I have been researching family genealogy and have found Italian heritage which makes me very happy, I KNEW IT!!! My mother’s mother’s (6 times) mother was Maria Christina Monza b1700 Italy d 1740 Loudon, Virginia USA. She married Alberto de Fonzo b 1690 Italy d 1750 Loudon, Virginia USA. Their daughter Elizabeth Marie de Fonzo was born 1735 Leeds Parish, Virginia USA, d 1795 in Tennessee, USA.
So, Alberto and Maria immigrated to America between 1700 and 1735, sometime in their 20-30s? In emailing with an Italian genealogy expert he (Peter) said “I don't know if you realized this, but your ancestors are some of the very (very) first Italian immigrants in America....and I'm stressing very. Seriously, it's an amazing thing to have in your lineage. However, although I can tell you that your family came from the area around Milan, I unfortunately also have to tell you that it's nearly impossible to trace that line back due to the records available... but not those in Italy (they date to the 1500s, albeit organized church-for-church), but those in America. Without more exact data here regarding Alberto & Maria the issue is finding which church (not even town) in Italy where they were parishioners!!! I personally wouldn't be able to help outside of what you've already done, I can tell you that your family is lombardo– that is, from the region where Milan is.”
I’d love to find the town or village they came from and to paint the story of their immigration. Did they come together? Was she a very young woman travelling on a ship with mostly men? Did they come as a couple or did they come earlier with their families and meet in America? My trail seems to end with Peter’s comments since I don’t speak the language to contact locals in areas within Lombardi to try and find local records. Can you help at all or know anyone who may be able to?
I will be in Italy for our third trip Oct 20th, in Rome (new) and then thru Cortona to Florence. If I could make connections or even discover family there I would be thrilled!!! My husband and I dream of our place in Italy, seriously researching both property there for fun and for retirement. Family connections may change where we would want to settle down.
According to Italian White Pages, "Monza" seems to be definitely a surname from Lombardia, very common indeed. "De Fonzo" sounds a southern surname, even if it can also be found in he north, maybe because of immigration. It can also have various spellings (Di Fonzo, De Fonzi, Fonzo), so it becomes hard to say where it is from. It seems like you are going to have a hard work...
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi
Certificate requests and genealogical searches in Italy. Translation of your old documents and letters. Legal assistance for your Italian citizenship.
I just found out the other day on ancestry.com that I was indeed a descendant of Alberto. His daughter Maria is my 6th great grandmother, the first Italian ancestry I've found outside of the royal bloodlines. I personally believe it's pretty cool!
David Russell of Washington County, TN is my mother's 5th great grandfather. My mother's mother was born in Washington County, TN, so these are lines I know extremely well.
I'm in possession of the original bible pages of my mother's 3rd great grandparents Joseph McCurry and Rebecca Tarrant. Joseph is the grandson of David Russell and his wife Margaret de Fonzo? Although the bible clearly states the Jamima Russell's (wife of James McCurry) father was David Russell. Someone failed to mention her mother's name.
Both my my mother and I tested our DNA with 23andMe. My mother is 2.6% Italian. All of those Italian genes are on her X chromosomes which is entirely feasible because David Russell's wife could pass down her X chromosomes to my mother.
This is different from the mtDNA which is passed down only from an unbroken female line. The X chromosomes are passed down from father to daughter and then to her daughters and sons, but the sons can't pass them on to their sons. Margaret de Fonzo? Russell is not our mtDNA ancestor.
Although I work with documentation, DNA has opened new doors. My mom's lines go back more than eight generations in this country, and there is not an Italian name anywhere except for the possiblity of de Fonzo.