Tuesday, November 14, 2017

From Cafarella to Van der Hoeven

Grammie's...(Maria Rosa Cincotta Cafarella) Mother had a brother Domenico.  He was also our grandfather, John Cafarella's(the barber) uncle.(Confused already?)
Domenico married Rose Patane.  They had at least seven children.
Jenny is the woman who married Joseph Cafarella and this is Rose and Jake's family.  Joseph was the one murdered in his store.
Antonio is the man who married Grammie's sister Carolina and had their children in Livorno.
The other child that I now know about is Salvatore, not to be confused with Carolina's son of the same name. 
Salvatore, married to Sebastianna Greco, had a child named Rosa.  She grew up in Stazzo, a village near Acireale in Sicily. 
Rosa married  Rosario Fichera.
Rosa's daughter Lucia has fed me all the information on this branch of the family through her husband Patrick Van der Hoeven.  Lucia is the daughter of  Rosa and Rosario pictured here.

Rosa and Rosario Fichera
Rosa in the middle with her sister on the right.
  Rosa in Stazzo just after the war.

Rosa and Rosario had a daughter named Lucia who married Patrick Van Der Hoeven and presently live in Australia.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Here are the results of my DNA test.  Remember that my father's family was from the British Isles and my Mother's family was from the Aeolian Islands. Remember that if you are closely related to me, you may have virtually identical components or you may have only similar results or just variations in the percentages.  Your genetic history is your genetic history, but the way that chromosomes combine in each individual in a family may make for variations from sibling to sibling and cousin to cousin.

Europe 89% with concentrations in 35% Greece, Aeolian Islands and Calabria.  46% Great Britain
19% other regions.
The other regions include:
Africa 1%.  This means the area opposite the island of Sicily on the mainland of Africa.
7% Middle East.  This would include Palestine as we absolutely have Jewish in us. Lazzaro is an indicator name. That is 3% alone
1% Asia, which seems to be concentrated in India. Now there is a wild card!
2% Ireland Mitchell side.
1% Finland Mitchell side
1% eastern Europe which would include Poland and the other Slavic countries. Mitchell side.
1% Scandinavia.  Mitchell side.
2% Caucasus Could be either side but Cafarella seems probable.
Well, If you can figure that out, you are doing well.  As I explore this more, I will post more and revise this as it is a bit confusing. 

The report also places my family in Coastal Massachusetts...That is both sides as the Mitchells came in in the 1620s in the Cape Ann and Marblehead area,  and of course the Cafarellas came in in the 1890s.
It also places my Mitchell side mainly in the founding populations of the New York area and Long Island.

One strange thing is that our family includes the Vasquez name, which is VERY Spanish, yet the DNA says there are no matches in the Iberian Peninsula...Hmmmm.  Of course the Vasquez family may have come from elsewhere before Spain....that is a mystery!

Another variation in this discussion of ethnic origins has recently been given to me.  One of the warnings one must heed in genetic testing is that relationships to a particular ethnic group are often based on the markers existing in the current population of an area.  Taking Italy as an example, the current population is a mix of peoples who were constantly supplanted by new groups, infiltrated by immigrants, and in short, cannot be referred to as a single group.  The commercial DNA tests we have access to can only be compared to groups that exist today, but it would be more accurate to compare them to historical DNA groups.  If  Roman DNA were compared to present day DNA, we would have a better idea of the real origins.  A lot of history has happened in the last 2000 years.  So, you may test out as Irish or Italian, but which Irish and which Italian?  Are we really from Italy, or were we from some other area that now makes up part of the modern population, like the Steppes of Asia, or Scandinavia.  Then in turn, were those Scandinavians native to Scandinavia or were they from elsewhere?

This DNA analysis is lovely information to have...a confirmation of the roots we thought we had....a revelation of influences from elsewhere that we may not have known.  It is interesting and comforting, giving a sense of belonging to an increasingly diverse culture.

Our name is a prime example of the confusion that can exist.  My understanding is that the first Cafarellas came from Byzantium(this is based on a report acquired by my distant cousin, Anna.)  But it is a rather old report, and may now be viewed with suspicion.  The name however is based on the Arabic word for infidel.  OK...My question is:  Were we an Arabic family who lost faith or changed religions, or were we Christians from Italy or Byzantium, who through altercations with Arabs were given the name by them like some people got the name Smith(blacksmith) from common usage by their peers or enemies.  In my father's family, we are related to the Corbet family from northern France...one of the Vikings from the current TV show.  Le Crobeau got the name from the word Raven which was a battle standard and shield marker after having a raven land on his helmet during battle.  Though it may go back farther to an earlier unknown relative known as "the Raven" in Roman times.
So what does the name mean to us?   

Friday, May 5, 2017

A New Blog.

I am in the process of removing posts from this blog to a new one which will concentrate on general history of the islands, photographs of the period of island immigration, period maps, antique prints of the islands, etc.
These items which do not have specific connections to the families we are talking about will be found at:

Other family blogs appear at:





Saturday, April 29, 2017

Just a reminder to type in a search
 for what you want to see if you do
 not want to scroll through all of this.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017