Barking Up the Right Tree?

And the saga continues…

The first time I attempted to get my grandfather’s birth certificate from Italy, the organization I paid to find it mailed me a certificate with the right name, right year, wrong date, wrong mom.

The facts as I knew them:

Angelo Criscione (my grandfather), born January 23, 1904 to Giuseppe Criscione, and Carmela (last name unknown) in Ragusa Sicily.

What I got back was:

Angelo Criscione (my grandfather), born February 11, 1904 to Giuseppe Criscione, and Giovanna La Rosa in Ragusa Sicily.

Not convinced it was the correct certificate, I did more poking around on the internet. I sent questions to informal groups seeking information on Italy’s record keeping skills, naming conventions, and general customs.

“Was it possible,” I asked “for my grandfather to have been born Jan 23, but not recorded as such until February 11?”

“Was it possible,” I asked “for my great grandmother to be named Giovanna, but called Carmela?”

It was then I heard from a man, Giovanni Montanti, claiming he could research my relatives. His price sounded reasonable, so I gave him the information I started with, plus new information gleaned from the dusty memories of my living relatives.

The new facts as I knew them:

Angelo Criscione (my grandfather), born January 23, 1904 to Giuseppe Criscione, and Carmela (last name unknown) in Ragusa Sicily.

One sister – Giovanna
Two brothers – Enrico, Emanuele

What I got back was:

Giuseppe Criscione was born in 1862 and in 1883 married Carmela La Terra, born in 1866. In 1886 they had Giovanna Emanuela, followed by Giovanni in 1888. This is the first Giovanni. In 1890, Salvatore Carmelo was born. He must have been a handful, because it was 7 years before Francesco came along, quickly followed by Emanuele, born in 1898. My grandfather came along in 1901 and Giovanni II in 1903. It appears the first Giovanni died at a young age. So when the last boy came 15 years after the first boy, I guess they ran out of names!

So now I have two birth certificates for Angelo Criscione. The first with the right name, right year, wrong day, wrong mom. The other with the right name, wrong year, right day, right mom. Oh well, either one will give me all the information I need to continue on with my quest for an Italian citizenship and passport!

Andiamo!

UPDATE:

Further research revealed that the second Giovanni was actually born to another set of parents, also named Guiseppe and Carmela La Terra!

M

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One Response to Barking Up the Right Tree?

  1. John Damhesel says:

    I have been to Ragusa, Sicily and my Mothers Maiden name was Criscione. There are MANY people with the last name of Criscione in this town and probably if you go back far enough are all related to each other some how. Contact me if you want ot exchange stories.

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