Monday, November 10, 2014

This blog will focus on genealogy in Italy.  It is based on our last trip through southern Italy in search of our roots.  we traveled from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic.  We planned our trip carefully and accomplished many things.  We met wonderful people, saw marvelous sights, and retrieved nuggets of data from local offices, State Archives, and parish archives.  Here, in several installments is our story.  We hope you enjoy it and learn.

Andiamo A Italy

Most of our ancestors were Italians.  Most of these descended from families in Southern Italy.  After careful consideration, we've decided to make that our next adventure.

Andiamo a Italy; to visit ancestral homelands and discover some of our genealogy; a thirteen day journey.  So what is the genealogical plan?

Deep or Wide

Go deep or go wide?  That is the choice I must make.  I must choose quickly because we are leaving in just a few short days.  This is going to take us a long way from home.

We will fly directly into Rome, and then encounter our first major challenge; driving a rental car in Italy.  I plan to close my eyes and step on the gas until I get out of Rome (not).  Then we will head south towards Naples.  We will stop in the small towns of Avella and Sperone.  This is the home land of my mother's parents.  

Do we go deep and look to extend our knowledge backwards in time?  Or do we go wide and search for cousins who may still be in the area?  Let me give an example.

Here is a copy of my Great Great Grandfather's marriage record.  It is one of the oldest records I have for the Mascolo family.


This is an 1831 record which announces the marriage of Domenic Mascolo to Paola Del Latte.  Look closely and you will see that Domenic's father is Giuseppe.  I do not have Giuseppe's birth certificate.  I could "go deep" and search for this, circa 1788.  For such a record, I would need to scour church archives.

Or I could "go deep" and look for cousins.  

I would do this by searching for more of the children resulting from the marriage of Domenic and Paola, and their respective children who might still be living in the area.  This I would accomplish in State Archives and local community offices.

What should I do?  I've already convinced myself that I will be flexible and go where I find the best opportunities. I will be limited by time, and we will have to face the same dilemma at each of the four stops on our journey.

We will spend three days in Avella, and then head even further south to the small village of Sassano.  This is the homeland of my father's grandfather.  From here we will head across the country to the Adriatic in the province of Bari.  Here in the small village of Palo del Colle, we will search for Tricarico's, the family of  cara mia.  Finally, a drive to Vasto in the province of Chieti will put us in the home town of the DeCristofaros, my paternal grandmother.

Then it's back to Rome, hopefully with a rental car that is still in one piece.  On the way we'll make a quick stop at the home of a friend.

I suppose that in each place we will do a little of both; going long and going deep.  But lest you think this is all business, a few days have been reserved for seeing the sights.  We hope to have plenty of internet. so look for pictures.

Ariverderci a tutti

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