Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

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adifresco
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Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby adifresco » 02 Jul 2010, 07:02

I have been trying on and off for a few years now to trace the genealogy of my great-grandfather, Giovanni Di Fresco. I have run into several problems along the way...

According to his 1912 Ellis Island immigration record, he was from the comune of Frisa, which is in the present day province of Chieti in Abruzzo. It also listed his father Florindo in Frisa as his closest relative. However, this is the only document that mentions Frisa. Everything else, including his naturalization records and death certificate, only say "Chieti" as his town/city of birth. I don't know if it is referring to the comune of Chieti or the province, although I would assume it would be the comune because prior to the 1960's, the province of Chieti was known as Abruzzo Citeriore.

Also, on his Ellis Island record, he is listed as "Giovanni Fresco" without the Di, although everywhere else he has the Di. I'm fairly certain his birth name was Di Fresco, but I can't rule anything out.

So basically this is all I know:

- His name was Giovanni Di Fresco (or Giovanni Fresco).
- He was born in either the comune of Frisa or the comune of Chieti.
- His birth date was September 28, 1896 (although one record says 1895).
- His parents were Florindo and Carolina (no other info about them).

I have written to both comunes (Frisa and Chieti) requesting civil registration records using both spellings of his surname and both possible birth years, and I got responses saying that there was no matching record.

I want to order the microfilm rolls from the Family History Library, but for Frisa the only available records are 1809-1860. For Chieti, they go all the way to 1900, but I think its more likely he was born in Frisa because there are several other Di Frescos from Frisa.

So my only other option would be to write to the churches and request records. How should I go about doing this? I want to try Frisa first and I think there is more than one church in this comune.

Any advice would be helpful... thanks in advance. I have been trying to figure this out for a long time and it's driving me crazy! I have considered hiring a professional genealogist, but that can get very expensive and I've been able to trace other branches of my family tree by myself.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby maestra36 » 02 Jul 2010, 11:39

Use the Italian yellow pages to find churches in each of your towns and then write letters in Italian to each of the parishes. Use the initial letter to find out if your ancestors were from the particular parish and tell the priest what documents you are searching for.

this is the link for the Italian yellow pages

http://www.paginegialle.it/

where it says Cosa type in chiese cattoliche
where it says dove type in the name of your town

To help you write letters to the priest in Italian, you can refer to the follow website:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... tters.html

Just for your info- I one time sent letters to 13 parishes in a town because I didn't know which was the correct parish. I actually did this for a cousin who did get a response from one parish priest who told him that the records were in his parish. He asked for a donation, which my cousin then wired from Manhattan, and then he sent my cousin all of the records which he found in his books for the particular ancestor. Bear in mind though that some priests now administer to more than one parish and may not be at a particular parish full time. With their many responsibilities, you may or may not get a response.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby Seraphina » 02 Jul 2010, 11:49

Hi,

I did a quick search for Giovanni di Fresco and found 1 living in the comune of Lanciano, Chieti - but it was much earlier than your Giovanni.

So it might be a good place to enquire. It's a lead, anyway.

Good luck.

Seraphina

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby adifresco » 03 Jul 2010, 06:07

maestra36 - Thanks for the info. I am in the process of writing to the parishes, and I will keep my fingers crossed.

Seraphina - Where did you find the information about Giovanni di Fresco living in Lanciano? There is a good chance he could be related. I have been in contact with other Di Frescos around the world who's relatives also came from Frisa. Also, when I search for Di Fresco on the Ellis Island records, a large number of them come from Frisa, Lanciano, or nearby towns in Chieti.

I'm hoping to finally get to the bottom of this... it is the branch of my family that I know the least about.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby Seraphina » 03 Jul 2010, 07:32

Hi,

I found this particular Giovanni di Fresco on Familysearchlabs.

Seraphina

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby adifresco » 04 Jul 2010, 21:19

One more question - there are less than 2000 people in the comune of Frisa. I realize that it is not uncommon for there to be several parishes in a comune, but I find it odd that there would be three in this tiny town. Is there any way to distinguish which might have the records?

When I search on pagine gialle, this is what comes up:

1. parrocchia maria ss. assunta
66030 Frisa (CH)
55, STRADA COMUNALE BADIA
tel: 0872 713681

2. parrocchia s. filippo neri
66030 Guastameroli (CH)
VIA DEI FILIPPINI
tel: 0872 58120

3. parrocchia s. filippo neri
66030 Guastameroli (CH)
34, VIA XXIV MAGGIO
tel: 0872 58120

4. parrocchia s. lucia v. m.
66030 Frisa (CH)
2, VIA DELLA MADONNA
tel: 0872 58113

5. parrocchia san filippo neri casa della chiesa
66030 Frisa (CH)
40/A, VIA XXIV MAGGIO
tel: 0872 58120

Two of these are in Guastameroli, but come up when I search for Frisa.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby PeterTimber » 04 Jul 2010, 21:31

Since none of these parish churches have telephonenumbers it indicates that no resident priest exists for these churches and are served bu a circuit priest who makes his round from similar towns without priests in residence.

You may wish to contact the archdiocese of Chieti for the locationof the records and how to access sais records.
www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dchie.html =Peter=
~Peter~

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby adifresco » 04 Jul 2010, 23:23

PeterTimber wrote:Since none of these parish churches have no telephonenumbers...


They do have phone numbers listed, does this mean there is a resident priest?

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby maestra36 » 04 Jul 2010, 23:53

If you can figure out which is the mother church in the town that may be the correct parish, but the cost to mail a letter to Italy (a one ounce letter) is only 98 cents, so it best to send letters to all of the parishes in the town and hope for a response from one of them. At least that is what I would do. I would, however, only write to the three parishes specifically in your town. Give the name of your ancestor, the specific date you have, including his parents' names. Since you are unsure of the year, I would just put circa 1895.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby PeterTimber » 05 Jul 2010, 03:07

Dealing with local parish priests is tenuous at best. They are fully in charge and often are not inclined to assist or respond without careful preparation and offer of payment for their efforts or the efforts of someone who is going to "research" in your behalf. I would feel them out first and not contact any of the churches except those with telephone numbers since this indicates a resident priest. Your treading on slippery sand with the good jolly reverends. =Peter=
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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby maestra36 » 05 Jul 2010, 06:32

Years ago, for a cousin, I sent letters to all 13 parishes in the town of Benevento, since not town itself did not have microfilmed records. My cousin received a response from one of the parishes only. In that letter the priest told him that his ancestors were in his records and asked for a donation which my cousin then wired to him from Manhattan. In return, my cousin received a number of records, all written in old Italian script, plus the priest typed out in Italian all of the records and sent my cousin a cover letter blessing him, all of his ancestors, and all of his descendants and relatives. So you just never know what kind of reaction or response you are going get. I still feel that, if there are only 3 parishes in your ancestral town, you have nothing to leave but the cost of the 3 stamps to inquire if your ancestral records are in a particular parish. If they are, the priest will then ask for a donation in exchange for him sending you copies of the records. Another time, I sent to a parish in a Sicilian town. I already had a copy of my grandmother's baptism record from the town, but it was so old, discolored, and had been taped together many times over. I included a $5.00 with my request, but wrapped it in a second sheet of printer paper. The monsignor at that parish not only wrote out a new certificate for me, but he also sent me a copy of my grandmother's parents' marriage record, including the name of the town where her grandfather was from, a town that no one in the family had ever before heard of. The priest then, forgetting that he had he replied to my request, then sent me another envelope with the same documents in it. So, for one $5.00 I ended up with two new copies of each of the records. You just never know, as another time, I never got a response from a neighboring parish in Sicily, although I also included a $5.00 plus two international reply coupons, which I had also included with the mailing to the priest in the neighboring Sicilian town who did reply to me twice.

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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby PeterTimber » 05 Jul 2010, 10:43

Hey I concur with you Maestra but its like a lottery since the parish priest is king of the records in his parish and oftimes they are either too lazy, uninterested or would want you to hire someone (a nephew perhaps) to research the parish records in his behalf. This is why I would gingerly approach a parish priest and make nice! =Peter=
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Re: Church records from Chieti - Di Fresco family

Postby maestra36 » 05 Jul 2010, 12:54

I agree with you, Peter. It is like a lottery when dealing with these parishes. Another story concerning a cousin of my husband. I found the parish she wanted had an online website and she emailed the priest, telling him she would be visiting the town a few months later, and also telling him the kind of records for which she was searching. When she arrived in the town, he had gathered a lot of records for her, not only from his parish, but also from some neighboring parishes. He also had a dinner for her and her husband that included some 200 people and told her that she was in some way connected to each person at the dinner. This priest is 50ish and is someone who has friends in the States and has made numerous trips here. So you just never know, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try.
Peg


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