Italians in France Question

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Italians in France Question

Post by ItalianBelgian » 01 Jul 2011, 08:06

As my username suggests, my family are from Belgium but we are of some Italian heritage. My question regards not Italians in Belgium but Italians in France. I have for centuries had ancestors who came from different regions in France and I was wondering whether anyone else thought it would be worth while for me to trace my French family back and look for some Italian ancestry in it? I understand that presently roughly 9% of the French population have Italian ancestry going back three generations and because of this I am relatively sure that somewhere down my centuries old French line there must be at least a few Italians or people of Italian parentage. Would anyone else back me on this theory because researching this family line will be a big undertaking and I am only really willing to commit to doing so if I know strongly that I have a chance of adding to my list of Italian relatives. I am also made to believe that I might have Italian family in my French lineage because during the 'First French Empire'(1804-1815) my Italian family from Belgium left from Puglia to go to Northern France (Modern day Belgium) for commercial reasons. Could the fact that Italy was once and has been many times ruled over by France increase the chances of my French family having Italian blood in it?
Thanks for reading this and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
(I am also aware that strictly speaking, any relatives I find would not be Italian as they would have most likely have been alive before the unification of Italy
Investigating the Mercieri family in West Flanders, Belgium, originally from Bari, Puglia

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