"When You Just Feel a Connection"
Hunting down people in your family tree can be an exciting endeavor, but there are times when you fly head first into a brick wall and cannot move any further. In these instances, I try to slow down and focus on the things that I have found so far. I read and reread the information I have gathered in my binders. Sometimes I find something that I haven't seen the first time I looked at it. This happens a lot and you should never get discouraged when those brick walls appear. You just need to take a little break in your research.
I have discovered many people in my family tree. Currently, on my Ancestry.com account, I have about 800 people now dangling from the tree. The names fascinate me the most. Going back to the 1500's and 1600's, the styles of names are so elegant. I love finding similar names because it means that people were named after their ancestors. In Italian culture, this is very common. Usually, the first-born male child will be named after his paternal grandfather. The first-born female child will be named after her paternal grandmother. The second-born male child and female child will be named for their maternal grandfather and maternal grandmother respectively.
Joseph's and Giuseppe's Throughout the Generations:
The above paragraphs can be better explained through some visual aids. There are / were many Joseph's (Giuseppe's) in my family tree. I will begin with the most recent generation and work my way backwards:
My Brother: Joseph Esposito was named for my father, not my paternal grandfather. I believe that was a decision made by my parents. Not one male child on my father's side of the family was named for their paternal grandfather...perhaps because we've become more Americanized over the past few decades.
My Father: Joseph Esposito was the second male child born to my paternal grandparents, so my father was named after his maternal grandfather.
My Paternal Great-Grandfather: Giuseppe Varrera was also the second male child born to my great-great-grandparents, so he was named after his maternal grandfather.
My Paternal 3x-Great-Grandfather: Giuseppe Sorvillo is the last leaf I can find on this branch of the family tree. I am certain I will be able to go back further over time, but the brick wall presented itself.
THE TIES THAT BIND:
As you can see, generationally, we hold on to our ancestors in some manner, shape, or form. Particularly interesting is when multiple generations are alive at the same time. I am so excited when I see multiple generations present at family parties or at friends' gatherings. I am usually the one taking the photograph. Here are some examples of multi-generational families:
A Four-Generation Photo: (2014)
In this photograph, taken by yours-truly, we have from left to right, my first-cousin; her grandson, her son, and her mother (my aunt). As soon as I realized everyone was present, I HAD to take this picture.
A Four-Generation Photo: (circa 1955)
In this photograph, we have from left to right, my uncle, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and my 2x-great-grandmother.
A FIVE-GENERATION PHOTO: (1992)
This is truly the masterpiece of my collection! In this photograph, taken by my father, we have from left to right, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, my mother, my sister, and my nephew. I am so happy to have this memento. My great-grandmother was one month shy of her 101st birthday when she passed away two years after this photograph was taken.