My Family Tree Journey: Part 1
Just when I thought my family couldn't get any bigger...
I've grown up more acquainted with my mom's side of the family. My mom was born in Guelph, and many of her family members currently still live there. Her family has always been quite close, and having much of the older generations still present today has made it easy for my mom to trace back her heritage to several years. My dad's side on the other hand, mainly resides in Italy, with the exception an uncle, aunt, and one cousin in Toronto. We certainly keep in touch with a few cousins in my dad's hometown, but I've always known that his side of the family is just as big as my mom's. I remember when my sister and I first got Facebook, and within the first week, we had tons of Angelicchio's our age sending us friend requests. We were so fascinated that people in Montreal had our last name, because as far as we knew, we were the only Angelicchio's in Canada. Of course we immediately asked our dad how we could be connected to those people, and he responded saying that he has so many cousins that he doesn't even know. I still look back on that day and wonder, how many Angelicchio's are there? Where do they live? How could we be related, and through whom?
My Nonna has been staying with us since Easter, and since then, I've become quite curious to learn more about my family heritage. She has a great memory, and what better opportunity to find out more about my family, than right now? I have so many questions about my Angelicchio side, and her side, Sarcinella. So, I sat down with her one day, and we started mapping out my family tree. Here's how it went:
Step 1: Who are the Angelicchio's?
The name Angelicchio comes from my dad's father Vito, who grew up in a small town called Muro Lucano, in the Basilicata region of Italy. I started off by writing down immediate family members, and started to work my way back. Throughout this process, we've landed on three grey areas that I'm determined to figure out. We've also found a bridge between both sides of my dad's family.
The Grey Area
I know that my Nonno had four siblings, and some of those families, we have a relationship with. The first grey area here is my Nonno's sister Felicia Cardillo, who passed away years ago. She had TEN KIDS, and as far as we know, they live in Bologna, and my Dad doesn't remember them. I've been to Bologna, and I absolutely love that city! It's crazy to think that I could've passed my cousins in the street and wouldn't even know. Now here's the second grey area that I'm most curious about. Nonno Domenico (my dad's grandfather), has SEVEN BROTHERS, and we haven't confirmed if they married, had children, or where they lived! So immediately, the conspiracy theories started. If you Google or Facebook search Angelicchio, you get results all over Italy, the States, and Quebec. So maybe a lot of these people are connected to Nonno Domenico's brothers. Then there's the final area of question, Nonno Vito's (my dad's great grandfather) parents. Who were they? How many siblings did they have/did they have any? Did his siblings marry? How did they end up in Muro Lucano?
Since Muro Lucano is a small town, there seemed to be few family names in early years, and those of which married into each other. My Nonna's maiden name is Sarcinella, and she wasn't the only one to marry an Angelicchio. It turns out that both of my dad's grandmother's were Sarcinella's, and were actually cousins! How crazy is that?
Step 2: Who are the Sarcinella's?
The name Sarcinella comes from my dad's mother Gerardina, who also grew up in Muro Lucano. She mainly keeps in touch with two of her nieces and nephews, and hasn't seen the rest of them in years. I started off writing down her sibling's names, and started to work my way back. While exploring my Nonna's side, we determined the names of many generations, including her many nieces and nephews. There are only two areas that are unknown on this side of the family.
The Grey Area
My Nonna is one of six children, and she is the only one who is still living. She was closer to her brother's kids, three of which we met on our first trip to Italy. The other seven, we don't know much about, other than they might live in Northern Italy, which is makes this the first grey area. I've been to many parts of Northern Italy, so it would be interesting to know which of those areas I would find more relatives. When I asked my grandmother about her sister's children, she said she never knew them, and she'd only met two of her nieces. So this is another area I want to explore as well. Did her nieces have children? Where do they live? Finally, the last area that we're curious about, my grandmother's uncle. My Nonna had two uncles on her mother's side, and one lived in Argentina! So of course we're all wondering if we have family there as well!
Now that I have all of this information, I want to share it on a platform like Ancestry. Ancestry is a website that allows people to access immigration records and family trees. If you've used this website before, or any other similar platform, comment down below to share your experience with me! Stay tuned for Part 2 on my Family Tree Journey!
Fa la brava,