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Community Forums › General › About Us › Newbie/Researching my family

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Newbie/Researching my family
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AmorC027
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Joined: Mar 06, 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Hello Gente forum! I am very excited to have found this site! I've been lurking for a little bit, combing through different topics, trying to gain information. This is not only a very valuable resource, but the member's here truly seem to have a deep passion for the Italian history and culture...

I started researching/tracing my family history about a month ago, after completing a "Genogram" for my Social Work class - it triggered my passion to want to learn more about where I came from. I always knew I was from Italian decent, but never knew the details.

To date, I have uncovered my great great grandparents immigration date from Italy, to New York (1881). They were married in 1878, in Italy (unknown where), and migrated and settled to Mellen, Wisconsin sometime between 1885-1900. Sadly, I know that their last name (French) was not their "real" surname, which has brought me to a dead end, as I have no way to trace them. I did uncover my great grandmother's birth certificate, which had my great great grandmother's maiden name, but I do not think it is spelt correctly. Another dead end.

I guess my question is, when faced with such walls, where can I turn, or what can I do? I have searched several names that correspond to my great great grandfather's information, in which I would *think* may have been his last name, but I could never be for sure...and I have no idea how to correctly spell my great great grandmother's maiden name.

Sorry for the drama story, but thank you for letting me share. I look forward to hearing from other members, and continueing my search on these forums.
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Italysearcher
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

If you post the name, even spelled incorrectly maybe we can help.

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Ann Tatangelo
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Author of Annoying the Saints - Stories of my life in Italy. www.lulu.com/content/p...ly/7731505
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

I sure can!

On my great grandmother's birth certificate, my gg grandmother's maiden name is listed three time Shocked

In 1942 (when my g grandmother recorded her bc), and twice in 1894 (her birth year), as follows...

Predeusse
Purdence, and
Puraduse

Her first name was Mary, but I believe it to really be Marie, as this name has been passed down through the generations; not Mary...

My gg grandfather's name was Nicholas Domenico French, but on the bc, it is also listed as Nicholas Francis French...This is the first time I've heard of Francis.
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Italysearcher
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Mary is the traditional translation of Maria. Marie would be the French version. French could be Francese in Italian. Puraduse could be Paradiso.
If you know their entry date into USA do you have the manifest? Can you post it?
I am sure others on the board will have their opinions. Between us we will figure it out I am sure.

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Ann Tatangelo
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Author of Annoying the Saints - Stories of my life in Italy. www.lulu.com/content/p...ly/7731505
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BillieDeKid
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to Gente. You gave a date of 1881 for Nicolas and Mary coming to the USA.....did you find a manifest for them or did you get the 1881 date from another source? If you have the manifest can you post it please. I'm also thinking if Nicolas and Mary had children born in Italy (?) then the children, more than likely, would be traveling with them.....can you give us the names and birth years of their children and if born in Italy (?) or USA. This info might be helpful in the search.

Thanks and again welcome Smile

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Elizabeth
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Hi Elizabeth!

I have gained all my information from Census records. Yes, they entered the United States in 1881. I am only going on a theory that it was New York, as they had a child, Margaret (Lizzie), born in 1883, in New York. The rest of the children were born in Ashland County, Wisconsin. They are as follows:

Connie, born 1887
Louis (Louie), born 18??
Alexandra (Sandy/Sadie), born 1894
Josephine

They married in 1887, in Italy, according to Census records (US).


Last edited by AmorC027 on Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Ann:

Thank you for the information! While conducting my research, I have been trying to figure out what could have been my gg grandfather's real surname - I have come up with a few, and Francese was one of them! I also thought of: Franchi, Francesco, Franchini, and Franceschini. I know that he, nor Mary spoke English until very later in life and it was not very good.

I'm sure some must understand my frustration - not knowing! Those who know, are no longer with us. I kick myself for not **wanting** to know my family's history sooner...Time passes us by quickly, and my advise that I've been preaching now, is to learn as much as you can from family about your heritage!
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Biff83
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

AmorC,

Not sure if you're familiar with this site.
www.wisconsinhistory.o...alrecords/

Biff

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BillieDeKid
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

AmorC - did Nicolas happen to be a shoemaker by any chance ?

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Elizabeth
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Biff - Thank you! I was able to find one of their children, Louis Dominick French's birth certificate! I am crossing fingers that this will lead me to something positive!

Elizabeth, I do not believe so. I believe that he worked for the railroad in Mellen, WI or at the saw mill. Later, he ran the local Mellen General Store. My mother is under the belief that he actually owned the general store later in his life.

This weekend, I had planned on sitting down, and writing letter's to the Mellen, WI historical society, along to Ashland County.

There are not words for me to speak, in order to say thank you for all your help and direction. This means so much to me, and I am not giving up!
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Biff83
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

AmorC027 wrote:
Biff - Thank you! I was able to find one of their children, Louis Dominick French's birth certificate! I am crossing fingers that this will lead me to something positive!

Birth Record:
Last Name: French
First Name: Alexandra
Day: 24
Month: August
Year: 1894
County: Ashland
Reel: D0003
Record: 7471
The above record is not for sale. This is a pre-1907 delayed birth record that was not forwarded to the Wisconsin Historical Society. You can request copies from the Department of Health and Social Services.

Possible Relation??
Death Record:
Last Name: French
First Name: Dominik
Day: 29
Month: December
Year: 1892
County: Ashland
Reel: 001
Volume: 01
Page: 0061
Image: 1172
Index Vol:
Sequence #: 113134

Biff

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"You live as long as you are remembered." -- Russian proverb
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Yes Biff, I have Alexadra's birth certificate, as this is where I found my gg grandmother's maiden name (even though it is not spelled correctly). Alexandra Maria French, is my g grandmother and I remember her from when I was very young...she was a strong woman!

BUT, Oh my - little Dominik must have been a child, who died either at birth or at a very young age! The death year fall's in with the birth years of their other children. I do know, from Cesus records, that they had a total of 10 children, but only 5 lived.
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Biff83
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

I thought it might be helpful to post the 1900 census

For reference:
1900 census
Name: Nick French
Home in 1900: Morse, Ashland, Wisconsin
Age: 50
Birth Date: Jan 1850
Birthplace: Italy
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1881
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Italy
Mother's Birthplace: Italy
Spouse's name: Mary
Marriage Year: 1878
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 22
Residence : Morse Town, Ashland, Wisconsin
Household Members: Name Age
Nick French 50
Mary French 40
Lizzie French 12
Carrie French 12
Louis French 19
Sandy French 6
Maggie McCloud, daughter born New York, age 18
All other children born Wisconsin

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"You live as long as you are remembered." -- Russian proverb
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

Biff83 wrote:
I thought it might be helpful to post the 1900 census

For reference:
1900 census
Name: Nick French
Home in 1900: Morse, Ashland, Wisconsin
Age: 50
Birth Date: Jan 1850
Birthplace: Italy
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1881
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Italy
Mother's Birthplace: Italy
Spouse's name: Mary
Marriage Year: 1878
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 22
Residence : Morse Town, Ashland, Wisconsin
Household Members: Name Age
Nick French 50
Mary French 40
Lizzie French 12
Carrie French 12
Louis French 19
Sandy French 6
Maggie McCloud, daughter born New York, age 18
All other children born Wisconsin

Yes, thank you. This is how I got my start. Maggie is Margrata (Margaret), and instead of McCloud, it is actually Mcleod. She also had a daughter born in 1900, Maria. Sandy is actually my g grandmother, Alexandra. They called her Sandy, or sometimes by Sadie.

In the 1900 Census though, Carrie and Lizzie's birthdates are wrong, and my gg grandmother's age is off by a few years.
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AmorC027
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie/Researching my family Reply with quote

I wanted to give an update on my search -

I was able to track down a long lost cousin, William, who is now 80 years old, but sharp as a tack! He is the son of my gg aunt Carrie (who I thought was Connie). He gave me a lot of information, and even was able to share with me a picture of my ggg grandfather, Nicholas from 1930, before his death, and boy, do I see my grandfather! He told me that Mary's maiden name was (how he pronounced it) Par-du-ss-e, long e. Which, sounds like the name on my g grandmother's bc. He told me the French's were from an area by Florence, Italy, but he did not know the town. He explained that they came to New York, and settled in Syracuse, where Margareta (Maggie) was born in 1883. They moved to Mineral Lake, WI due to the Railroad and Homestead Act. There, they had two children, but they passed away. They thought Mineral Lake was cursed, so they moved to Mellen, WI, where they built a general store and later a saloon for their son, Louie, but prohibition halted the sale of alcohol, which led to Louie boot-legging it to Chicago. They also used their homestead as a boarding house. He has news articles of the French's written by the Mellen Weekly, obits, and a few other pics that he is mailing me! He had no knowledge of the real surname of N. French however. I am so excited!

Now, I am just waiting on Louie's bc, to see if Mary's maiden name is actually spelt correctly. My next challenge, is to try to find Nick and Mary's marriage record from Italy (married in 1878), but don't know exactly how to do this. Any pointers? Also, anymore thoughts on Mary's correct spelling/pronunciation of her Maiden name?
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