Just looking at this Italian birth record should convince you to hire a professional for Italian genealogy! Image from Wikimedia Commons.
I’m getting revved up for my trip to Italy in a few months, and one of my preparations this time will be to have some genealogical research done for me before I get there. My Italian language skills aren’t adequate to do it myself, and my knowledge of the systems of records in Italy is even worse. Some relatives are pooling resources with me to hire the help, and I’ll share the results when I get home.
I was preparing for an earlier trip to Italy when Anna Maria responded to a post I made online, seeking my Italian relatives. She is one!
The last time I saw cousin Anna Maria (right) was 2009. I’m looking forward to seeing her again this summer!
We met in person in Italy, and she came to my home a few years later, but I have not been able to document our family relationship. For now, we are just “cugini”, cousins. One of my goals is to discover the family lines that connect us. This year, I’m looking forward to spending Ferragosto, that ancient Italian holiday, with Anna Maria and other family members in our ancestral village.
We have learned a few things about our Italian roots as my sister and I have researched over the years. Some are in the category of family legends.
1. Josephine Gualtieri was an old maid at 21 when she determined she would marry any man who asked her. The man who asked was Francesco Arcuri,
Josephine and Francesco, about 1910 in New York
a man already 50 years old, and three years older than Josephine’s father. We learned that Josephine’s mother had died and her father remarried. Did she not get along with her stepmother? What other factors shaped her life?
2. There is a Palazzo Gualtieri in Josephine’s home town, which (we were told) was gambled away by an ancestor. While “Palace” is somewhat of an overstatement in describing the derelict building, I’d be interested to learn more of that story!
My mom, Win Perman, at the door to the Palazzo Gualtieri in Scigliano.
3. Raffaele of the B&B Calabria in Scigliano gave me a book about the history of Scigliano–in Italian, of course! However, I have been able to determine that at one time there was a “Baron Gualtieri” in Scigliano. I’d really love to know who he was and how he might be connected to my family line. And can I now start calling myself a Baroness? Please??