L'Aquila - Paganica...

Do you need information about a certain town or village in Italy, or do you need help to find it on a map?
This forum will give you a helping hand.
Post Reply
js1228
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 35
Joined: 09 Aug 2011, 22:22

L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by js1228 »

Hello -
I have been working on my ancestry and my mother's family comes from the towns of Paganica and Fagano Alto. My great-grandfather was born in Paganica in 1888 and came to the US around 1910. On his birth record, it is listed that his father was a farmer and his mother was a housewife. My great-grandmother was also born in Paganica in 1888 and came to the US in 1912. On her birth record, her dad is listed as a farmer and her mother was a housewife. I am hoping someone may be able to share some information on these towns. I believe that their families were neighbors. When I search online, I cannot find much information that tells about Paganica at that time. I'm curious what it might have been like in the late 1800s, if those were typical occupations in, what life was like there. Any thoughts or information is appreciated.

Thanks!

lcmor
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 155
Joined: 18 Jul 2016, 12:09
Location: Penne, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy

Re: L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by lcmor »

Hi there!

I can tell you that life was pretty tough in the late 1800s all over Italy. Italy was transitioning from a long feudal history following the unification in 1871 and for the first time these farmers were given their own land to farm, before that they were farming lands for feudal lords. Sadly, as wonderful as it sounds that these farmers were given land, they were not given anything else, no seeds, no tools, no nothing....how were they to make a living? There was extreme poverty across Italy at the time and many young frustrated men turned to gangs and became bandits; robbing to make a living. It was probably quite similar to the wild wild west in the US in some ways. Life was very tough for almost everyone. New grain producing countries such as the US started to produce grain for cheaper and this pushed down the global price of grain, making it even more difficult for farmers to make a sustainable living. America opened it's doors to the global labour force, hoping to grow it's agricultural 'machine' and people left Europe in their millions. In Abruzzo over the course of the 100 years following the unification half of the population left to seek opportunity in other parts of the world. For the Abruzzese people this would not have been a choice that was taken lightly: The love of country and kin runs deep in the veins of the local people; leaving would have meant unimaginable loss for them.

But yes most people at that time were 'contadini', so these were completely common professions. Paganica is very close to L'Aquila. This is an absolutely stunning part of the world. In some ways not much has changed. Families still stay close to one another and the historical centers of the towns are unchanged. I recently visited L'Aquila and was surprised to see how much restoration work has been done there following the earthquake in 2009. It was so lovely and I was so pleased that so much hard work was being done to restore L'Aquila to it's original beauty. I hope you find this interesting. You really should come and see for yourself someday! Abruzzo is an exceptional place!!
FROM ABRUZZO WITH LOVE genealogy services
contact: info@abruzzowithlove.com
http://www.abruzzowithlove.com
Find us on...
Facebook: /abruzzowithlove
Twitter: @abruzzowithlove
Instagram: abruzzowithlove

js1228
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 35
Joined: 09 Aug 2011, 22:22

Re: L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by js1228 »

Oh my gosh...thank you! This is great. I need to do some additional reading on the unification so I can understand why they would have been given land? i know for sure that my great-great-grandfather was a landowner as i have found records where he must be owed money from different tenants. this is a great start. thank you. anything else you think of is appreciated. :)

User avatar
DCPandaFan
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: 29 May 2015, 01:56

Re: L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by DCPandaFan »

If you can read in Italian, the Italian Wikipedia does have some information on Paganica and Fagano Alto. The entry on Paganica includes a lot of the history. Paganica is part of the comune of L'Aquila. Fagano Alto is a tiny comune located a few comunes away from L'Aquila. Both Paganica and Fagano Alto were heavily damaged in the 2009 earthquake.
When will Italy get Giant Pandas?

robertot
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 20 Aug 2018, 18:00

Re: L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by robertot »

I am searching for information on my ancestors who were also born in Paganica (San Giovanni) in the late 1800's. The family name was listed as DiTommaso in Italy but changed to Thomas shortly after arrival in America.
I would appreciate learning about your efforts to learn more about your family's history.
Bob Thomas
St. Michaels, Maryland

lcmor
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 155
Joined: 18 Jul 2016, 12:09
Location: Penne, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy

Re: L'Aquila - Paganica...

Post by lcmor »

Hi Bob! The records for the province of L'Aquila between 1865 and the present are held in the comuni (town hall). For records for Paganica before 1865 you should be able to find the documents online here:

http://dl.antenati.san.beniculturali.it ... /Paganica/

However, San Giovanni Paganica is a hamlet in the wider comune of Montereale, so you may be looking for these records:
http://dl.antenati.san.beniculturali.it ... ontereale/

Good luck with your search!

Laura
FROM ABRUZZO WITH LOVE genealogy services
contact: info@abruzzowithlove.com
http://www.abruzzowithlove.com
Find us on...
Facebook: /abruzzowithlove
Twitter: @abruzzowithlove
Instagram: abruzzowithlove

Post Reply