Hi all - we're home from the best trip we have ever taken anywhere! Italy was beautiful and we were blessed with great weather most of the time!
We were wined and dined by family - and everyone was thrilled with the genealogy book I had done - and of course, more names and dates were added due to marriages and births in the last couple of years.
Everyone from the Commune of Itri were so helpful and generous of their time in helping us. We also were blessed by the help of the Padre Giorgi of the Church of the Annunziata in Itri. We drove to Campodimele and met the Sindaco who pledged the Commune's help - he set up an appointment for us with the office of the vital statistics there. The gentleman in charge told us his mother had told him about a relative who moved to Itri and was killed walking home from the farm, hit by a speeding car by a rich person from Rome after the WWII. Turns out that was our Nonno Valentino and we may be distantly related! But he spent time searching while we were there and the Atta was found - the birth certificate for our Nonno handwritten in old Latin script with the death information noted in the margin! So we know his birth information, his parents, his death, and possibly even his grandparents! In addition the officer has volunteered to a complete family sheet for us and will email me and then regular mail further information! So we now have the maternal line back into the late 1700's!!!
Now I have one disappointing - no -- red hot angry issue to discuss. When I am done, I hope all of you have a new appreciation and iunderstanding of why Italy - specifically The Church - is being strict about accessing records. We met with a local priest at the church in Itri - this gentle soul was more than accommodating with us - and allowed us to read the registers more than 150 years old. BUT - we did not find our family information that should have been there. What we did find was two pages TORN deliberately out of the register. Each handwritten page had three families' information on each side - so TWELVE families are now deprived of their information!!!!
And to boot -- he gently explained that TWENTY books had been so dessicrated!!!! Now figure out home many will never find their information because of some idiot!!!! Itri had been bombed during WWII and also had a fire so church records were the only hope for many family researchers! Now this. It disgusts me that anyone would be so heartless, selfish, and callous! We as genealogists are supposed to be protecting and preserving, not destroying. So this fool has contributed to why Italy has yanked cooperation with groups like LDS and is slowly attempting to do the job as time and money permit themselves. Even still after this, the Commune of Itri and the Priest as well as Campodimele gave lovingly and generously of their time and found us so much information - and for this we as a family will always be eternally grateful! In addition to family records, they also all blessed and gifted us with books, posters, and pamphlets of the area to aid in our research! I was truly humbled by all of them!