Friday, December 16, 2011

An Early Christmas Present For A New Friend

A couple of months ago, offered free access to their immigration files for free.  I downloaded any and all possible records related to my Italian roots.  I noticed on one passenger ship record that my great uncle traveled to the United States with several people with the last name Avetta.  What caught my eye was that they were from the same small town.  

As mentioned in prior blog posts about my paternal grandfather's Italian roots, my family comes from a small town outside of Torino, Italy.  I knew that the chances were small that multiple people traveled from the same small town to the the area around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania without knowing each other.  I did a search for the Avetta surname and found a family tree on 

I emailed the owner of the tree who replied that she did not have any Ciardonei's or Siletto's in her immediate family tree but we should keep in touch because Cossano is a small town (At its height, it boasted a population of 1000).  We have been emailing back and forth all Fall with encouragement and research ideas.  I even received a photo of my g-g-grandparents that my new genealogy friend found in a book about Cossano.

I found church records on microfilm for Cossano Canavese, Piedmonte, Italy on and have been busy combing though them the last couple of weeks.  After several emails, I convinced my genealogy friend to send me a couple of name to look for.

I blocked off Tuesday night on my calendar to just research the names I had received at my local Family History Center.  I found baptism and marriage records for several generations.  I had so much fun!  I was giddy every time I found a new record because I knew it was another piece for an early Christmas present.

I scanned all of the images and came home to organize my findings. I was able to fill out a 4 generation chart for each of the names that were sent to me.  I stayed up late so that I could upload the files and pedigree chart to a share website on Sugarsync.  My new friend was so excited to get the images that she even wished she could stay home from work the next day to check them out.

It was such a great feeling to find and send these images knowing what excitement they were going to bring.  I think that even though I have not met this new friend in person, this will probably be one of my favorite Christmas gifts I give this year.  I am also convinced that we will find a common ancestor as I see some common surnames so this research friend might also turn into family.

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