Visiting Italian towns - reception?

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didozo
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Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby didozo » 07 Dec 2010, 02:05

Hi
What is the type of reception one might get visiting a town where your relatives come from? If there are family names listed in the phone books - do you just call them? What should you bring with you to "open" the doors? Documentataion and photos? What if you think that you being there might not be as "welcome" as you'd hope? Any suggestions on visiting?

Thanks
Diana
Searching: Allenza -Villalba/Valledolmo, Marsala -Villalba, Trapani-Mistretta, and Mirra/Filippelli- Domanico, Benevento

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DeFilippis78
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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 07 Dec 2010, 02:23

Ive never done that yet but I all I can say is, think if someone did that to us. I know me personally, if someone showed up at my door claiming relation , I wouldnt let them in, lol. But maybe thats just me. Maybe it would be best to call, email or write first. There are other people on here who reached out to distant relatives and seen both sides of the coin...some were welcoming and others juts blatantly ignored them. Not everyone is interested in genealogy and distant relatives. So its probably a gamble.

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didozo
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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby didozo » 07 Dec 2010, 02:26

That's what I was thinking too. It would be okay if you had a contact there or something. I might try writing. I've done that here (USA) and was successful in getting responses back, not what I hoped for in information and connection, but responses anyway.
Searching: Allenza -Villalba/Valledolmo, Marsala -Villalba, Trapani-Mistretta, and Mirra/Filippelli- Domanico, Benevento

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 07 Dec 2010, 02:28

I think thats best. Its a nice "ice breaker" and you can see if they are interested or not. You can also try face book. Im not sure if you have an account but I know many people who found distant relatives and sparked a relationship through FB.

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby didozo » 07 Dec 2010, 02:30

Good idea on the facebook thing! Forgot how close the world is anymore.
Thanks.
Searching: Allenza -Villalba/Valledolmo, Marsala -Villalba, Trapani-Mistretta, and Mirra/Filippelli- Domanico, Benevento

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby DeFilippis78 » 07 Dec 2010, 02:36

I actually ran across some distant relatives on there. Also, alot of the towns have a "fan" page. You can put info about yourself on there and see if anyone reaches out or search for people on the town page with the surname your looking into to find relatives

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby Italysearcher » 07 Dec 2010, 08:00

Actually if you go to the town, and know the street or area you family livied in, go there around 4pm and stand around talking and pointing at various houses. Since you are obviously foreigners someone is sure to come out and find out what you are doing. Italians are very curious about strangers. Have your family tree with you so you can name names. You might not meet relatives but you will surely meet some nice people. If you do meet relatives then YOU should invite them to the restaurant. If they like you they will invite you to their home the next day. Do as much research as you can before you go on the siblings of the ancestor who left and their descendants if possible.
Have a great trip.
Photos are a nice touch.
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby Obelix » 07 Dec 2010, 08:34

Italysearcher, do you recommend this approach for Sicily and Calabria as well? :)

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby juanminbar » 07 Dec 2010, 15:33

my approach. things were moving slowly so i decided i would call namesakes. i was having very little success since i spoke no italian and those on the other end spoke no english.

however, the 4th call i hit paydirt. there was a young man who spoke a''bit'' of engish. he directed me to a brother in america who could help me.

one thing i discovered was the time difference. my calls were 2oclock in the morning.....not a good idea.

the gent in new jersey was able to sent off a chain reaction of goodwill and when i arrived in casalvecchio i was greeted with open arms, love an affection. the italians are very warm people.

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby blissiorio » 07 Dec 2010, 15:45

Italysearcher wrote:Actually if you go to the town, and know the street or area you family livied in, go there around 4pm and stand around talking and pointing at various houses. Since you are obviously foreigners someone is sure to come out and find out what you are doing. Italians are very curious about strangers. Have your family tree with you so you can name names. You might not meet relatives but you will surely meet some nice people. If you do meet relatives then YOU should invite them to the restaurant. If they like you they will invite you to their home the next day. Do as much research as you can before you go on the siblings of the ancestor who left and their descendants if possible.
Have a great trip.
Photos are a nice touch.


This is a lot like what my best friend did, when he went to the town of his ancestors. He just started walking around with his wife, pointing at things. Eventually someone came up to see what he was doing. He said he was looking for a certain family... turned out the guy he met was their neighbor! He brought them to the housee, and my friend's distant relatives were ecstatic to see a 'long lost cousin' - they cooked him dinner and even showed him all of their old photos. He said it was more than he had dreamed of!

Recently my aunt did a similar thing. She met some really distant cousins,, but they welcomed her warmly, cooked some food, and chatted for a while. Her face lights up when she talks about this experience!

In both cases, the familes met were "country folk." It may be different if you are going to the cities where everyone tends to be busier. But still, Italy is very family oriented while America is very individual-oriented.
Researching surnames:
[In Teramo area] - Core / Fani / Venanzi / Secone / di Luca / Vannoni / Leteo / Bianchini / Cistola / Felicione / di Marco / Casalena / Romantini / Cintioli / di Francesco / Caponi / Foschi / Traini / d'Ascenzo / Ciare / Ciavattini

[In Campagna and Eboli] - Iorio / Adelizzi

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby nickintexas » 07 Dec 2010, 16:43

juanminbar wrote:when i arrived in casalvecchio


When did you get to go? Any of the surnames below familiar?
My past is all behind me now.
Looking for Andreola, Fino, Simone, Rossacci & Capece primarily from Casalvecchio di Puglia.

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby Italysearcher » 07 Dec 2010, 18:49

I recommend this approach for anywhere except the large cities.
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby oilman19 » 07 Dec 2010, 21:14

Just curious. Would you recommend it in a town like Santa Maria?
I haven't made any connections there yet, but I plan to visit late next year. I think the last time I researched it, there were approx. 30,000 residents.
You wouldn't consider that a big city, would you?
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

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didozo
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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby didozo » 08 Dec 2010, 04:05

Thanks for all the info. My husband's uncle did the same thing and was in the Piazza and people came up to them, took them to the homestead and met all the relatives that didn't come over. Even got a picture of the family crest! But his wife speaks italian and he speaks some so at least they had that advantage.

Can you go to the clerk's office any time or what is protocol for requesting records when you are there? Do you make appointments up front?
Searching: Allenza -Villalba/Valledolmo, Marsala -Villalba, Trapani-Mistretta, and Mirra/Filippelli- Domanico, Benevento

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Re: Visiting Italian towns - reception?

Postby TomG » 08 Dec 2010, 14:30

The internet is a great tool for searching out "lost" relatives. I found my husband's maternal grandmother's family through this site.

Google your name and post on every Italian genealogy site you can find. You can also find the Italian white pages on Google where you can search the town's phone numbers and addresses. Facebook is another good choice.

When we visited my husband's ancestral town they were very happy to meet us and we found cousins we never knew existed. It was a wonderful experience to meet them. Several of our friends have also visited their towns and had the same experience. Go for it, but as another posted noted, this is probably only a good idea in small towns where everyone knows each other.


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