Tracing our italian roots: a work of patience

Filed under Genealogy

We just received this email from our friend Ann.
It’s about a long wait for the right answer from Italian registrars.
But, at the end, the answer came!
We decided to share Ann’s story to remember to all of us that communications with Italian registrars could be not easy.
We suggest to read this post before to start an Italian genealogy research.
The lesson is: with the right words to the right people at the right time…it could be easier to fulfill our requests.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your Italian genealogy tree !

Ann’s letter:

I have been working on my genealogy for years.
I found information on my mothers’ side of the family back to the 1600’s, but my fathers’ side was a real problem. In February I ran across the ItalianSide website.
I wrote to them and was answered by Michele. They prepared a letter for me to the registrar.
At the end of February I sent this out and the wait for an answer started. After waiting for what seemed forever….no answer.
So I wrote again to ItalianSide. They suggested I send the letter again.
Wait again! No Answer.
Michele composed another letter. This one we sent to the Mayor. I waited again.
In May I had a family emergency and had to leave home to take care of my elderly mother. I left May 21.
I didn’t have access to a computer at my mothers’ house. On the evening of May 21st the answer came in.
I didn’t know it was there till I got home two weeks later.
But, what a pleasant surprise to come home to!
So, the moral of the story is…If you are going to research genealogy, you need a lot of patience and Michele at ItalianSide.


11 Comments to “Tracing our italian roots: a work of patience”
  1. Carol says:

    Hi, I’m looking for records from San Severo, Foggia, for my 2x gr. grandparents & their children who all emigrated to the US in the early 1900’s. Domenico Staffieri & his wife Anna Maria Baglione & their 5 sons, all arrived at different times starting with Pasquale, then Carmine, Giuseppe, then twins Giovanni & Nicola. I was told the records for the years of their living there are gone. If so, how else would I get info on their family in Italy. On ship manifests there were cousins Luigi Pagliuco & Raffaella Iacovangelo both from San Severo. Any help would be appreciated….Carol

  2. Christine says:

    Ciao! I am looking for any Quaremba ancestors from Castelgrande. Mino Guisseppe Quaremba was born there in the 1860’s and his parents are listed as John and Rosa. He had a brother John, who was a priest/pastor who also immigrated.

    Many thanks to any help you can give me. Graci!

  3. Cassandra Trella (Jensen) says:

    I just stumbled upon this site. It’s a treasure for sure. I have been working over a year putting together a huge family tree for both mine and my husbands sides. I am stuck on my great grandparents. As my grandfather, whom I never had the pleasure to know, passed when my dad was 14, his family heritage was lost to all of us cousins, and my father and Uncles and Aunts. I know they came from Ripacandida. I also know they had to leave some children behind when they came here. I know my father was an infant when both of them passed. The problem I am having is their last names. They are not the same here, at least his isn’t as it would have been in Italy. Michael Trella was born in 1877, and on a census it is listed as this was his birth place. And Mary (which I believe was really Maria Rosa) Cerullo was born around 1884 and she is listed as the same for her birth place. They came to America around 1911, and she was pregnant with my Great Aunt Carmella, who was born in Brazil on the trip here. I know from stories at least a set of twins and maybe one other child had to be left behind in Ripacandida. I would just love to find the missing pieces to their story. As I dig and make my family tree larger, it gives me a connection to generations past I never got to meet. I would love to complete my great grandparents journey in life. A trip to Italy would never happen for me, as we are poor. If anyone on the site could be of any help, a clue to point me in the right direction, I would be forever greatful. I just wish I would have taken the opprotunity when my grandmother was still here to get as much info from her as I could. Loosing her recently, and seeing the gap in the family after her passing, really has made me work that much harder on this project. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

  4. Denise Blanchard says:

    Good morning,

    My apologies for writing this in English as I do not speak, write or understand Italian. I speak French and English.

    I am looking for any type of records (birth, marriage, children and death) for our family tree for the following person:

    Jean Baptiste Sormany (or Sormani) married to Marie Perrine Grihault (or Guerillard)

    Their son Edouard Victor Sormany was born in Coutances, moved to St. Helier, Jersey and then immigrated to New Brunswick, Canada. He is my husband’s 3rd Great Grandfather and I would like to trace the Italian side of his family.

    Here is the information that I have regarding JB Sormany and Marie Perrine Grihault but I am not sure if this is accurate:
    Jean-Baptiste Sormany

    Birth: about 1765 – Sormano, Como, Lombardia, Italy
    Death: 5 may 1844 – Coutances, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
    Father: Ambroise Sormany
    Mother: Marthe Pathi
    Marie Perrine Grihault (or Guerillard)

    Birth: 2 nov 1772 in Martigny, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
    Death: 13 mars 1857 in Coutances, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
    Parents: Robert Grihault et Marie Cheval

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    New Brunswick, Canada

  5. Lynn says:

    Hello, I am currently searching my Italian roots and have traced my great,great grandfather Gianni and Rosa Rannelli to Alberona,Italy.My great grand father immigrated from naples to NY in 1888 Francesco Rannelli, How do I find out more about births,marriages ect. Especially with the language barrier? Any help is much appreciated, chow from Canada:)

  6. Salvatore says:

    I am searching for information on my family to add to our family heritage.
    My grandfather Francesco Venditti was born in 1857 in the comune of Morcone
    (bn) his father and mother were Domenico and Maria Venditti and he had a
    brother named Giuseppe Venditti born in 1862.
    Francesco Venditti married my grandmother Celestina Veneziano who was born
    in 1866 in the comune of Sepino (cb)and I am searching for her family
    information. I would be most grateful for any help.

    • Shauna says:

      Write the city hall of the commune Morcone and Sepino. You might be surprised, people tend to stay where they were born.

  7. Patricia Rabunal says:

    I am searching for my Family in Alberona Italy. Longo is the surname. My Great Grandfather was Giovonnie Nicola Longo His Wife was Concetta Franchino. My Grandfather was Nicola Longo born 1889 in alberona. My Great Grandfather came to the United States in 1890. My Grandfather also had 2 brothers and 2 sisters born in the United States. Anthony and Micheal were his brothers names. Rose and Jenny were the sisters names. They were born in Orange New Jersey United States. I am going to Alberona with my sister and a friend next October. How wonderful it would be to meet Family if any. How do I find information on them?. Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Michele says:

      Ciao Patricia,
      thank you for contacting
      Regarding your request, we suggest you to contact Alberona municipality.
      They could help you when you will be in Italy to find your distant cousins.

  8. donald antonangeli says:

    I have much patience and confidence that Michele will be successful. this website is terrific and I recommended it to all members of the italian-American club of York county South carolina. since I have moved here 7 months ago I have met many many italians from new Jersey,New york who have moved to this area. What an absolute pleasure to be in their company. Don

  9. Graeme says:

    I wuold some info on our family ,name of DeVercelli,Cinquegrana & Terzahi
    which are related to my wife’s family,hope you can help.

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