"You Remind Me So Much of..."
One of the most interesting things I have discovered in my heritage hunting is that certain hobbies and interests that I have stemmed from ancestors of long ago. Thanks to the "Atti di Morte" records on familysearch.org, I was able to know the professions of deceased ancestors, and quite surprised when I found out that some of the things I enjoy doing today was the livelihood of my ancestors.
The above picture is a scan of the death record of my 2x-great-grandfather. You can find a plethora of information on this type of document. A working knowledge of Italian is not necessary, because there are many programs on the Internet that can help you translate any language into the language you are most comfortable with.
The information that I found out through this type of document is as follows:
1. My 2x-great-grandfather's name was Luigi Varrera.
2. He passed away on 2 November 1925 in Orta di Atella, Caserta, Italia.
3. He was 79-years-old when he passed.
4. His wife, Rosolina Sorvillo, my 2x-great-grandmother, was still alive at the time of his passing.
5. His father's name was Domenico Varrera.
6. His mother's name was Massima Pezzella.
7. His profession was a farmer / laborer.
Since my roots are solely in Italy, the crux of my research is housed there. My family, on both sides--maternal and paternal--have not been in the United States 100 years yet, so my American history is limited, as far as I know, but there is a rich rooted system all over mid-to southern Italy and thankfully, the church and civil records are available for viewing.
Some of my ancestors have been doctors, seamstresses, weavers, farmers, laborers, and barbers. There was also a story about one of my great-grandmothers being a school teacher, but I'm not certain whether that is fact or folklore.
Above is a collage I created with the photographs of all of my great-grandparents. Remember, each person has eight biological great-grandparents. When I look at this image, I can see so many facial features that I share with my great-grandmothers. I am so grateful that I did not inherit my great-grandfathers' mustaches!!
If you happen to have old photographs lying around in boxes, they need to be preserved for posterity. I am a sentimental person, as you may have guessed, and I try to give sentimental gifts to family members. I do not have children of my own, but I have a multitude of nieces and nephews that I try to share my ancestry findings with. Gifts like this can open up a world of conversation and a deep respect for those who came before us.
Old photographs should be handled carefully. I scanned most of the photographs that belonged to my grandparents which probably isn't the best way to preserve due to the lasers in the scanners, but after they were scanned, the originals were placed in protective books while the scanned copies were saved to the computer to be cleaned up a little and brightened. I was also able to categorize them for easy access.
If you are ready to start your own family research and have questions, please fell free to leave a question or a comment. I look forward to hearing from you! Happy hunting!