by Jenny Lategana (*)
Do you know where you came from?
How much do you know about your Italian heritage?
In which Italian town were your ancestors born?
These are typical questions for people beginning a genealogic research.
You owe your life today to the events that occurred on your whole family line in the past: that’s why we need to keep the past connected to the here and now.
Getting to know yourself even more can be possible if you get to know your family also.
Your traits, personality and identity in general can be defined by tracing your family history. You would want to know about your great grandfather, where he lived, how he lived and what he did when he was alive. Getting to know them even better boosts your sense of belongingness in the family and also defines your very existence.
More and more people want to learn where they came from and who their ancestors are. It is important to find your place in history and discover the stories of those who lived before you.
In these times, many people are taking a greater interest in discovering their family history than ever before: Internet is a powerful tool for family history research.
Where can you start your Italian genealogy adventure ? Simple chatting with elder relatives gives you many information to (re)construct your family history.
In this way you can begin finding out names, occupations and other biographies. Contacting the relatives, especially the elderly, is a great help on your research. Soon you will be able to create a so-called family tree.
If you are lucky you can begin to collect documents from the town your ancestors were from, like postcards, old pictures and more.
At that point you can begin your search on the names you got and get information, trying to know more and more about them. Depending on how far back you are trying to go, it may be difficult and take some time.
But there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing who you are and where you have been. Once you acquire the basic knowledge, it can become a life long hobby. Finding a new document or discovering the oldest member in your family tree is exciting and then you are hooked.
A key for any genealogist doing family history research is knowing how and where to search.
It’s obviouls that there is no better place to search than where your ancestors lived.
In this way you will mix your interest on history and the pleasure of travels in your real homeland.
And it could be a nice game to play with your kids: teaching them the thankfulness to the ancestors, who built yesterday the life they are living today.
Having the background on where your origin came from is like completing the missing piece of yourself.