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Community Forums › How Can I locate my Family in Italy › Southern Italy › Cortale Visit and Research

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Cortale Visit and Research

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Joined: Jul 04, 2010
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Location: New Orleans, LA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

My grandfather, Raffaele Rocca, was born in Cortale and was on the the S.S. Columbia with Nuccia's great-aunt Maria Scrugli. My grandfather was the only member of his family to make the journey.

I just returned from a visit to Cortale. Before going to Cortale, we only knew that Raffaele's parents were Ippolita Preiano and Pasquale Antoinio Rocca and that he had an Aunt Theresa and Uncles Giovanni and Raffaele Rocca.

While in Cortale I spent a morning doing some research of the Civil Records and obtained enough documents to identify my great-great grandparents:

Angela Frontera (b. about 1820, age 24 at Pasquale’s birth) m (before 1844) Pietro Ferdinando Rocca (b. 05/29/1815, age 28 at Pasquale’s birth)

Palma Pirritano (b. about 1825, age 23 at Ippolita’s birth) m (before 1848) Guiseppe Carmelo Preiano (b.06/27/1820, age 27 at Ippolita’s birth)

And some of my great-great-great grandparents:

Maria Pulli (b. about 1775, age 40 at Pietro’s birth) m (before 1815) Pasquale Rocca (b. 1766, age 49 at Pietro’s birth)

Maria Tolone (b. about 1794, age 26 at Guiseppe’s birth) m. (before 1820) Vito Preiano (b. about 1787, farmer, age 33 at Guiseppe’s birth)

Nuccia, I just realized last night that you identify your great-great grandmother as Maria Frontera! Is it possible that Maria and Angela were sisters? It seems they could be fairly close to the same age.

Any information on these or any of my other ancestors listed here would be greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks, Angela
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

Angela, welcome to Gente! I apologize for my delayed response but I had quite a busy weekend! Very Happy
Maria Scrugli was my great aunt not Nuccia's. Her sister Natalina was my great grandmother. Their brother Gaetano also had a daughter named Maria who came to Chicago in 1920. My Natalina's husband, Giuseppe Maiuolo's mother (my great great grandmother) was Maria Frontera. Maria Frontera's parents were Antonio Frontera and Domenica Schrimer (?) Do you have Angela's parent's names? My Maria's marriage act can be seen here
They let you see the records in Cortale? Shocked Amazing! My cousin went there and they told him they did not have the records. How recent were the records? Did they have any past 1860? I am ashamed to say I have spent so much time on my other family I kind of neglected my Cortale family. I don't have much online about them. I do have some records from Cortale online. Not much but you can have a look here. I only have 1 year of births (1844) and 7 years of marriages. Embarassed
Take a look and see if you can find anything you need. I would be happy to have a look at records for you and copy them, however my family history center is only open once a week now and Thursdays do not always jive with my schedule. I am lucky to get 20 minutes on the scanner now when I do go because it is so busy the one night they are open. You may have to be patient with me but I can help you. The marriages are the best to obtain. Let me know what I can help you with.

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Location: New Orleans, LA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

Hi Cathy, thanks for the welcome and the reply. ( Embarassed I tried many times to figure out whose family I was looking at on the Cortale website, sorry I got it wrong!)

I'll start at the beginning on my success in Cortale. I wrote a letter to the Mayor (not the form letter most people use) but a letter describing my upcoming visit to the area and my curiosity about the commune. I described in detail my personal relationship with my grandfather and my desire to learn more about his commune and possible family links using the Civil Records during my visit. I translated the whole letter using Bablefish and I sent it email in early April using the address on the commune's website.

Sad I waited a couple of weeks for a reply and got no answer so I translated it again sentence by sentence using Google translate and sent it again using email.

Sad No reply in a week so I decided in early May to try mailing the letter using Express Mail at the USPO ( Shocked although they don't deliver to Cortale -- just to Jacurso so I sent it there with the Mayor's Cortale address.)

The day before I left (5/31) for Italy I received an email reply from the Vice Mayor explaining that they would welcome my visit! Very Happy

That's when I swung into action and contacted Cherrye Moore (check out her website, my-bellavita.com, I had stumbled on it and had bookmarked it.) Cherrye is from Beaumont, TX but lives in Catanzaro. I asked if she could arrange a driver/translator to bring me to the Muncipio office in Cortale and spend the morning with me there. She did -- and what a wonderful guy she got me! Cool When we got to the Muncipio office, the clerk had already located my grandfather's birth record and we went from there (I had the date my great-grandfather died and with those two pieces of info we were able to locate seven (7) documents going back as far as 1815! Very Happy ) Unfortunately I've given you all the information I have on Angela Frontera. (I have a Word document detailing all 7 documents I have and the 12 additional documents I would like to get, but I can't figure out how to get the info to you. Embarassed )

A word about the records in Cortale. As you know, there are indexes that are then associated with the actual written documents in ledger books. Unfortunately, the indexes in many instances do not match up with the ledger books. It's fairly frustrating, but you can't get discouraged! Smile This was true no matter what type of document we were researching.

On the commune's website you can find the history of Cortale. Here is an excerpt: 'On 1 May 1816, during the Bourbon period, it (Cortale) became the capital of the district with jurisdiction over common Jacurso, Vena and Carafe." So I believe while they may have some documents between the 1808 and 5/1/1816 these will be sporadic. I know their current documents inlcude the year 1916 as that's when my grandfather died, but I don't know if they have any more current records.

I have some great stories of my two day visit to Cortale and the nearby areas and my husband has some pics he took. A trip of a lifetime, although we hope to go back again one day in the not to distant future Exclamation

Thanks for all you've done on bringing Calabria closer to all of us.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I am sure I can help you with some of your documents. The microfilms begin in 1809 or 1810 and end in 1860 or 61. I do not have all the Cortale films but as I should probably order the missing films anyway. As I said I am ashamed at what I have for Cortale – that includes my family information. Email me at cathy.napolitan @ g mail.com (no spaces) and I am sure we can work everything out. Perhaps we can both get further back with our Cortale families! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

Hi Cathy,

I'll send you that email.

I know how it is -- sometimes I work on my father's French side of the family and sometime I work on my maternal grandmother's Sicilian side of the family. But I never could get any information on my grandfather's Cortale family until I went there.

And of course, there are just times when I don't work on any of it -- cause life just intervenes! Wink

Thanks again,
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Cortale Visit and Research Reply with quote

Congratulations, Angela, on what seemed to be a fruitful trip for you to Cortale. I'm envious, though this site, especially the help of Cathy, has been tremendous for me in answering what I thought was the unanswerable. My great-grandparents came to the U.S. from Cortale also and I've been on the hunt for more info on them once I found this site. Good luck going forward and if you see any Pileggi's or Maiolo's on the way, let me know.

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