Sign on the Dotted Line
The past two months have been dedicated to searching a little further into the family tree. Brick walls have been my nemeses over and over again, and I'm trying not to become discouraged. If genealogy was simple, everyone would be able to trace their roots back to Noah!
A couple of years ago, when I was just starting out on my family search, I came upon several records in the town of Marcianise, Caserta, Italy that were signed by my 3x-Great-Grandfather, Giosue Armiero (1812-1888). I am not exactly sure what his signature meant on each of the birth, marriage, and death records of the town, but I'm assuming that he may have been a worker in the town hall. What I can determine by this gem of a find is that: 1) My 3x-Great-Grandfather was literate; 2) He had a prominent job; 3) The way he writes his "A" is very similar to the way I do; and 4) Giosue is the Italian form of the name, "Joshua".
There are other bits of information that may prove to be very valuable in your search. For example, please consider the following document:
This is an "Atti di Matrimonio", a marriage record for my 2x-Great-Grandparents, Luigi Varrera and Rosolina Sorvillo. They were married on 12 September 1877 in Orta di Atella, Caserta, Italy. The information on this record is priceless to me and enabled me to go back one more generation. Here is some of the information that I have found that may be useful in your own research:
1) My 2x-Great-Grandfather, Luigi, was 30-years-old when he got married.
2) Luigi's profession is listed as a "guardiano", which translates into "guardian". Perhaps he was a watchman or a policeman.
3) I know that Luigi's father, my 3x-Great-Grandfather, Domenico Varrera, was already deceased at the time of this marriage. I know this because Domenico is listed as, "figlio di fu". When you have the "figlio/figlia di "fu"", it means that the person is deceased.
4) Luigi's mother, my 3x-Great-Grandmother, Massima Pezzella, was alive at the time of this marriage.
5) This record also tells me that Luigi was born in and a resident of Orta di Atella.
6) My 2x-Great-Grandmother, Rosolina, was 24-years-old at the time of this marriage.
7) Rosolina's occupation is listed as a "contadina", which could mean farmer or countryman.
8) Rosolina's father, my 3x-Great-Grandfather, Giuseppe Sorvillo, was deceased at the time of the marriage, but her mother, my 3x-Great-Grandmother, Speranza Pellino, was alive.
This marriage document gave me some fantastic hints. Plus, if I "think outside of the box", the fact that their ages were presented, gives me a ballpark figure of the possible years they were born.
Thanks for reading! Happy hunting!