Italian Genealogy Research
In my own family, as in many other families with New York Genealogies, you do not have to go far to find a 100% Italian Ancestor. In my example it is my Grandmother, born in Brooklyn to parents from Palermo, Sicily. I happen to be lucky enough to have a copy of the shipping manifest of my great parents trip to New York in the early 1900’s, and even more lucky to have an address and name of closest family member that remained in Palermo.
Many Italian Americans are able to find their ancestors’ records at Ellis Island, but that is where the research stops. For most people, when you get into the records in a foreign country, in that native language, you have reached what we call a road block. Unless you want to invest hundreds of hours to learn a new language and learn an entire system of genealogical records, your best option is just to pony up with some hard earned cash and pay for a professional genealogist in Italy, or whatever your country of interest is.
For me, I would be stuck with nothing more then that address in Sicily, and the name of that ancestor that never made the trip to America. I decided that I needed more details on this Sicilian branch of the family, and almost immediately my Italian Genealogist was able to provide me with the actual Italian surname of my family member, not the recorded, Americanized version, as well as his fathers name, and the name of a sister.
I usually recommend having a genealogist do your research even if you are a New Yorker searching for family in New York. You can spend hours, days and weeks on end searching for records, while an experienced genealogist might be able to supply you with answers in just an hour. Imagine coupling that difficulty with a language barrier? No, it just makes sense to hire a professional and get the job done correctly and efficiently.
If you have interest in making contact with family from Italy, you may be in luck. Throughout the years I have heard from several people that made contact with distant cousins from various homelands that were very inviting to their American cousins, and welcomed them to visit.
If you have never looked past your grand parents, then hiring us at Brooklyn Ancestry is your first step to finding the link to immigration records. At that point you have names, a home city or town, and it is time to turn over your research to a professional Italian genealogist.
Anybody that is willing to take that next step and truly have a greater connection to you family tree then you would ever reasonably expect, e-mail me at Genealogist@BrooklynAncestry.com, and tell me your story. Let me know if you need research in America, and I will assist you, and also let me know if you need research in Italy, and I will put you in touch with the Pro to begin your Italian discovery.
Several years ago I was lucky enough to visit Sicily and I did my best to see everything I could manage. At the time, I did not have the information on my ancestors that I have now. I quick look at google maps tells me I was no more then a few blocks away from my great grand parents house in Palermo, and it’s entirely possible I actually drove past the very house they lived in.