Attics, Basements, and Facebook

Don’t underestimate what may be buried deep within the confines of your attic or your basement. Recently, I spoke to my aunt and mother about documents that my grandmother had spoken of. My aunt went digging in her attic, and my mother her basement, and both uncovered documents that created a story of heroism for their grandfather and my great grandfather. The documents consisted of old newspaper articles and awards that my great grandfather, Fortunato, had earned. Other documents found were wills, passports, naturalization, and even a document from my great great grandfather, Pasquale, back in Italy. This document became essential in unhinging the brick walls to my past. While I am adopted, the ancestors of my adopted family play an integral role in who I am. They created the people that raised me, making their story valuable. Pasquale’s document revealed where he applied for occupation and his late father’s name, Giuseppe. Due to the fact that this document was in Italian, I uploaded it into one of my genealogy groups on Facebook that was geared toward Italian Ancestry. Fortunately, I was able to not only get my document completely translated, but I was also given birth certificates and marriage certificates. Names and dates began to transport me from the late 1800s to the late 1700s. My point is that don’t look past the obvious. Family is essential in uncovering the past. At the same time, it is vital to join groups, organizations, and societies that may be able to help you break down any brick walls.

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