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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Letters to Italians

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Letters to Italians
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Cathy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Letters to Italians Reply with quote

There are a few people I am interested in writing in Italy. I am waiting for my great Aunt’s marriage records first because I am hoping to ask about her children. My problem is I haven’t a clue as to how to introduce myself. Most people alive today are not going to know who my grandfather was. His half brother and sisters obviously knew him but their children and grandchildren probably do not know he existed. Grandchildren of cousins definitely would not. Any ideas?

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Poipu04
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Letters to Italians Reply with quote

Well, no one I wrote to knew that our mutual relative existed either! I just told them who my ggf was, where he was born, who his parents were, and the name of his brother. Then I told them why I was looking for them. It seems that the combination of the town my ggf was born in, and especially the name of his brother was my key to success. I had unknowingly written to the great grandchildren of my ggf's brother, and they of course, knew the name of their great grandfather, although they never heard of my ggf. Next letter I got was "Ciao, mia cugina!" So maybe just give them the names and dates and why you are searching and I think you are golden. Was it Nuccia who said send a picture too so they don't think you are some crazy person???? I think that is good advice too. I sent pics of my Uncle and he had a strikign resemblance to my Italian cousins. They were quite emotional to see the pics.

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charliemis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: Letters to Italians Reply with quote

Cathy wrote:
There are a few people I am interested in writing in Italy. I am waiting for my great Aunt’s marriage records first because I am hoping to ask about her children. My problem is I haven’t a clue as to how to introduce myself. Most people alive today are not going to know who my grandfather was. His half brother and sisters obviously knew him but their children and grandchildren probably do not know he existed. Grandchildren of cousins definitely would not. Any ideas?

Hi Cathy,

About 5 years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to reconnect with the Italian branch of my Dad's family. It turned out that the French branch (transplanted Italians) didn't want the Italians to know the Americans. For years they told me that no one was still alive in Italy. I was finally able to pry a lead out of my cousin that my Uncle had lived in Foggia. She mumbled that she didn't know her 1st cousins names (a lie). I am lucky that my last name is not very common and that there are only about 300 families with my name in Italy. I checked out www.paginebianche.it/index.html and learned that there were four families listed for the city of Foggia --- it turned out that three of them were my 1st cousins and they have been trying to locate our family for years.

I wrote a letter and had it translated into Italian and then sent it to the names I had found ---- I got an immediate response from my cousin Francesco who sent a "tearful" letter of joy at making contact. I also received letters from his brother and one of his sisters. I now have a fantastic relationship with the whole family although as they are much older than me I have lost three cousins (out of a total of 7 that I eventually made contact with; Francesco also hooked me up with the children of my Dad's other brother from my GM's first marriage too).

I just told them who I was in the letter --- gave them my Dad's name, the names of my Grandparents and my Uncle's name (their father) -- just tell them what you know --- they might be looking for you too. There is nothing to lose, only a little bit of time and a few stamps ---- the rewards can be unbelievable.

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Researching: Corato, Provincia di Bari in Puglia e San Giorgio Albanese, Provincia di Cosenza in Calabria.
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chanchisfea
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Letters to Italians Reply with quote

Cathy,

Sometime in July when I finally got the time, I sat down and wrote a very simple letter (with huge help from Riccardo, of course Wink ) to the 13 families in Verzino with the Tallarico surname (my husband's great grandfather was born there) and I did pretty much what charliemis described in the previous post.

Not only that, but I enclosed 1 page collage of different pictures I had of the great grandfather and the two siblings known to have travelled to the USA. I made sure to make arrows and point out who was who and how they were related to my husband.


Last month I received a letter from a cousin of my husband's grandmother, he lives in Milano and I guess he had been told by the relatives in Verzino that someone was trying to make a family connection. It was very exciting to know that he took the time to answer Very Happy A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from the great grandaughter of a brother to my husband's great grandfather. And would you believe she not only wrote a simple letter, but she did add a small collage of pictures of her family, just like what I had sent!!! It was awesome!

So, now....I have to write back Shocked Shocked Shocked I just don't want to bother Riccardo just yet hide


I can email you a copy of the letter if you wish, that way you have an idea of how to go about it....just let me know.


Liz Cool

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