As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I find some of the info I've dug up pretty sad as well. The hernia operation I had a couple of years ago (@age 51) that had me back at work after 3 days is what killed my GF in his mid-50's. (my father always told us it was a heart attack ) I learned that my GF first came to the US when he was only 16 years old (by himself)--just imagine how hard the times must have been to make it necessary to send your teenage son overseas to earn some money!
My past is all behind me now. Looking for Andreola, Fino, Simone, Rossacci & Capece primarily from Casalvecchio di Puglia.
I think the saddest thing I've seen to date was an older couple that came over long after the kids did. They were already getting up there in age but I'm sure they missed family and since there was hardly anybody left they decided to pack up and go themselves.
Well...the wife died during the voyage! Can you imagine?! It must have terrible for the husband. Those ships took like 30 days to cross and who knows how long he had to spend on board with the dead body there.
Then..think of her kids who hadn't seen their mother in years waiting for the ship to arrive only to have her arrive in a coffin. So sad!!
Carmine, I totally hear you- the sad truth is yes, you're going to find some things out during this process that aren't going to be very bright moments in your family's history. I'm a grown man and have many times teared up during new discoveries. One that still eats at me to this day is my grandfather's sister who died at the age of 13 from Influenza. There was an epidemic of it in Delaware in 1918, and many many people died. My great grandmother helped many families during that time, and so the story goes, she never got the influenza while helping others. After all of that was said in done, her own daughter died of it in 1920 at the age of 13, and there was nothing that could be done.
donnawright wrote:Absolutely. draining I learned about abandonment of the Italian family when the father came to America and deaths of 4 babies out of 7 kids like you experienced.
This appears to be a common theme. My great grandfather started a second family in South Africa while leaving his other family in Italy. He never sent for them in 20 years. Of the 8 children he fathered with his wife in South Africa, 3 died. One cannot begin to explain the emotions one experiences when learning about this stuff. Especially when the majority of the family have been oblivious to the facts stated above.
Talk about depressing! I was going through death records for one of my towns on Ancestry.com, and saw this family lost 4 children ages 13, 11, 6, and 4 and what looks to be the mother's sister (age 20), all on the same day. I didn't see any cause of death, but my guess is it was some sort of accident as opposed to illness (seeing as it was all the same day).
Aliza24, I agree. I also foiund it interesting that many elders lived longer than I had expected! Many folks lived into their 70's and 80's. Not too shabby for conditions in the 1600/17OO/1800's, especially for the farmers and miners. And, yes, many, many children died, but the good news is that Italy and Italians have remained strong and fit, and helped buld America. Bravo Italia! - Grazie, bell'Italia.