The last three weeks have been remarkable in my search for my Italian ancestors. The article in the magazine “PrimaDaNoi” of Pescara, Italy has allowed me to connect with cousins I never knew I had. I owe a debt of gratitude to PrimaDaNoi reporter Marirosa Barbieri and publisher Alessandro Biancardi for their journalistic research, and the two follow-up reports they printed in recent weeks.
My newly discovered cousins are fascinating people and some facets of their lives are not that different from mine. They enjoy their jobs, family life and have had one snowy winter.
My third cousin Andrea loves the winter and is an Alfa Romeo driving daredevil mountain climber.
His sister Cristina, is a phenomenal pastry chief, wife and mother of two beautiful children. Their younger sister, Chiara is planning her wedding.
Their mother Paola, has a tremendous interest in the family tree, along with her first cousins Donatella and Miriam. In the small world department, Donatella came to the United States once back in 1971 to visit her cousin who lives here in Connecticut, in Middletown. That cousin is on her father’s side and not related to me.
Another cousin, Francesco, is in a rock band.
There are other cousins still to talk to. We are all descendants of my great great grandfather, Crescenzo Chiulli of Alanno, Italy. This week, Paolo and Donatella are meeting the priest in this medieval town to go through church records from the 19th century to learn more about Crescenzo, and my great great grandmother Maria Ciarrocca and their parents.
We have swapped some fascinating pictures of family members past and present.
Kara, my mother, brother and I are planning a big family trip to Abruzzo in 2012 to see the ancestral homeland and meet our Chiulli kin. Of course, they are all invited here.
I’ll keep you posted and if you are interested in investigating your family heritage, get started sooner than later. Begin with getting as much information as you can from your relatives. If they are deceased, check www.familysearch.org and www.ancestry.com Both are great sites and essential for the genealogist. Through ancestry.com I was able to trace my house lineage back to the year 1180, and learned our surname then was De Bulkeley.
In case you missed my previous blog entry on this here it is: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/the-search-for-my-italian-ancestors/
Here are the two recent follow up reports from PrimaDaNoi:
Categories: Ancestry, Uncategorized
Dennis, I have had to catch up on your blogs over recent days and thoroughly enjoyed them! My parents and grandparents immigrated to Boston, MA (Everett and Newton) in the 1950s from Orsogna (Province of Chieti) and I have many aunts and cousins and friends there. I have been back many times and LOVE Italy, Abruzzo and Orsogna! Our whole family visited in July 2010 and we are so lucky to have homes to stay in when we go back – thanks to the generous hospitality of my family. Abruzzo is beautiful. I am sure you, Kara, your Mom and your kids will fall in love with the region. I grew up speaking Italian and am so lucky I did. I have a deep connection to my Italian heritage (as I am sure you have) – it’s a part of me. I hope that you will be able to visit the many special places that Abruzzo has to offer. Please try to visit some parts of the Abruzzo National Park. We did some easy hiking there and the scenery is breathtaking. The Eremo di Santo Spirito (in the province of Pescara) is also lovely place to walk around and enjoy the scenery. It is eerily beauiful. Truthfully though, everywhere in Abruzzo is gorgeous. Of course, you will also be near the Adriatic and will undoubtably visit the beaches. Those are fun! Try to see the Costa dei Trabocchi. We actually ate dinner on one! I am looking forward to reading more about your adventures and thoughts about Abruzzo and your continued exploration of the region of our heritage. Thank you for sharing!