Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Italian Roots and Canadian Blossoms: a History of Brantford's Italian-Canadian Community

After finding my grandparents in the 1921 Canadian census, I decided to see what other resources were available for Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  So, I went straight to the FamilySearch Catalog and found a book available entitled  "Italian Roots and Canadian Blossoms: a History of Brantford's Italian-Canadian Community".  That sounded like the perfect book for me!!
Unfortunately it was only available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I googled the title and found several used copies of the book available for purchase. For the mere cost of .99 plus a few dollars shipping and handling I was able to order the book.  And, what a find!!

It actually listed my grandparents in a city directory from 1935-1940 and my grandfather is mentioned in a section regarding the Son's of Italy.  He was the first Venerable or President of the Son's of Italy lodge in Brantford.  After getting the book I found it was available online HERE.   You can even search the book and find peoples names.  Give it a try, and let me know what you find!

One really interesting thing I found out by reading this book was that Canada actually interned Italian citizens during World War II.  Many officials from the Son's of Italy were led away to camps.  More information can be found at Italian Canadians as Enemy Aliens: Memories of World War II.   I was so happy that I did not find my grandfather on the list of those internees.  I do remember my mother telling me that it was not popular to be from Italy and they were looked down upon. In fact in school she could not use her Italian sounding surname, but had it Americanized.  So, sad.   

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 1921 Canada Census

Finally, the 1921 Canada Census is available.  I decided to try to find my Italian grandparents who I believed were living in either St. Thomas or Brantford, Ontario, Canada at the time. I browsed through St. Thomas first and didn't find them.  Then on to Brantford, and I found them in the 22nd district I looked in.  Here they are check out line 17:

Click to enlarge

This answered a couple of things for me.  First, that my mom really was born in 1919, because she is listed as age 2 in this census.  And, my grandpa was a inspector working for the gas company.  My Aunt did tell me something about that many years ago.  This is the first time, I have seen my mother listed on any census.

My grandmother, mom, and Aunt Eva
Now, I wonder if this picture was taken at that house.  My mom told a story about living on Buffalo Street and seeing a vision of a young girl climbing up a ladder.  You can read more about the story by clicking here.   It's exciting to me to find my mom and her family on the census living in the house where she describes this story. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rosaria Morlani Giannetti

Rosaria Morlani Giannetti is my maternal great grandmother.  She was born in Terracina, Italy in 1865.  She came to the United States through Boston Harbor in 1919.  Below is her picture and immigration paperwork. Her passport was passed down to me from my mother and is one of my most priced possessions.  I had it for many years before I could figure out it actually listed her parents names.   I would love to know more about when she married her husband, Silvanio Giannetti.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reply from FamilySearch Re: Maddalena Del Monte

Here is the reply I received from Ruth Merriman at the FHL in Salt Lake City.

Hi Cindy,
You’re right about the names. It does look like the father was Cesareo (usually it is spelled Cesare but that is definitely an ‘o’ at the end)  and that surname for Rosa is definitely Vacca…what a difference a clear film makes!  The word ‘furono’ is before Cesareo’s name – which is the plural form of ‘fu’ – so both parents were dead.  Maddalena was 66 and she was the widow of Saverio _______ (that last name is difficult to make out – do you know who her husband was? If that’s an ‘s’ at the start, it could be Sansone.)  She died the 20th of August (the date at the top says 21st but in the record it says she died “ieri” or yesterday).  She died in a hospital there in Terracina.

I hope this helps,

I am so thankful for their help. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maddelena Del Monte Revisited

I was surprised this week when I was looking at the microfilm at my local Family History Center of Maddalena Del Monte's death record.  I could actually read it!!  This is the same record I looked at in Salt Lake City that was all wavy and very difficult to read. (see on post below).  After looking at this for a while I believe that her parents names are really Cesareo and Rosa Vacca.  Their names are two lines above where it says l'Ufficiale dello Stato Civile.  Let me know what you think??  I may try to send it to the FamilySearch research department and see if someone can help me translate it. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maddelena Del Monte from Terracina, Italy

Registri dello stato civile di Terracina (Latina), 1871-1910 INTL Film 2100778 record number 80 p.s.

Here is a copy of the death record for Maddelena Del Monte that I recently found.  It is very difficult to read.  The image was double exposed or something.  Very unfortunate.  However, there is still some very helpful information on the record.  The red arrow is her name, surname first.  The light yellow arrow is her mother's name Rosa Rocca.  The blue arrow is her father's name.  I'm still not sure about this, but the translator at the Family History Library thought it was Cosimo.  The bright yellow arrow says she was born in Terracina.  And the green arrow says she was the widow of Saverio Laurora.  Right after her name it says that she was 62 years old.  Somewhere on the document, I don't quite remember where it says something about that she died at the "hospital yesterday".  The record is dated 21 Aug 1880.  

My next step, I believe, to learn more about this family is to write to Italy and try to obtain a Certificate of Family Status.  I would like to know when and where they were married and what other children were in the family. 

By the way, I just think Maddelena Del Monte is a very beautiful name, don't you??  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Missing Person Found

This is a poem I wrote after my first experience dipping my toe into genealogy. I had sent for the social security application for Josephine Scaffiddi and was super excited to see that it listed her parents as Silvianio and Rosaria Gianetti. It was like she jumped out of the page and was starting right at me. I later had the opportunity to perform her baptism and confirmation and sealing to her parents in the Los Angeles Temple. Mom, I don't know if you have a copy of the poem so I thought I would share it here. I will try to not be embarrassed.

Missing Person Found
For many years you had been lost
But I gave you no thought.
You were just a name.
I did not look, for you were gone,
An enigma to my thought,
Until that day came.
I had searched for days, for anyone
To no avail
When I found a clue
That led me to wonder if this person was you.
I waited and waited
As one waits for the mail.
I will never forget the day that it came
I opened the letter
And found you inside
Many years before you had died.
And at that moment
The veil was so thin
As I trembled and wept
At your presence within.
Now go home to your Father
And someday I'll see
You with the rest of our family.