I have been interested in family genealogy since my teen years. I have spent most of my time researching my maternal family tree where some of my ancestors go back to the 15th century or earlier! Much of the work had already been done by my grandmother but I have enjoyed meeting new “cousins” and confirming information and sources through ancestry.com.
My paternal family history has been another matter. I was told from a very young age that there were no records about my Italian Martino and Zona ancestors. Because of the earthquakes and subsequent village fires in the mountain towns that they were from, I didn’t think it ever likely that I would find much at all. Two different things happened at the same time to change my way of thinking about that!
One day a couple of months ago I happened to be half heartedly watching a webinar on ancestry about using the card catalog. I was sure I already knew everything she was talking about, but followed along with her lesson anyways. I clicked on this and I clicked on that, and lo and behold I was at a page that contained civil records for Calvi Risorta, Caserta, Italy! The next thing I knew I was staring at a birth record that contained the name of my great grandfather! At the same time I had just joined an Italian Genealogy website, and they have a page where they will translate from Italian to English all done by volunteers. I not only found out where and when my great grandfather was born, but the person who translated for me pointed out that my great grandfather and great grandmother’s marriage certificate was right there for me too!
Before too long I found my father’s father’s birth record, something I didn’t think I would ever find! I cannot begin to express the excitement and joy I felt at that time!
I have since been slowly learning Italian and can now translate the many, many birth, marriage and death records that I have found right here, for not only my father paternal family but his maternal one as well.
If I had not been a member of Ancestry.com for the last few years I often wonder how long it would have taken me to find these records!