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A Visit to My Family's Ancestral Homeland

As many of you know,  I am Italian, despite my name.  My mother is Italian, the daughter of a man named Crescenzo Chiulli.    We recently returned from a visit to land of the Chiulli family, the Abruzzo region of Italy.    

There were nine of us making the journey, so we rented a house and so began our adventure of a lifetime.    We met some long lost relatives, learned much about our family history, and visited the farm in Alanno where my great-grandfather was born and raised.     We were honored by the mayor of Alanno, and were treated to the best family reunion party I could ever have imagined.

Over the coming weeks, I will write more and post pictures about my trip.    In the meantime, here is an article written by a reporter in Abruzzo who covered the reunion.  

http://www.primadanoi.it/news/528056/Dagli-States-in-Abruzzo-per-conoscere-i-parenti-italiani.html

Enjoy your Independence Day.

UPDATE: Read more about the trip right here: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/journey-to-abruzzo-to-meet-my-italian-family/

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6 replies »

  1. Spectacular!!!! Nothing better than following your roots .. A long lost cousin in Canada did our roots about 4 yrs ago, amazing the twists, turns and surprises. Our family only knew 2 generations prior thinking it went from MI to Canada – the new trace found 6 full generations and proof the family had at least a full generation of businessmen, lumber jacks and a lumber yard and a pharmacy in the 1850’s in Haverhill, MA, then moved to New Brunswick, as lumber men, where I have many extended family members. Now I’m ready to start a journey to trace back further .. no timetable – just research. Congratulations on finding your roots.

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    • The twists were crazy, during the process a funny story ensued, a proverbial haunted house ( a la fiction movies) and a wicked spinster the kids on the block ran from– as she lay in a nursing home a relative was approached by her– now known as a distant cousin, she heard of the lineage search and provided almost 450 documents. Detailing names addresses children even a primitive family tree, She even detailed a family cemetery which led further.. you never know where sources will lead you. JW

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  2. Dennis – A very nice story. Like yourself, because of my last name – Farrell – I am often questioned about being Italian-American. It is great to connect with family in Italy – my cousins are in the North and I visit them often. Don’t just go visit once, go back as your kids get older and can continue to learn more about their heritage.

    Jerry Farrell, Jr.

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  3. dennis it is nice of you to share your trip with your fans. we wonder , where dennis is when you not around. mary 7/5/12 1:42pm

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  4. Dennis…A wonderful story..Like you, I want to connect with my family in Italy. I did visit for an hour or so with family back in 2006. I hope to get back there some day and really see where my parents lived in Giffoni Valley Piana, near Salerno. Perhaps this will happen some day as a visit and not a tour.

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