I'm researching my family from the Volturno valley in Molise. Primarily, they were from the villages of Castel San Vincenzo (formerly San Vincenzo al Volturno) and Pizzone, though I also have ancestors from Colli a Volturno and Picinisco in Frosinone. The surnames I've found so far in my direct ancestry are Di Julio (my mother's maiden name, also spelled Di Iulio), Di Benedetto, Vacca, Di Iorio, Pontarelli, Di Cristofano, Gualano, Martino, Di Silvestro, Notardonato, Cozzone, Di Vito, Barone, D'Amico, Salvatore, Ferri, Paone. I would like to share information with others researching the same area.
I have been doing research of my husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s family for quite a few years as his grandfather was born in the state of Molise. From my experience I have found the state archives in Campobasso to be very helpful both when I have written to them and on the several occasions I have visited their office. Also if you know about when your family members were born, it would be very helpful to visit the municipal offices in those communities. I have found that these municipal offices have a separate book for each year where they no only record births but also on the same page record deaths (if they died in that same town) and marriages. Also I acquired a telephone book from the Campobasso area and that was very helpful. You would need one from the Isernia area.
Have you been to these to towns? They are truly beautiful. It seems to me that these small southern hill towns are where you can get a real taste of the life of your/our ancestors. My first Italian friend lives in the same home her family has owned for over 600 years and until she bought a cooking stove all meals have been prepared in the fireplace. Experiences and insights like this will color our family stories for generations to come.
I am returning in mid September for another extended visit and would appreciate any insight you can offer me.