Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Friday, May 31, 2002

Sorry for the silence here. I'm working on stuff, but it's taking me a while. Lately I've been entering much of the stuff I've found in the records of Calitri about people with the same surnames as Laura's ancestors into a database so I can take stock of where I've gotten to and where I need to go next. It gets a little overwhelming at times and I need to step back and think for a while.

I've also been going through the marriage records from Gioia Sannitica to find people with the same surnames as my ancestors from that comune. The records I have on permanent loan at the FHC go from 1809-1829. They'll be the next to get the database treatment so I can see what kind of connections there are.

I've got a few more films on order, but they haven't shown up yet, so this kind of clean-up work is what I work on. I also need to figure out what I still need to look at in the films I've already got.

Posted at 9:39:58 PM Link to this entry


Wednesday, May 22, 2002

I updated the search engine on the site. Before, if you entered more than one word, the search engine would just look for that phrase in exactly that order. Now it looks for the words individually, unless you put quotes around it. It also does a better job of extracting useful information for the search results, and displays them according to which is more likely to be relevant to your query. If you run in to any problems, let me know at webmaster at this domain.

Posted at 10:50:44 AM Link to this entry


Monday, May 20, 2002

Jason, the man with the 20,000+ person file of people from Calitri, tells me that the Francesca di Napoli who was married to Rocco Zabatta, who I referred to in an entry on 1 May, is not the same Francesca who was married to Vito Rabasca. That's good to know; I won't spend any more time trying to find information on her. I'll have to look at death records after 1864 to see if I can find Laura's Francesca in there. Given that Vito and Francesca had a son born in 1811, Francesca was likely born no later than the early 1790s. If she lived to be older than 75 years old, she might show up in the records from 1865 onward.

Posted at 10:35:48 PM Link to this entry


Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Back on March 20, I said I needed to order the film of marriage records for Gioia Sannitica so I could find the record for the marriage of Giuseppe Navarro and Pasqualina Melillo, my 4G grandparents. When I went to the Family History Library catalog, the film number I needed looked very familiar. Turns out that the record I needed is on the end of a film of records from San Potito Sannitico that I've got on permanent loan at my local FHC (page 1 | page 2). So I went in today and got a copy of the record. Giuseppe and Pasqualina married on 8 Dec 1823 in Gioia Sannitica. Pasqualina was actually from Calvisi, which is a frazione (dependent hamlet) of Gioia located between Gioia and San Potito.

The record confirmed what Pasqualina's death record had said, that her parents were Giovanni Melillo and Angela del Santo. Giovanni was dead by the wedding date, but Angela was still living, so that will help me push back another generation or two on the del Santos with death records. The marriage record also included the name of Pasqualina's avo paterno, or paternal grandfather, who would be my 6G-grandfather, Giuseppe Melillo.

[ Signatures of Giuseppe Navarro and Pasqualina Melillo, 4G-grandparents of Ralph Brandi ]

One really nice feature of this marriage record is that it contains signatures for both Giuseppe Navarro and Pasqualina Melillo. It's very interesting that in 1823, she knew how to write. I don't think I've seen that with any other of my female ancestors from that period.

Marriage Record

Posted at 7:52:51 PM Link to this entry


Wednesday, May 1, 2002

I'd like to welcome anyone who is visiting this site as a result of the article in the June 2002 issue of Personal Journaling magazine. The article's not online, so all I can link anyone who hasn't read the article to is the table of contents. If you'd like to say hi or comment on anything you see here, feel free to e-mail me at

Posted at 4:32:19 PM Link to this entry


I found death records for a couple of Laura's 4G grandfathers. Giuseppe Cicoira died on 2 Oct 1844 in Calitri. He was the widower of Camilla Maria Grasso and his profession was listed as possidente, or landowner. So Laura had an ancestor who was presumably fairly wealthy. He was born in Calitri to Francesco Cicoira, a sarto (tailor), and Antonia Zabatta, both of whom were dead by the time Giuseppe died. We didn't have those names before; both are Laura's 5G grandparents. Based on Giuseppe's daughter Maria Francesca's birth record, he was born around 1770-75.

The other 4G grandfather I found was Vito Rabasca. I feel lucky to have found him in 1843; there were four people with that name who died in 1844. He died on 12 Nov 1843 at the age of 64, husband of Francesca di Napoli. He was born in Calitri to Michele Rabasca and Rosa Toglia, both of whom died before him. Those names are both new, both Laura's 5G grandparents. Vito and his father Michele both worked as farm laborers.

I may or may not have found a death record for Vito's wife Francesca. There was a Francesca di Napoli who died in 1860, but who appears not to have married and was a few years too young. Then there was another Francesca di Napoli who died on 17 Aug 1861 who is listed as the widow of Rocco Zabatta. Other than those two, I didn't find any other Francesca di Napolis in the records I looked at after 1843. With Vito having died in 1843, it wouldn't surprise me to find that Francesca remarried. So it might be her, but it might not, especially given that there seem to be so many people in Calitri who shared names, like the four Vito Rabascas who died in 1844. I didn't find a marriage record for this Francesca and Rocco from 1843 or 1844, which was all I had access to in the films I currently have at the Family History Center. I'll have to look in some later marriage records to see if I can find her and see if she's the same Francesca di Napoli as Vito's, and if not in the marriage records then in the processati, the supporting documents for marriages.

Death records

Posted at 4:16:32 PM Link to this entry