Annalisa’s Story – reconnecting with the past

I am a first-generation Italian-American. My mother was born in the small Comune of Picinisco in Frosinone Italy and my grandparents were married there before sailing to America in 1926. Our lineage on my grandmother’s side dates to 1597 with our ancestors being from this small town. Over the years, my mother kept in touch … Continue reading

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

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