How To Find Family Currently In Italy

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Joined: 04 Jan 2010, 17:39

How To Find Family Currently In Italy

Post by Lyn164 » 09 Jan 2010, 04:09

All of you have been wonderfully helpful with finding the real facts on my Dad's family. Now, how do I go about contacting any family members still in Italy? I don't speak any Italian, and have no idea how I could speak to them if I knew where they actually were. I did find a directory of both areas the family was in (see Veri/Ciarrone post). I did see Ciarrone still in the area Grandpa was from. I just want to know about the family. Were they farmers? Were they furniture makers? Do any of the older family members remember meeting my Dad when he visited. It sounds so silly, but I miss my Dad terribly and may finally have a way to be close to him.

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Re: How To Find Family Currently In Italy

Post by wldspirit » 09 Jan 2010, 09:37

You have two options:

Potential Relative Form Letter

Italian Letter Writing Guide

The above can be sent out to those in the town carrying your surname, and perhaps you'll make a connection.
Or if you prefer, you can write a letter in English, post it in the language section of this forum and someone can translate it into Italian for you.
Best of Luck! :)

"Cambiano i suonatori ma la musica è sempre quella."

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Re: How To Find Family Currently In Italy

Post by johnnyonthespot » 09 Jan 2010, 11:13


If you haven't done so already, check the Italian telephone directory for addresses of potential relatives. As an Italian 2nd cousin once told me, "if we have the same surname and are from the same general area, we are almost certainly related."

Personally, I suggest that you take the time to write a fairly detailed letter explaining who you are, your ancestors (names, birthdates, locations) as you know them, how/when your ancestors came to the US from Italy, etc. Include in the letter why you are researching your past ("I have so much respect and love for my Italian roots and hope to learn everything I can about my family..."). And so on. Dress it up. Make it more than just a paragraph or two; make it look like this is something you really care about. Include a few photos of your ancestors (if you have them; perhaps the photos from naturalization papers for example), and a few more recent photos as well.

Now, pay perhaps $50 to have the letter professionally translated. Believe me, it will be worth it. Send the letter, in both Italian and in English to as many potential relatives as possible ($0.98 for First-Class International mail...) and hope for the best.

Keep this in mind, the more effort you put into this, the more likely you will get a response. And, like first impressions, you really only get one shot at this. If your first letter does not garner useful replies, you cannot very well write a new letter and ask again - see what I mean?

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