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distant relatives and such

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.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby Emmy » 14 Sep 2010, 20:47

I must have been very fortunate. I have traced very distant cousins and OK I agree perhaps 'the blood is thinner'(lol) but the information/photographs I received from them about my father's first cousins was just fantastic. To me it was like 'putting some meat on the bones'
So its not all useless tracing cousins way down the line. I'm glad I did keep going.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby donnawright » 14 Sep 2010, 21:20

I am also interested in the distant cousins and even people not related from their town. Their stories of the total family count for much of what their lives were like. Example: My grandfather came to America in 1906, his wife and two of the children in 1912, and the last child in 1919. I hope someone will be able to tell me about her living in Italy without the rest of her family for ten years. Also, my grandmother's dad died when she was just 2 and so far I find no other siblings. So here we have her mother.... her only child leaving for America and taking all of the grandkids... never to see them again. I have a visual image of this woman all alone... her entire family gone. Strikes my soul! I want to know their stories... the cousins are the ones who were around her. What started out as a neat thing to work on has become a different kind of mission for me. Corrado, you are not weird to me.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby donnawright » 14 Sep 2010, 21:25

And, I have also found distant cousins in Italy on my dad's side. They send cards, letters, and photos. I sent a copy of my family tree. They did some collaboration and it was returned to me with corrections and additions. Distant cousins are my new best friends. Yeah!
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby tinagrenier » 15 Sep 2010, 01:38

donnawright wrote:And, I have also found distant cousins in Italy on my dad's side. They send cards, letters, and photos. I sent a copy of my family tree. They did some collaboration and it was returned to me with corrections and additions. Distant cousins are my new best friends. Yeah!


Well I think you're pretty darn lucky because my Italian relatives are just like what Corrado and VG described. I got in touch with the children of my mom's first cousins in Italy and we e-mailed a couple times and they were really nice and even sent me a bunch of family pictures. Then I couldn't get them to respond to my letters or emails anymore. I thought maybe I wrote something that offended them but honestly I was just as nice as pie and didn't act real nosy or anything. So who knows? After awhile I just gave up because I didn't want to seem like a scary stalker American cousin.

In fairness to them, we never knew each other before I sent my letter, so maybe they just weren't interested in staying in touch beyond the initial howdy-do. But I was a little bummed because I thought it would be fun to get to know them a little :cry:
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby tinagrenier » 15 Sep 2010, 01:45

vintagegamer wrote:but after the feeling of having achieved something incredible by having found this family again, it's a bit disappointing when they don't reply to emails or questions.


It was just the same for me. It was so exciting when they first wrote back and sent me some pictures and other stuff but it seems like the novely wore off after a couple letters and they never wrote back anymore after that. I tried a few times after that and nothing. :(
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby vintagegamer » 15 Sep 2010, 14:12

Tina, I am glad to hear that you can relate with what I have experienced (at least now my self-esteem points can now come back up a few notches).

I decided yesterday with one of my cousins on Facebook to put this "concern" of mine (if you want to call it that) out on the table, to see what was up.

I wrote yesterday and politely told them that I was very interested in learning more about them and their family, but that I did not want to be a bother. I stated kindly that if I was asking too many questions to simply let me know and I would stop asking...

I received a reply back within about an hour, and I think my message got through :D The person stated that I was in no way being a bother, and opened up some further details. In this instance, I guess they were simply oblivious to my feelings, or inundated with alot in their own life that they did not realize what their silence was indicating on my side. I'm glad that my message got through to them clearly.

That's one thing we italians don't have a problem with: being vocal. :D
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby tinagrenier » 15 Sep 2010, 14:55

I never tried giving an ultimatum like that cuz I didn't want to seem pushy. It's been awhile since I last tried to write so maybe i'll give it a try and see what happens. Like someone else here said I don't expect them to be my best friend I just want to know more about the relatives that stayed in Italy. Glad you finally got them to write back to you! I'll let you know how it works out for me.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby vintagegamer » 15 Sep 2010, 15:23

tinagrenier wrote:I never tried giving an ultimatum like that cuz I didn't want to seem pushy. It's been awhile since I last tried to write so maybe i'll give it a try and see what happens. Like someone else here said I don't expect them to be my best friend I just want to know more about the relatives that stayed in Italy. Glad you finally got them to write back to you! I'll let you know how it works out for me.


I didn't want my request to sound in any way like an ultimatum, hopefully they didn't take it as such- I just wanted them to know that if they were looking for our line of communication just to be a once a year thing, or "great, I know you're there" and that's it, that was fine- I just wanted to understand what the level of expectation was going to be. I went through quite a bit of effort and research on my end to find them, so in my eyes the least they could do was let me know if they were wanting to keep in contact with me or not!
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby mporta66 » 15 Sep 2010, 17:27

tinagrenier wrote:I never tried giving an ultimatum like that cuz I didn't want to seem pushy. It's been awhile since I last tried to write so maybe i'll give it a try and see what happens.


Tina, I don’t know if I agree at all with this tactic. Most people will react quickly if they feel like they’ve been perceived as rude. So in the short run you might guilt your cousin into writing back to you but I don’t think it’s going to leave a very nice impression. If you want to try again I think it would be better to just send a nice letter and keep everything light, no pressure. Good luck! :)
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby vintagegamer » 15 Sep 2010, 18:45

I wrote yesterday and politely told them that I was very interested in learning more about them and their family, but that I did not want to be a bother. I stated kindly that if I was asking too many questions to simply let me know and I would stop asking...


I still don't understand how what I wrote above would be perceived as an "ultimatum", but whatever. The person has been responding to me so I do not believe it was in any way taken as an ultimatum, or rude in any way.

Tina, it was simply a helpful tip that worked for me. If people here don't believe it to be good advice, then do however you feel is best. All I know is it worked great for me.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby basta43 » 29 Aug 2011, 04:34

Well, I have many Italian relatives and let me tell you that mine are not that interested in having any kind of relationship with me. Italians are very funny about relatives who immigrate to another foreign country. My cousins whether they are 1st 2nd or 3rd cousins etc. don't want to have anything to do with me or my family. When hurricane Irene came pummeled through my state, not one would pick up the phone to ask if we are alright. I think it is all about jealousy because we are better off financially than they are. My parents denounced their Italian citizenship when they became naturalized US citizens. I just think it is just a cultural thing.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby Italia1963 » 18 Sep 2011, 16:27

From what I understand, genealogy is not a big hobby in Italy. I think Italians in Italy are more concerned with the here and now and their fellow family and friends in the village.
In America, most of us are from towns and villages that are a bit larger than the comunes of Italy, so if we meet a 3rd or 4th cousin, their is a warm and special bond that comes over us. But if you think about it, in Italy, in the small southern villages most Italian Americans come from, the inhabitants of those villages may have the same DNA running through their veins, through past generations of inter-marriage, yet I think after a few generations, the feelings we Americans may feel for distant relatives, is not there in Italy. Of course, not every Italian feels a lack of connection to distant relatives, but I just think our American view of family, which extends to countless generations, is not felt the same by Italians, who would feel overwhelmed if they actually sat down and traced their family tree which would probably show they are related to everyone in the comune.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby jennabet » 18 Sep 2011, 22:43

.....This might make me think that the area was possibly destroyed in WWII. Okay, that's just a wild guess.....

It's a very good guess given that there is a Canadian cemetery in the provincia di Chieti not far from the town of Lanciano.
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby PippoM » 19 Sep 2011, 07:51

I am very curious about my surname, so I'm trying to get to know all people with the same surname or its variations. I don't want to be a "friend", but know something about their family. Well, if in social networks someone contacts me just because I wear the same surname, I expect him/her to be interested in the same matter. On the contrary, when I ask questions about the origins of their branch, they generally don't even answer, not even to say "I don't know". They almost seem "suspicious". Sometimes I also thought it could be a "rich cousin complex", something coming from the early 1900, when Italians were so poor that would recognize a 10th cousin just to get some help...
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Re: distant relatives and such

Postby corrado » 04 Oct 2011, 01:11

Youth! They still remember you though. I had contacted people on my mothers side (Lithuania) and they told me not to wright them unless I send money. This was in the bad old days, I wish I had saved the name and address, I bet things would be different now.
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