I will be making my first and possibly only trip to Italy next May/June. I will be visiting my ancestral town of Ferrandina for a few days. Since I will only have a short time frame,do any of you wonderful experts have any advice or tips on where to begin or where to search for genealogy information? I have names & dates of births for my great grandparents who came to U.S. in 1900. Courthouse, Churches, Cemeteries? What should I expect? Of course I want to make the most out of my time, so any advice is appreciated. ~Natalie~
Natalie: how exciting! My sister Madeline and I are leaving to visit our ancestral town, Anzano di Puglia, May 24th. We do not speak English, and the most difficult part thus far has been making a plan to get from the Rome airport to southeast Italy, to our small mountain village. I found the village has a Facebook page, and with the help of google translate have been messengering back and forth. they have been very helpful, one person found us an apartment for a week in the village, two people have offered to drive us around. Have you checked to see if your village or town is online? I hope you have a wonderful trip!
Marie,thank you for your reply. Ferrandina does have a website! I will go there and see what I can find out. Please let us know all about your visit to your ancestral town when you get back. How exciting!! Safe travels! ~Natalie~
Hi Natalie - My husband & I just returned from our once in a life time trip also. We got home on May 18th. We visited Arzignano in northern Italy . That is where my grandfather was born. Records for this town were kept in Vincenza (which is what we consider a county seat) - I had contacted the archieves there before we visited to be sure that my gf was born there. They replied that he was - so we started at the archives. I was lucky there was a lady at the desk who spoke broken English. I was able to find the marriage announcement as well as the marriage license of his parents - my great grandparents. On those certificates were listed the names of their parents - which are my gg grandparents! What a find!! She helped me with the spelling of the names (hard to read their writing) and the name of the church that they were married at. We spent about 5 hours at the archieves. They are not able to make copies - but I did a lot of writing. We went back to our hotel, and a lady at the desk who was extremely helpful to us while we were there, made a call to the church for us to make an appointment to look at their records. My hope was that I could find the baptizm records for the gf and his brother and sisters. When we got there the priest said that he did not know anything about our appointment but shortly after an archivist for the chruch showed up and he was the person we had the appointment with. I was able to locate most of the records - but he said that all the church records were kept at the diocese office located in Vincenza. The office was only open a few days a week from 8 - 12. So we were not able to go to the diocese because we were leaving for Germany. But I was very happy with what I found. I am now able to to add another generation to my family!
Natalie, I'm delighted to finally meet someone on these forums with ties to Ferrandina. I've been researching my husband's family tree through several towns in Basilicata for the last few years, and Ferrandina is one of them.
What are your family surnames from Ferrandina? My husband's great grandfather Vincenzo Cafarelli was born in Ferrandina in 1854, married in Accettura in 1876, and brought his wife and children to the U.S. in 1893, settling in West New York, New Jersey. Vincenzo's father Domenico was also born in Ferrandina; his mother, Maria Gaetana Mastronardi, was born in Craco, and I'm now piecing together her family tree.
Domenico's father, Francesco Vincenzo Cafarelli, and grandfather, Liborio, were born in Laurenzana but moved to Ferrandina sometime around 1800. Some of Liborio's other children were also born in Laurenzana and went with him to Ferrandina; he had at least one daughter from a second marriage (to Argenzia Suriano) in Ferrandina.
Other Ferrandina surnames connected with the Cafarelli family are Agneta, Bonora, Brescia, DeGrandij, Galgano, Gianoccari, LoPergolo, Marzano, Pecora, Pellicciaro, Russo, and Squadro. Are you connected with any of these lines? I've been photographing records from Ferrandina from FHL microfilms and may have ones for your family.
I'd love to hear about your trip to Ferrandina and see any photos you're willing to share. Please send me a private message, and I'll send you my email address so we can exchange more information. I look forward to hearing from you!
Natalie, is your trip to Ferrandina this year (2012) or next year? From your message it sounds like next year. If so, you can make a good deal of progress on your family tree using FHL microfilms before your trip and then have a better sense of what to look for when you go. One possibility is to try to get as far back in your tree as you can from microfilms of vital records before you go and then try to go back further with church records when you visit, if you can get access. I'd be interested to know if one CAN get access to church records there. It varies from one church to another. In your research, you may find cousins and other contacts who might lead you to a local contact willing to be a tour guide. That happened with another researcher friend who just made a first trip to Accettura, and she had a very productive visit.
I suspect that whether you can use your digital camera to photograph records depends on each town and official.
I, too, have roots in Ferrandina, and my first trip there will be in the fall of 2013, but I've yet to make any concrete plans, and was looking for help as well. I pretty much have exhausted microfilms and databases here, so it's on to Italy to collect more info. Anyone with specific info on travel to Ferrandina from the US, please contact me privately to discuss. Thanks.
Glad to meet you, John. I hope you and Natalie will share your experiences visiting Ferrandina. You can reach me by private message if you have photos to share and don't want to post to the list. Thanks!
On my trip to my ancestral village of Avigliano, Potenza, Basilcata I wrote to the city hall for Stato di Famiglia for relatives I was researching and indicated that I would come by to pick them up rather than have them mailed to me. I also contacted an "of the beaten path-Italy" travel agent in NY who give me a direct contact in Italy who arranged for us to stay in a Seminary in Avigliano/Potenza. The rate was good and they arranged a translator and bus for all 13 of us. We visited city hall to pick up our documents and were told a living relative in Frusci which we "dropped in on". We were well received and spent the afternoon together sharing documents etc establishing our family ties. We also were able to go to the cemetery in Avigliano and look at records. We used a camera to take photos of documents as no photo copies were allowed. During our visit my oldest son who was age 14 video taped the whole visit unbeknownst to me. It was truly an amazing trip. With a little planning ahead of time you will do fine. We actually booked a tour to Amalfi and because the rates were so low at the time we actually left the hotel in Amalfi to go on our adventure further south but returned to Amalfi for a few days before the end of the tour. It was a trip of a life time. Everyone I encounted in Italy was very welcoming and helpful.
I am going to Ferrandina Oct 25th to find my ancestral past. My mother has been very curious about her father,who refused to talk about his childhood before arriving to America at the age of 8. Can anyone help or lead me in the right direction? He was born 4/7/1895. His mother was Laura (I can't spell that, sounds like Lowwra) Roberto. She couldn't keep him and gave to a church. The church named him Domenico Ademaro. She came back a short while later, took him back and was then named Domenico Roberto. His sister, Lucia Roberto, was born 1/18/1897. Both have the same father , but he is not named on the birth certificates. His mother was not married to this man. The only thing I know about this man was that he was a doctor. At that time, they called them professors. My grandfather's sister, Lucia had 1 son. His name was Mario Andrea. He is now deceased. He had 1 daughter. Her name is Maria. I have no idea what her last name would be now. She does still live in Ferandina. My grandfather was sent to America at the age of 8. We don't know if he came with someone or came alone. His mother sent him here. His sister and mother remained in Ferrandina. Please help....Kathy