Research in Vasto and Chieti
This is a continuing saga of our research trip to Southern Italy in search of ancestral data. In this post, we get outstanding assistance from a town official in Vasto, and once again are received as "royalty" in an Archivio di Stato; this time in Chieti.
This is our 10th post.
This is our 10th post.
This morning we woke up to face a day with a very ambitious schedule. We had plans to drive 20 miles south to the village of Vasto and look for records in the Ufficio di Anagrafe. Then we were going to drive 40 miles north to the Archivio di Stato in the city of Chieti. We would return to our B&B that evening. We finalized our plans over a very good breakfast.
|Ummm! Italian Blood Orange Juice|
The drive south was scenic and uneventful. The village, on the Adriatic, was very busy with traffic but we found our way to the city hall and we found a parking garage to rest the car. We entered the Anagrafe office and found a very long line. We waited for about forty minutes and eventually we got to speak with the official. We told him we would like to see records of the Decristofaro family. We showed him our family tree.
With one eye on the long line behind us, the clerk asked if we would mind coming back at noon. He said he could help us then.
Somewhat skeptical about the clerk, we said we would be back. Then we set out for our next goal, locating our ancestral church, San Giuseppe. With the help of a passerby, we discovered that the church was within a few yards. We were in the old part of town, and all the old buildings around us made a stark contrast with the modern city hall and the busy city street just behind us.
We approached the church and found the door open. There was a cleaning crew there, and they allowed us in to look around.
|Chiesa di San Giuseppe|
|Can you pick out the "Americani"?|
|Chiesa di San Francesco Di Assisi|
Well, were we in for a big surprise!
|A segment of the Foglio di Famiglia|
The family foglio is like a census with names of the parents, the children, their birth dates, their death dates, their occupations, and more. It simply reeks of valuable data. I couldn't have misjudged this clerk more. He had the family foglio for my grandfather and my great grandfather.
What a find. I couldn't believe my luck. We took photos of all the information and thanked the clerk, but he was not interested in remuneration. Sitting here now, I'm wondering if this clerk knew a lot more about this particular family. I regret not quizzing him more thoroughly, but he was, indeed, a very busy clerk, yet, somehow, I believe he knows a lot more about "my" Decristofaros than I had thought. Even more, I regret not getting his name and email.
On our way out of town, a miracle occurred. All of this time in Italy, we have been pleased with every aspect of our trip, except the awful coffee they drink. That problem was alleviated in a small way when Gay spotted a McDonald's on the road. We each enjoyed a cup of real coffee, and then it was on to Chieti.
|Research at the Chieti Archivio Di Stato|
|This book will be on my Christmas wish list|
With that, we retired for the evening. Night time thoughts focused on our final adventure; getting back to Rome for the flight home.
There are many more stories and bits of information about our trip in our book, "1800 Kilometers in a Fiat 500" available by clicking the link below.
Next, and final, post. A visit with old friends in Sulmona, and a hectic ride to Frascati, for our last B&B (???), Il Paradiso, on the outskirts of Rome. We reflect on our trip and summarize some of our findings.