I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

22 September 2010

Finding My Italian Roots

Montefalcione - My Grandmother's Village
Image from:  TrekEarth.com
I've been interested in my family tree and who everyone is for as long as I can remember.  My dad told me an awesome story that I believed up until the time I was about 30 and my dad's sister, Aunt Jay told me the real story.

My dad told me a fascinating story about how we come from a line of Polish Jews who were held prisoner in a Russian camp.

The story went on to describe a bunch of people who were all chained together with holes in their wrists. One day they all escaped, running through the Black Forest and finding refuge in a place called Jarmolo in Turkey (does not exist as far as I know, my dad was a good story teller.)

My dad told me that the people who escaped together, all changed their names from a Jewish last name to the name we all have today.  My dad always told me that our name meant, 'the beginning of a new life,' a belief that I held for most of my life.

I even told my nephew Joe the story of our Polish ancestors when he was in 3rd grade.  I remember sitting down at the table with him, telling the story just like my dad told me.  I believed the story with all of my heart.  Joe, he did too and wrote the story as a homework assignment.  I wonder if he remembers the story?

Little did we know that the real story was that my Polish ancestors didn't want to fight in the Russian Army so they changed their name to protect their Jewish heritage.  By the time my family immigrated to the US back in the early 1900's they were Catholic.

Lately, I've wanted to understand my mom's mother and our Italian side.  I want to know her story so I signed up for the 14 day trial on Ancestory.com and have been spending all my time researching instead of writing blog posts.  I apologize to anyone who may have missed my posting.

What I've learned about my Italian grandmother is that she has the same birthday as my mom's first born, September 9th.  Our grandmother's birthday was September 9, 1899.  In Numerology, that would make her a 9, just like my sister.  She had a challenging life and her numerology chart backs up the sad life she had lived in mental institutions here in the United States.

My grandmother, she came to America for the first time when she was 7 with what appears to be a bunch of her siblings and a relative from America.

My grandmother returned to live in America in 1912, arriving on a ship named the San Gregrio on May 25th... just a little more than a month after the Titanic sunk.  I couldn't imagine putting a young girl on a ship that was docked in Naples, Italy and sending her to a foreign land, one where she didn't know the language.   She came to Ellis Island in New York and eventually settled in Massachusetts where she had relatives in Revere.

I'm still searching for information about her.  My mother loves hearing what I'm learning about her mother.  She never knew anything about her family because she didn't speak Italian and my grandmother never spoke English.  Information was lost.

Fortunately, there are places like Ellis Island that has made public the passenger lists for the ships that arrived in New York from ports around the globe.

I really want to know more about my mom's side of the family.  I would love to meet my family in Italy.  I found out that if you are of Italian descent, you can file for citizenship of Italy!  You can read more about Italian Citizenship here on this website.  

I have learned that my Grandmother lived in Montefalcione, Campania, Italy.

Finding my Italian roots... I look forward to possibly meeting some of my mom's relatives one day so that I can learn more about my grandmother.


  1. Thanks for the review Shinerpunch... thank you for reading through some of my darkest moments.

    Writing every day got/gets me through some tough moments; hence the repetition.

    My cousin and I - we have mended our friendship. ... like I said to her after she contacted me out of the blue, there's no ball like family hard ball.

    Thank you for the constructive criticism.

    Now everyone needs to go and read the review!

  2. sue, this sounds so exciting. i've often thought about tracing my roots. but aside from my great grandmother, the trail stops cold.

    feeling your excitement and wishing you much fun, adventure and discovery with it!

  3. Oh Roschelle, it is! I pulled out my dad's journal that he had written in 1971 - 1972 when he went back to school to get his GED and then on to his Associates Degree. The journal gives names and a fascinating history with my Polish relatives.

    In the journal, my dad tells about the day he met his cousin who was in Dachau, Germany - the first concentration camp for political and Jewish prisoners.

    This is what must have influenced my dad's story where he told me about the holes put in the wrists of prisoners that escaped.

    My dad's cousin told him that the German's experimented by taking hot pokers to the prisoners wrists in order to see how much pain they could withstand before passing out.

  4. I always remember my dad saying grandma's family was from Avolino? Where did you find this stuff out? Let me know what else there is...grandma was always like a family mystery, this stuff could prove very interesting!!

  5. Avellino is the province and it seems to be broken down into what are known as communes.

    I signed up for ancestry.com and found Grandma. She came here a lot with her family in 1905, 1910 and 1912. She has brothers and sisters with her on the trips. I think her father's name was Nunzio.

    I'll certainly share the tree with you... I have always wondered about the story of our Grandmother.

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