Ellis Island, part one: those who came and those who stayed

Feb 21, 2019 530

BY: Carol Faenzi

Just before Christmas, I went to New York City with my Italian cousins, Monica and Carlotta. They live in Rome and we are related through grandfathers who were brothers: Ottavio (mine) and Francesco (theirs). Ottavio followed his sister to America in 1913 to pursue a life out of poverty. Francesco took his family to Rome for the same reason-as both were born on a remote farm in southern Tuscany-their mother who was either widowed or abandoned (family mystery) with a brood of eleven children. Desperately poor, like so many in Italy at that time.

The link between Ottavio and Francesco was never completely broken, despite world war and raising families-but it wasn’t until the 1960s, when Ottavio retired his career as a chef and my grandmother Olga prodded him, the surviving family members met in Italy-some were still on the old farm, but Francesco’s family was growing in Rome.

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SOURCE: http://italianheritage.org/

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