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?




16 comments:

Miss Merry said...

What an exciting trip! I have just started searching my family tree.

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I have not traveled to France but all four of my grandparents lines came over to Canada in the 1600's, I have researched and found out all the marriages and such. On the LaBrie (My maiden name) side, it is said that the first one over was a sailor along the St. Lawrence and that accounts for the many ancestors along the way.. He must have had a girl in every port. LOL Also found out that LaBrie was a dit name on the ship over from France.. He was from Brie sous Matha. The real name was Nau or Naud or something like that. Many people had dit. names I guess. So their names were changed in Canada. Got at far back as to his mother and father's marriage but not his father's birth.

Brenda Rumsey said...

Love researching my ancestors roots but have not been able to travel there. On my mother's side they were German's living in Russia and I'm lucky enough to have a letter my great-grandmother wrote about her life there and their trip to America in 1893. I've found a picture of their ship and found their names on the ships log, Mutts for sure, as we have Irish, French, German, English, and a rumor of Native American in our roots.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a great trip! I am sick with jealousy. My family came from Ireland in 1840 and from Scotland nearly a century earlier. My husband's family went to England from Italy in 1956 and then to Canada in 1963. I see my hubby and our girls in your relatives. Thanks for a great blog.

Hugs.

MJ

Amanda said...

Glad you and your family had a great time Duffy.

Duffy Brown said...

Good luck, Merry. You find out the craziest things. Let me know how it goes. Hugs, Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Diane. You have a lot of info and such neat stories. Don’t you wish you could chat with them for a bit. Now that would be really interesting.

Duffy Brown said...

Oh, Brenda, that letter is such a treasure. Lucky you.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, MJ. It’s so neat to see where we all come from. What great history.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Amanda. It sure was an adventure of a lifetime. :-)

Maggie Sefton said...

So glad you & daughter got to make that "Roots" trip. :) A member of my mom's family actually did some genealogical checking. My mom's family came very early to this country. Two branches, in fact. Both from England which established the earliest colonies. The Virginia branch arrived in Virginia in the 1640s. And the Massachusetts branch arrived even earlier with Roger Williams as our direct ancestor. I'm glad it was Roger. He was a free thinker and didn't like excluding people so he left the main group of the Massachusetts group and settled what became Rhode Island.

Lynn in Texas said...

So lovely for you and your family, Duffy! I hope to visit my ancestors homelands one day. Most of Dad's people are Louisiana Cajuns, who were kicked out of Nova Scotia by the British in the 1700's, after originally coming from France.(Normandy and Brittany mostly, I think) Mom's side came from Sicily, mostly the Palermo area. And oh yes, Dad's paternal grandmother was a Cahannan, from Ireland. I have been to Quebec, Montreal, etc. and love it, but also long to visit Italy, France and the beautiful green island of Eire! Someday soon! I'm very happy for you, and just a tad jealous! ;)

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I would love to chat with them and see what kind of people they were. You were so lucky to be able to go and visit the place where some of your roots are from. A wonderful trip.

Duffy Brown said...

Wow, Maggie, what a wonderful family tree and so much to be proud of. Amazing what our ancestors did. They were indeed gutsy folk.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi Lynn. I’d love to visit Ireland. I’ve heard such wonderful things about the beauty and the people. Hope you get there soon.

holdenj said...

What a fantastic story and trip! I would love to go to England and Scotland, and roam the lands where both sides of my family originates from!