Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Finding Family

fragano-vincenzo-1886-05-27-birth-certificate-page1-thumbThe tradition in southern Italy is to name the first son after the father´s father, the second son after the mother´s father, the first daughter after the father´s mother and the second daughter after the mother´s mother.  As the third son, my husband was named after his father. 

Because of the tradition, many names show up over and over on my husband´s family tree and its fun to connect the birth order of each member to the source of his or her name.

Through our hosts, we met eighty year old Vincenze Maggio when we first arrived in Sciacca.  We were not sure if he was in Chuck´s family line because there were no Vincenzes in the four generations back that we have documented.  But there was certainly a family resemblance.

I am new to geneological research.  I don´t have all the internet resources lined up quite yet.  I´m doing this the old-fashioned way – visiting cemeteries, churches and town halls.  Unfortunately the person we needed to see at the cathedral was out of town so the chuch route was no help.  But, luckily, a staff member at the cathedral pointed us in the right direction.  The town hall of Sciacca still has all the original birth and marriage certificates in a small office just off the corner of the courtyard. We walked through the open door and found a room lines with shelves and shelves of tall, old books!

Three very helpful ladies patiently listened to my very broken Italian, looked at the family tree, and started the search for the father of my husband´s greatgrandfather. Imagine our delight when they brought us the book and showed us that Cologero Maggio´s father was Vincenze Maggio! 

The day we were leaving Sciacca, we met Vincenze for some granita and said our goodbyes to this dear old man.  We will keep on doing more research but we adopted him as a great uncle. Family found.

1 Comment

  1. Very sweet! Congratulations – always great to make a connection, and even more so across oceans and time!

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