile. I need translated.

I am at a brick wall. It was said by a family member Jean Baptiste Racca was born in Italy. He married Marie Therese Fortunee Michelange in 1776. He left Italy and served in the French Royal Navy Corps as a musician.He died on April 30, 1787 in Brest, France.

  My question is why does he have a french "first" name, if he was born in Italy? Could he have change his name?. How would I find out if this said research is correct. The person that gave me this information was planning a trip to Italy and France, but died of an illness before he did


WikiTree profile: Joseph Racca
ago in Genealogy Help by Rhonda Racca G2G Crew (450 points)
edited ago by Rhonda Racca

His first name may have been something else, like Gianbattista. It was customary at the time to translate names, so naturally in France they would just write down his name as Jean Baptiste.

Similarly, in places where records were kept in Latin, the names were recorded in Latin even though the version people used in every day life was not Latin.

In 19th century Belgium (Brussels, for instance), you will see the same people with their name changing from French to Flemish and Flemish to French from one record to another, depending on which language the record was written.

Actually, in Spain for instance, they still translate foreign names. They call Elizabeth II Isabel, for instance. See her Wikipedia page.

Bottom line - his being called Jean Baptiste in France does not mean it was his real given name at birth/baptismal name. But he probably came to use it all the time after having permanently settled in France.

Thank you Isabelle

3 Answers

+1 vote

What makes you believe that RACCA is a French name ?

It sounds Italian to me, like ROCCO or RICCI.

This RACCA family is from Italy

ago by David Quénéhervé G2G6 Mach 5 (58.2k points)
Also Joseph in 1784 at the baptism of his daughter Charlotte


The godmother is Charlotte MICHEL ANGE, aunt of the child
Thanks so much David. I am going to check these out. I only knew of the one child Louis Henry Racca. Also seen name as Pierre Henry Dit Tambour Racca. He was said to be a drummer as well in 1812 war. And he was the one that came to Louisiana and started the Racca line.
Marriage record of Louise Julie RACCA


Her husband, Ignace GAYOZO, is a native of Portugal
She divorced him and married François Marie BAZIN in 1817


Her parents are deceased
Charlotte RACCA was the mother of Achille Julien RACCA

He died in 1812 in Lambézellec


It's not that clear but it seems that he was an abandoned child
Achille Julien RACCA was born on June 30th 1811 in Brest


Charlotte RACCA had another child Louis Eugène Charles RACCA in 1808

Thanks so much. I have a picture of a Retired General Julien Racca, Brest france and never knew where he fit in. I am Guessing this is him.
The Julien RACCA (1927-2013) you mentioned  was a native of Provence.

+1 vote
Thérèse Fortunée MICHEL-ANGE, widow of Joseph Paul RACA, remarried in 1790 in Brest, Saint-Louis parish


She is a native of Livourne in Tuscany, Italy.
ago by David Quénéhervé G2G6 Mach 5 (58.2k points)
Death of a daughter, Elizabeth Catherine Antoine LAURENT in 1806 in Lambézellec

+1 vote
François Marie BAZIN, chevalier de la Légion d'honneur


He fought in the battle of Trafalgar
ago by David Quénéhervé G2G6 Mach 5 (58.2k points)

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