Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Our Roots…

Duffy Brown here.

I just got back from Italy! Yippeeee. It was a great trip and an adventure. I went with my daughter and brother and his wife to “discover” our roots.

My grandfather came to the US on March 23, 1904. He came through Ellis Island, stayed in New York for a while then on to Cincinnati where other members of his family lived.

He was a middle son from Bisaccia, a small town east of Naples. He was the middle son, his dad the town magistrate. The land the family had and the government position went to the eldest son, not my grandfather. He was an ambitions man...always...and came to the US to make his fortune as so many did at that time.

I cannot imagine leaving everything behind and taking off for worlds unknown. Grandpa Angelo didn’t speak English, had little money, but he did have family here so that was a huge help.

He was so very proud of becoming an US citizen. He had his citizenship paper framed and hung it on the dining room wall till the day he died at 97. The US was good for him. Grandpa was a real success, a born entrepreneur. I think that’s where my brother got the gene to start his own business and my daughter to work for herself in NYC. Both are very successful.

Grandpa loved the arts. We took him to the opera and he sang along. I think that is where my two daughters get their art ability. He could grow anything! I think that’s where I get my love for gardening. He was much butter at it than I am but I still try.

He made his own wine, grandma was the best cook on earth and I do love to cook and Italian food if done right is the best!

Here are a few pictures of our stop in Bisaccia where the town police and magistrate hunted up the Castelluccio family information. We found the marriage of Angelo Castelluccio and Angela Calpodo and the birth certificate of my grandfather and other family members. We had an Italian driver go with us to translate…this is Italy, they speak Italian and my Italian sucks. LOL

There is a castle in the town…hence the name Castell(uccio) that means light in the castle. 
And we found the street where grandpa Angelo lived. No Castelluccios there now, they are all gone. But there are a ton in the US. 

So, has anyone else gone root hunting? Have you gone back to where your grandfather and relatives originated from? We are all mutts here in the US...unless you are Native American of course.
What is your root story? Do you see yourself or any of your family in your ancestors?