How professionals work together.

I just spent a week working in the Province of Frosinone with Janeen Bjork a professional researcher from America.  She was working on a huge DNA project involving diverse families whose patriarchs were recruited to work in a stone quarry in Upstate New York. The families came from several towns around my home base. Some … Continue reading

Inheriting property in Italy- on occasion….meglio di no!

I am occasionally asked about property that immigrant families left behind that may still be ‘inheritable’ by the emigrant descendants. I’d like to tell you this story…. Yesterday at a family luncheon the talk turned to property taxes and Saverio began to talk about his high property taxes.  Today your principal residence is tax-free but … Continue reading

Ofelia – a very lucky foundling!

In Rome at 8:30am on April 24th 1908, a baby girl was born to an unnamed woman at 152 Viale Giulio Cesare . She was delivered by the midwife Carolina Zacoma, age 42 and at 1:30pm she was presented to Cavalier Vincenzo Stefanelli at the City hall where her birth was registered and she was … Continue reading

Brick wall in Santa Maria Oliveto – torn down!

Whenever one is presented with a ‘brick wall’ it’s important to scrutinize every document collected so far.  Do some historical research of the area and then go out there and break it down. I did the first part and realized I could not go ahead without finding the death record of Tomasina.  It was a … Continue reading

A brick wall in Santa Maria Oliveto

Sometimes a brick wall just doesn’t come down easily, even for the professionals! Michele was born in Santa Maria Oliveto (Isernia) according to the family.  When I eventually found the birth record, he was actually registered in Conca Casale but they had declared themselves residents of Santa Maria Oliveto.  Michele was baptized in the Parrocchia … Continue reading

DNA test results explained

Mike expected to be 50% Italian on his DNA test and was surprised to find it came in at 38%.  So he got an Aunt to do the same test knowing that research had showed her to be from Italian parents on both sides for at least a century!  Whoops!  She came back as 25% … Continue reading

All in a day’s work

It started out as a simple lunch with a client.  It turned into something very different! I had done some research for Gino back in 2008 and he was finally making that trip to Italy with his wife and family.  He invited my husband and I to join them for lunch in Ceprano.  I was … Continue reading

Its been a strange few days

On May 25th the Comune of Firenze called me to say they were mailing the documents I had requested and wanted to advise me who to contact for the rest of the information I had requested. What a nice surprise!   It’s now June 5th and I still haven’t received them BUT there was a … Continue reading

On-Site research Tips & Tricks

You are planning a trip to Italy and you want to do some family history research.  Here’s how to prepare. First make your plans. Are State Archives on your list?  Check with https://www.familysearch.org/ to find out what civil records the State Archives have.  If Family Search has filmed at that archive then what they have … Continue reading

Sharon’s search for an explanation?

When Sharon started researching her ancestral line in a small town in Abruzzo she was a little shocked at the apparent comportment of her ancestors.  She remarked ‘the women in my family certainly got around!’ After studying the records she found I saw a potentially different story.  It all began with Maria Proietta who gave … Continue reading