My 5th great-grandfather Gio’ Batta Iob – sicher was born in Cunevo c. 1739. His exact date of birth is not known due to destruction of most records during a fire in 1802. Gio’ Batta was a short form for Giovanni Battista. A common name at the time, Giovanni Battista was also written as “Giambatta”, “Giambattista”, Baptista, and as “Bapta” in the Latin of the 1600’s. Depending on the period and type of record you are searching, you will likely encounter each form of the name. The name loosely translates as “John Baptist”, a sign of the importance of religion during that period. The “sicher” suffix was actually a “sopranome” used to distinguish between branches bearing the same last name.
Documents in the Cunevo village archives refer to an April 1769 meeting held in the nearby village of Terres for the purpose of discussing and settling civic matters between the two villages. Among the 21 heads of families from Cunevo attending this meeting was Baptista Iob – sicher and a Josephi (Giuseppe) Iob – sicher.
The archives also contain records of an April 1773 meeting held in Cunevo to discuss the admittance to Cunevo of a Terres villager. Attending this meeting was Gio’ Batta Iob – sicher, who was referred to as a “regolani“. In 18th century Trentino, the Regola, a system of laws and regulations was in effect. Each community had it own “Carta di Regola” containing the laws applicable to the specific village. It provided that officials (“regolani”) were elected by the townspeople and were responsible for administraton of village affairs.
Gio’ Batta Iob married Teresa Vilot (a not uncommon surname during that time, but not often found today). Of their four children, a daughter married Francesco Iob – perotel, and another daughter married Gio’ Batta Iob – bottes. Here we see the importance of using “sopranome” to distinguish between the different Iob clans.
A 1793 Cunevo tax census showed that Gio’ Batta Iob – sicher owned 19 different pieces of property, including house #16. A portion of the census document is shown below. At that time, rather than street addresses, houses were given numbers (I am guessing that the numbers were based on the sequence in which they were built, importance, location, or some other factor). The early houses were very modest structures made of stone and wood, with most having two levels. Outside stairs were used to reach the second level. In the winter, the kitchen served as the focal point of family activities due to the warmth generated by the cooking fires. The living conditions were very rustic, and often three generations of a family lived together.
During this period, Trentino (including Cunevo) came under the control of the French Republic. In September 1796, the French army, under the command of Napolean Bonaparte, enter the city of Trento. His goal was to defeat the Austrian army and eventually link up with French forces in Germany. The Austrian military authorities ordered the formation of companies of volunteers for the purpose of defending Trentino. The villages of Cunevo, Flavon, and Terres were asked to form a 34-man company. However, even with the offer of compensation, no one volunteered.
Faced with opposition from local defense forces, Napolean left Trento in November, but returned in January 1797. Intervention by Austrian forces ousted the French in 1799. In 1803, Trentino was returned to the control of the Austrians, who in 1805 abolished the “regole” used by the towns for administrative control. It is unknown if Gio’ Batta Iob sicher was still a regolano at that time.
In 1805 Trentino was annexed to the Kingdom of Baveria. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1810, Trentino was aggregated with the Kingdom of Italy, until 1816, when it was returned to the control of the Austrian Empire. Gio’ Batta Iob died of fever in Cunevo in March 1814. Thus, for the last 18 years of his life, Gio’ Batta was a subject first of Austria, then of the Kingdom of Bavaria, and lastly of the Kingdom of Italy. His wife Teresa Vilot (my 5th great-grandmother) died of a stroke in July 1822, and thus died a subject of Austria.