Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

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Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 19:22

Hi, guys. I was wondering, what do you most like adding to your family tree? I mean, genealogy goes way beyond a few names and dates, does it not? Some things can tell you a lot about how your ancestors lived, and what they were like. Anyway, what are some things you think are important to have on your tree?
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby maestra36 » 17 Apr 2010, 20:40

I think that understanding the occupations in which our ancestors engaged is important to understanding what their daily lives were like. I am not talking about simply translating the Italian occupation words into English, as you find on websites on the internet. I am talking about really understanding what was involved in their occupations during the time period in which they lived. I also think it is important to understand the customs of our ancestors concerning births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, funerals, and burials. It also helps to understand what was happening historically in Italy and Sicily during the time period in which they lived. I think that, when you start putting your genealogy research into a book, the way I have been doing for the past year, you begin to realize that your family tree and family history are incomplete, if they just contain names and dates.
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 20:57

maestra36 wrote:I think that understanding the occupations in which our ancestors engaged is important to understanding what their daily lives were like. I am not talking about simply translating the Italian occupation words into English, as you find on websites on the internet. I am talking about really understanding what was involved in their occupations during the time period in which they lived. I also think it is important to understand the customs of our ancestors concerning births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, funerals, and burials. It also helps to understand what was happening historically in Italy and Sicily during the time period in which they lived. I think that, when you start putting your genealogy research into a book, the way I have been doing for the past year, you begin to realize that your family tree and family history are incomplete, if they just contain names and dates.


Yes, I agree 100%. Knowing about the occupation of an ancestor is very important. Whenever I find a new ancestor, I try to find out all I can about him/her. I also like to have pictures of my ancestors. One of my favorites is one I have of my great X3 grandparents that looks to be taken in the 1800's.....I would say 1875-1890. It's amazing quality. But of course, it is hard to find pictures.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby maestra36 » 17 Apr 2010, 21:10

Photos, of course, are of utmost importance, but as you get back further in your tree, impossible to find. The oldest photo I have of an ancestor on my husband's side is for his one great grandmother born in Sicily in 1869. On my side, it is a photo of my one set of Sicilian great grandparents born in 1849 and 1856. Of course, all these photos were taken in the U.S. and are not as old as the photos you seem to have for your family.
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 21:20

maestra36 wrote:Photos, of course, are of utmost importance, but as you get back further in your tree, impossible to find. The oldest photo I have of an ancestor on my husband's side is for his one great grandmother born in Sicily in 1869. On my side, it is a photo of my one set of Sicilian great grandparents born in 1849 and 1856. Of course, all these photos were taken in the U.S. and are not as old as the photos you seem to have for your family.


The photo I mentioned is of my paternal grandmother's family. This was taken in America, and is of my Irish ancestors. Before I got into genealogy, we had so much more in our basement. All of it was lost after a flood, and at the time it wasn't a big deal. As you can imagine, I cringe to think about it now!

But as you said, after a certain point, photos will be impossible to find.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby maestra36 » 17 Apr 2010, 22:11

Yes, unfortunately, there are no photos of my dad's parents together because, according to my one aunt, they had a flood in their basement as well and such photos were lost. But I have a number of photos of her, even with my dad, and a lot of photos of my grandfather, even with his second wife. My grandmother's mom came to the U.S. at the age of 23 and was dead by the age of 26. If there ever were photos of her, they are gone. I do, however, have a few photos of her husband and his second wife. I also know of someone who has a photo of my grandmother's grandfather. The person claims the photos is under a curved piece of glass and that they can't even get me a digital photo of the photo. I begged and begged saying I would accept anything, but to no avail. Also my maternal grandmother was estranged from her parents after she married at age 16, and there are no photos of them. If she ever had any, she must have destroyed them. I did find a distant relative who had a photo of her mother's brother, so that is the closest thing I have to her family. I keep trying to track down photos for her family, but no luck and it's been years of trying. I have lots of photos, even very old ones, of my grandmother and her husband.
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby maestra36 » 17 Apr 2010, 22:12

sorry about the duplicate post. The website froze on me.
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 22:31

maestra36 wrote:Yes, unfortunately, there are no photos of my dad's parents together because, according to my one aunt, they had a flood in their basement as well and such photos were lost. But I have a number of photos of her, even with my dad, and a lot of photos of my grandfather, even with his second wife. My grandmother's mom came to the U.S. at the age of 23 and was dead by the age of 26. If there ever were photos of her, they are gone. I do, however, have a few photos of her husband and his second wife. I also know of someone who has a photo of my grandmother's grandfather. The person claims the photos is under a curved piece of glass and that they can't even get me a digital photo of the photo. I begged and begged saying I would accept anything, but to no avail. Also my maternal grandmother was estranged from her parents after she married at age 16, and there are no photos of them. If she ever had any, she must have destroyed them. I did find a distant relative who had a photo of her mother's brother, so that is the closest thing I have to her family. I keep trying to track down photos for her family, but no luck and it's been years of trying. I have lots of photos, even very old ones, of my grandmother and her husband.


You seem to have hit a lot of obstacles! I would be pretty upset if somebody had a picture of my great great grandfather and refused to share.

I am lucky to have pictures of six great X3 grandparents. The two Irish one's I mentioned, and four Italians. My great uncle (on my Italian side)made a documentary about our family, and he has tons of photos on it. That is a real gem for genealogy, as I can also see my great great aunts and uncles talking about their family.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby carolinechurch » 17 Apr 2010, 23:15

Whenever I find someone new or a new address or location I google it/them. It's amazing the information that pops up.
I found a London address once on the census, where my ggg grandfather lived, and found a lengthy transcript from the Old Bailey, involving a murder case his son was involved in, and lengthy descriptions of the actual houses, who lived in them and witness testimony from the son.
I had several ancestors who ended up in the workhouse, or in lunatic asylums, and have tried to find out why, often for very sad reasons.

I image search the streets and addresses and can often find photos of their actual houses, churches and schools. I love maps, and articles from newspapers.
I am always wanting to know more - why did this person end up living with that person, what was that job, what was the place they lived in like?
It makes the people jump off the pages and into life. I probably have more photos, scans of documents, photos of schools, ruined buildings and the like attached to my tree than anyone I know, but it is what I enjoy, more than having dozens of names and dates of faceless meaningless people.
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 23:36

carolinechurch wrote:Whenever I find someone new or a new address or location I google it/them. It's amazing the information that pops up.
I found a London address once on the census, where my ggg grandfather lived, and found a lengthy transcript from the Old Bailey, involving a murder case his son was involved in, and lengthy descriptions of the actual houses, who lived in them and witness testimony from the son.
I had several ancestors who ended up in the workhouse, or in lunatic asylums, and have tried to find out why, often for very sad reasons.

I image search the streets and addresses and can often find photos of their actual houses, churches and schools. I love maps, and articles from newspapers.
I am always wanting to know more - why did this person end up living with that person, what was that job, what was the place they lived in like?
It makes the people jump off the pages and into life. I probably have more photos, scans of documents, photos of schools, ruined buildings and the like attached to my tree than anyone I know, but it is what I enjoy, more than having dozens of names and dates of faceless meaningless people.


I'm glad you agree. I, too, had an ancestor who ended up in an asylum. On her death record she was listed as dying of insanity, at 55 I believe. Can you imagine what a terrible death she must have had. The asylum she was in is now open for ghost hunts. I find this to be a total disgrace.

I always look at street addresses on Census records, and then Google Map them. You can actually see them on street view, if they weren't torn down. And you're right, it is amazing what sometimes pops up if you Google a relative. I found an uncle on my father's side who was murdered not ten minutes away from where I live now. This is amazing, especially since I am originally from PA. Of all the places I might have moved!
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby Squigy » 17 Apr 2010, 23:38

Also, I find Obits very valuable. They give you so much insight on to ancestors personalities. I am always emailing libraries for these.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Favorite things to add to your Family Tree

Postby carolinechurch » 18 Apr 2010, 00:36

Often there was nothing wrong with people admitted to asylums, there was just no alternative if they had no-one to care for them. One of my gg grandfathers had a sister who was deaf and mute, so she was classed as an imbecile. After being moved from one male member of the family to another, after they all died she ended up in a lunatic asylum where they didn't even know her age, place of birth, or correct name.
Another relative was a policeman, accused of a brutal murder, who lost his mind, and was admitted to another of London's lunatic asylums, where he used to scream 'murder murder' all night... I guess he was in the right place....
Several women went into the workhouse in Wapping, made famous by Charles Dickens in his book 'The Uncommercial Traveller' They either had the misfortune to be widowed, or to have illegitimate babies, born in the workhouse.
We are so lucky now.
Searching for my great x3 grandfather Raffaele CIACCIA, also known as Raphael/Ralph CHURCH. He was born in Napoli around 1792 and arrived in London before 1812 with his brother Saverio CIACCIA, where they married sisters Ann and Jane FURNEAUX. He switched between CHURCH and CIACCIA all his life, which has made it difficult enough to pin him down. I want to find his origin in Italy.
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