Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Domenic Cafarella's Story in his own words


This is my life to this day 24-3-00.

I am Domenico Cafarella, the youngest of eight children. I was born on the 3-12-1909 in a little village called Capo, Isle of Salina, Province of Messina, Italy. I was born to Francesco and Maria Francesca Cafarella. My mother died of cancer at the age of 53 after a long illness caused by shock. It was in the middle of the first world war around about September 1916. One morning, dad and I were at the beach ready to go fishing when a policeman came around the corner and said, "Good morning Francesco, is your wife at home". "Yes" said dad, "What has she done, robbed a bank or something"? "No" the policeman said smiling," I have a message to pass on to her". Dad said. "Tell me and I will pass it on to her". "Oh no" said the policeman, It is personal" and went on. I remember dad looked worried. After he finished what he was doing, he said “Son, I do not think that we are going fishing today". So, we walked home about two miles away to find mum on the floor not moving. Dad revived her and asked what happened. She told him that John was missing. The ship he was in had struck a mine and sank with all hands missing. Fortunately, John was rescued; ten hours after being in the water, by passing fishermen returning to port after night work he said in a letter that reached home a fortnight later. In the meantime, the admiralty sent a note to my parents that John was safe and well. That note came too late for mum, the shock had already taken its toll. She died three months later with stomach tumor (by the way I had three brothers in the First World War John, Joe and Frank all in the navy). I was seven years old when my mother died. I remember her in the coffin. Her face was black, her eyes closed, she had her best dress on and black shoes, her hair was combed back. I noticed all these when my dad lifted me up to kiss mum good bye. He lowered me down and the man put the lid on the coffin. I began to cry with rest of the other people in the room, I did not understand why. The lot of the village people went to the funeral. My mother and father were well respected by everyone. After seven days of mourning I started school, which was about a three-mile each way, it went that I walked about six miles a day from home to home. I will not go into detail about my young school days (there are too many to mention) except that when I was fifteen years old, I passed all the exams and received my merit, which in turn I gave to dad. He was very pleased with me and said, “Son I am very proud of you. Would you like to continue your studies further? It means that you'll be away from home for each term.” I did not like that so declined.

The next morning, he woke me at about six, which was fairly dark outside. I wanted to show you your inheritance, (which consisted of; one pick, one shovel, one axe and one crowbar). I looked at the articles in front of me and said, "No dad that's not for me" and went outside the shed and went in for my breakfast. After a while dad spoke for the first time and said "What are you going to do with your life if you do not want to do farming". "I responded, “First I will have a holiday and then look around for a suitable job". After three weeks of fun. one morning I went outside and there at wharf was a sailing ship. After breakfast I walked to the ship about four miles. I approached the skipper, by the way he was my cousin, and asked if he had a job for a junior To my astonishment he said "Yes I have, but you are too young, you need your father’s consent". So I walked back home to talk to dad about the job. He listened to me and then he said, "If that's what you want, I give consent". So, he gave me permission in writing. So, I returned to the ship and handed the written consent to the skipper. He said, “Thanks boy". I knew he would, I discussed the matter with him beforehand. " When can you start?" he asked. With astonishment I said now if you want me to". He responded " We will be sailing tomorrow at lunch time. Tomorrow be here as early as you can.” I went home and told my father. He was pleased for me and said "If that is what you want, I give my blessing. Remember that the door is always open if you change your mind.” Next morning after breakfast I gave my father a hug and kiss and left home for my first experience of my life. I arrived onboard about 10am. My first job was to boil the billy which consisted of a corrosive tin with a handle to lift it off the fire. So, I lit the fire. The next trick was to get the water from a barrel at the foot of the mast and fill the corrosive tin half full and place it on the fire. When it boiled, I sang out to the crew to come and get it. They came with a mug in hand and made themselves a cup of coffee with condensed milk (by the way it was Nestle). After a cuppa the skipper casually said " Domenico, you're the youngest on board so it is your job to wash the drinkers all the time you are on board this ship.” He pointed to a wooden bucket with a rope attached to it, which I lowered into the sea and pulled it up on deck and washed the dishes in the cold seawater. After lunch, we sailed for Messina about 110 nautical miles away. The going was good. The sea was calm until about 8pm when the weather changed from calm to a full let loose. The ship was rolling, tossing wind screaming in the ropes, people yelling orders to slacken the sails. Me I was excited never the less I ran up and down with the others and did what I was told to do. Next morning all was quieter again and still a long way from our destination. Finally, we arrived there. We loaded potatoes, onions, flour, rice and sugar and sailed again for the homeport which was elCalpo. We arrived home three days later and quickly started to unload the cargo on the wharf. When the unloading was finished, we cleaned the hull and started to put into place wine casks ready to fill them with wine. The unloading took about four days. So, we up sail again destination (Napoli) Naples 250 nautical miles away. About 70 miles out to sea we became stationary (that means no wind) for three days when hell let loose which pushed back where we started from. We remained in port for three weeks sheltered from bad weather once again. We sailed again. This time we reached within fifty nautical miles off our destination when bad weather made us run for shelter again. This time we went to a port called Salerno, which is in the mainland of Italy, about 40 miles from Naples, as the crow flies, but by sea it is around 70 nautical miles. We remained in port for three weeks sheltered from bad weather. Once again, we up sail for our destination. When we reached the isle of Capri at the mouth of the gulf of Napoli we once again were pushed back. This time near our goal port called Sorrento in the gulf of Napoli about forty miles from our destination. After one week in port we went around the corner so to speak. Finally, we arrived in Napoli three hours later. Quickly we unloaded the wine and reloaded some general cargo and sailed again for home. This was two months later, bear in mind that we had no radio or any other means of communication, only the P.O. (just imagine the worry caused back home). So once again we up sails for home with a variable wind which it strengthened through the night. We arrived home the next day; we unloaded the ship and went on dry dock for the winter. For the next three months we worked on her on and off to get her ready for next spring. After the winter was over, we returned the ship to the water and started sailing again all over the Mediterranean waters, (taking us from elcalfa to Genova, Livorno, Reggio, Napoli, Tarronto, Messina, Palermo, Trapani). After three years of sailing each time we returned to port to unload and re load. One day the skipper called me in his cabin and said "Domenico, I have seen you grow from a fifteen-year-old to a weather-beaten man. I am getting old for this career. I like you to replace me as a skipper of this ship,” (I was astounded, me nineteen years old skipper), “so I like you to go to the harbourmaster to pass the exam to get the ticket, so you can command this ship. Be an advantage that in my spare time I study navigation. We were coming back from Taormina, which is near Messina. So, I got off at Messina and approached the harbour master. He told me that I was lucky that the examination was the next day and said that it lasted three days, that included one day of patrol seamanship. So, I went back on board and told my cousin the news. He said, “No worries, we go on, and you stay for the exam”. So, he gave me fifty lira and I remained there. The next day at nine o' clock I presented myself to the harbour master and started the examination. After four days they told me that I had passed the exam, “Tomorrow you will be doing the practical work on board”. We went, and I was introduced to the commander of the ship. He had the rank of commander of the Italian navy. He looked me up and down and called a lieutenant to show me my cabin below. When we were out of earshot, the lieutenant said, Do not worry about the old man. His bark is worse than his bite.” When we returned up on deck the commander called me aside and asked me if I had any relations at Stazzo. I said, “Yes my uncle lives there.” “I recognized the name of your people.” After a lot of ear bashing, he told me to begin the exam. He got the crew together and told them to obey my orders. He turned to me and said take her out, so I started to give the necessary instructions to take the ship out to sea. We went out of the port and I noticed that the current was against us, so I said to the captain, “What do we do now?” and he answered, “Not we. What will you do in a case like this.” I said, “The return to the wharf, and wait for six hours and then try again.” and he said, “Congratulations captain you have passed your exam”. By the way, The current in the strait of Messina ran at about 15 nautical knots— That is why I gave the order to return to port. The time was nearly one o' clock in the afternoon, so I went to the station and boarded the train for Milano. So that next morning boarded the steamer for home, from which I arrived 12 noon. The sailing ship was already there unloading the cargo. I boarded her, and everybody was asking how did I get go at the exams. I responded “O.K.”. I went below and got changed and went back on deck. The old man was doing his bookwork when I went down to his cabin. He lifted his head from the books and asked, “Well, how did you get on?” I gave the document to him and said, “Have a look.” He did, and his face lit up with a grin. He came over to me and put his arms around me and said, Congratulations. You did it. I knew you would”, and started to climb up on deck, stopped the men from working, and called them together and said, “Boys. Here is your new skipper, I got too old for this sort of life. So, I am given the command to Domenico as from now.” “Not so fast.” I said. “You maybe too old, I want you to do one or two trips with me and show me the ropes. He agreed to come with us on one more trip, on one condition that I completely take over and did not ask advice. I agreed.

The crew was happy too and we worked very fast to unload and load with wine, destination Palermo. We sailed. 2 weeks later we arrived back after a very good trip. The weather was good to us. This was June, in the middle of summer. I sailed her for eighteen months, then I was called up for national service in the Italian Royal Navy. I passed all the medical examinations. This was January 1929 in the middle of winter. For the first month I was an ordinary sailor. After that time, I was called in the commanding officer’s cabin where he already had all my documents ready in front of him. I was standing at attention cap in hand and where to my surprise told me to sit down. I cannot promote you but did the next best thing, I want you in my watch, so you can guide my ship and I worked out the course. “How’s that sound to you”. I was astounded so I said, “That sounds alright, thank-you sir”. I went in the sailor’s quarters to arrange my hammock. l was on the top now, so we went to tea. After tea, some of us went to do our washing. By this time was pitch dark and cold so I decided to go to be. So, I got undressed and climbed in the hammock, next found I was sprawling on the deck of the dormitory and everybody around me was laughing to kill themselves. You see some nice boy or boys unlatched my hammock. (there are some other pranks written, but I cannot make it all out). Six months I put up with that sort of treatment as an ordinary seaman. Then the old man promoted me to an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer). That was as far as I could get. For a conscript the first 12 months were spent near-Taronto fitting the ship with a sonar so we could detect mines under the water. When that got completed, we got orders to proceed to Sepzia jn the Genova Gulf. So, one morning we up anchor and started the voyage, about 600 miles away. We went through the strait of Messina. 2 days later we were in the open sea. We copped a storm with waves up to 18 feet high. Just imagine a mine sweep in bad storm like that. It was becoming like a cork; one second was under water, the next was up in the air. The ship was capable of making 25 knots. We were lucky to make headway. The storm lasted 3 days in that time very little of the 400 men running of the ship. By thjs time we nearly ran out of diesel, so we called in to Livorno, naval base for refuelling. We remained in port for a few days so we could repair the little damage the storm had caused. The captain suffered with severe sea sickness and during the storm he was in bed in his cabin first off the bridge. Finally, we arrived in Spezia and we all had two days of shore leave. After six months in Spezia, we got orders to go back to Taronto and that is the end of my Navy career. In returning to Malfa 26 months later and jt was time to leave for Australia. In Essendon, I got a job in my brother’s fruit shop for two dollars a week. About 12 months later one boxing day I met the most lovely girl that I had seen in my life. 65 years later I had been asked to write this story.


This is all very recent information to me, and since the Australian families are a little strange to our American branch, I should put This Dominic Cafarella in context.

 Our grandparents
Gaetano Cafarella and Giovanna Vasquez lived in Capofaro, just to the east of Malfa.

They had a number of children, but here we are concerned most with our direct ancestor Giuseppe Cafarella who married Rosa Cusolito.  His brother was Francesco who married Maria Francesca.

Giuseppe and Rosa were the parents of the five brothers in Malden Massachusetts, Gaetano, Bartolo, Antonio, Francesco, Joseph and John and the one sister Josephine.
Francesco had Dominic, among others, who married Catherine Elizabeth, known as Kitty.

That means that this Dominic was the first cousin of the Malden brothers and sister.
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


The genealogical tree of my race can reach the upper limit of knowledge in the early decades of the last century, when nine children came to light from Giovanna Vasquez of Spanish origin and Gaetano cafarella. This parent, who was born and raised in the Aeolian Islands, namely in Salina, and who has been the owner of a farmer's craft and boat for transport of grapes from the islands to Mesina and Riposto. Born in June 1810 and died in 1881. These dates are very approximate, since my father, born in 1880, around the age of about one year, was led to be seen by his grandfather, and then his health conditions were very prejudicial to life. In fact, shortly afterwards he died. he was paralyzed for many years, since the age of half. My grandfather was the fourth of nine children and named Domenico in honor of his uncle, his father's brother, named Dominic, who, having embarked on an ecclesiastical career, had become a priest.
 
The male sons of Gaetano's age spent the infancy and adolescence, who became young, emigrated, who in Australia, and who in America settled his son Domenico, except miraculously unharmed from the 3rd War of Independence, he enlisted in the Corpo della Finanza and was assigned as a service center, Stazzo, in dependence on the Custody Hold.  Here he contracted good friendship with a colleague, who gets engaged to a young lady of the vicinity and that earlier groom. My grandfather was head of the estate. From the marriage union, a child was born, to whom the name of Mary Carolina was given and that at baptism, my grandfather was a godfather. So, my grandfather became colleague and godfather. The infant, the eighth month of life, dies, and, the cruel strangeness of fate, death was preceded or followed, I would not know, from that of his father who had been ill for several months.

The young widow, after about a year, step-again marriage to my grandfather.
 
From this marriage, eight living children came to life and lived until late. To these are added other, finished at birth or incubation. Here are the names of the survivors in the order of birth; Giovanna- Giuseppa- Gaetano (my father) - Giuseppe (Peppi) - Francesco- Salvatore- Domenico-Antonino.

Giovanna (Giovannina) for birth range to Giuseppa, at the behestof the husband (my grandfather), was given in a very youngage, still an infant, his grandmother already widow.

She was then led to the island of Salina, where Malfa's small center she grew up under the grandmother's affective care to which she placed her love ties more than a niece but as a daughter, so that she did not want to recognize her natural origin. In addition, there is a need to recognize the setting, from which she no longer intended to detach herself. Having become adolescent, parents wanted to return to the family in Stazzo. In fact, my father (my grandfather) goes to the island, and in spite of the girl's revulsion, now Miss, he returned to Stazzo. Here she was picked up by sadness, melancholy, relentless nostalgia. Grandparents, realizing that her daughter could suffer any nervous and cerebral dystonia, recognized the need to bring her back to her grandmother's island.
 
At the age appropriate to marriage, she was married to a cousin who led her to live in the United States. He had four daughters, but later had the misfortune of having had her husband murdered by strangers, while in a bad winter evening, was alone in his general food store in Maldem, provincial in Boston.

Her daughter, Giuseppa, the only girl left in the house, was a helpful aid to her mother in the raising of five brothers, except for my father, because she was too small then.

A bridal step to a shoemaker-cobbler, with whom she had seven children, quail, four females and three males.

She lived for the rest of her life at Scillichenti, where she died at age 89.
 
My father was born on August 5, 1880. (The broad biography, on the third carpetta on page 35, and on the fifth carpetta on page 38, on the explanatory pages taken from the voice recordings.)
 
Fourth son was Joseph (Uncle Peppi) who, as a child, helped his father in the fishing activity, when the latter was put on leave by the Corpo della Finanza, exercising the fishing.

Joseph, when he was grown, he enlisted voluntarily in 'Marina'. He led the whole career, reaching the rank of major marshal. He retired in 1934. In 1941, on February 2, when he was at home on leave, having been called to serve for the state of War and headquartered in Melilla (Augusta), suddenly and fulminantly collapsed for cardio-circulatory collapse
 
Fifth, Francesco (Uncle Ciccio). Young man learned the shoemaker-cobbler craft that he exercised throughout his life. It was in America, but for a while. Marrying a woman from Macchia (Giarre) who died with a tumor in her throat, very young, leaving an only daughter.
 
This german made a horrible end. In 1946, he became ill of a disease that slowly wound his body, covering it with sores, until it was extinct. The reason: see 2 ^ carp. On pag. 10.
 
The sixth and seventh of the children were; Salvatore and Domenico. Both exercised the trade of fishermen; Unfortunately, the working life was difficult and a bit tricky. The first closed life in Australia and specifically in Melbourne, where he had been called by his children. The second, closed it in Stazzo, lovingly cared for and assisted by his son.

Both took life long. The first 98 years; the second, 96
 
Last, Antonino. His life was very moving. He was more than once in america. At his definitive return, a tiny industry for producing lemon derivatives was opened. The activity, for so many years. Unfortunately, he undertook a major logistical attempt to overturn the situation and went into disarray, losing what he had acquired.
 
.... supported by a son who, in a military career in Livorno, induced parents and sisters to leave the village of Stazzo and to make definitive settlements in that central city of Central Italy.

..... closed his troubled existence at the age of 87 in 1982.

.... name was seen, worthy of heirs of a stipe longeva, with the exception of two sons; ..... their end, touch the 90-year limit and pass, just like the parents: 91 the father; 89 the mother.

.... the family tree, rotten the roots, dried up the stem, sending it down

.... his leaves.

 

 

 

 

L' Mio nonno fu da teste nel patrimonio. Dall'unione e coniugale, nacque una bambina, a cui fu posto il nome di Maria Carolina e che, al battesimo, mio nonno fu da padrino. Cosi, divenne mio nonno, collega e compare.  La infante, all'ottavo mese di vita, muore, e, stranezza crudele del destino, la morte fu preceduta o seguita, non saprei, da quella del padre, che parecchi mesi, si era ammalato.

La giovanissima vedovella, dopo circa un anno, passo a nuovo matrimonio con mio nonno.

 
Da questo matrimonio, vennero alla luce otto figli viventi e vissuti fino a tarda eta. A questi si aggiungono altri, finiti al nascere o in incubazione.   Ecco i nomi dei sopravissuti in ordine di nascita; Giovanna- Giuseppa- Gaetano (mio padre)- Giuseppe (Peppi)- Francesco- Salvatore- Domenico- Antonino.

Giovanna (Giovannina) per nascita ravvicinata alla Giuseppa, per volere del marito (mio nonno), fu data in tenerissima eta, ancora infante, alla nonna gia vedova.

Quindi fu condotta nell'isola di Salina, dove nel piccolo centro di Malfa fu cresciuta sotto le cure affettive della nonna a cui pose i suoi legami di amore piu che da niptote ma da figlia, tanto da non voler riconoscere piu la naturale sua origine. Inoltre c'e da riconoscere l'ambientamento, dal quale non intendeva piu distacacarsi.  Divenuta adoloscente, i genitori desideravano riaverla in famiglia, a Stazzo. Infatti il padre (mio nonno) si reco nell'isola, e malgrado la ripulsa della ragazza, ormai signorina, fece ritorno a Stazzo. Qui fu colta da tristezza, da malinconia,da implacabile nostalgia. I nonni, riscoscendo che la figlia potesse subire eventuale distonia nervosa e cerebrale, riconobbero la necessita di ricondurla nell'isola presso la nonna.

 
All’eta adeguate al matrimonio, fu data sposa ad un cugino che la condusse a vivere negli Stati Uniti. Ebbe quattro figlie, ma ebbe poi la sventura di avere avuto assassinato il marito da sconosciuti, mentre in una brutta serata i’inverno, era solo nel suo negozio di generi alimentary a Maldem, in provincial di Boston.

La figlia Giuseppa, unica di sesso femminile rimasta in casa, fu di valido aiuto per la mamma nella crescita di cinque fratelli, ad eccezione di mio padre, poiche troppo piccola.

Passo sposa ad un calzolaio—ciabattino, col quale ebbe sette figli, dei quail, quattro femmine e tre maschi.

Visse per ilresto della vita a Scillichenti, ove mori a 89 anni.

 
Mio padre nacque il 5 Agosto 1880. (La biografia abbasanza vasta, su terza carpetta a pag.35, e su quinte carpetta con inizio a pag. 38, sulle pagine esplicative tratte dale registrazioni di viva voce.)

 
Quarto figlio fu Giuseppe (zio Peppi) che da fanciullo aiuto il padre nell’attivita peschereccia, allorche quest’ultimo, posto in congedo dal Corpo della Finanza, esercito la pesca.

Giuseppe, divenuto adulto, si arruolo volontario in ‘marina’. Condusse per intera la carriera, raggiungendo il grado di maresciallo maggiore. Si pension nel 1934. Nel 1941, il 2 febraio, trovandosi a casa in permesso, essendo stato richiamato in servizio per lo stato di Guerra e con sede Melilli (Augusta), mori improvvisamente e fulmineamente per collasso cardio-circolatorio.

 
Il quinto, Francesco (zio Ciccio). Giovanetto apprese il mestiere di ciabattino-calzolaio che esercito per tutta la vita. Fu in America, ma per breventempo. Sposo una donna da Macchia (Giarre) che mori con un tumour alla gola, molto giovane, lasciando un’unica figlia.

Questo germane fece orrenda fine. Nel 1946 si ammalo di un male che lentamente contorse il suo corpo, coprendolo di piaghe, finche si spense. La cagione: vedi 2^ carp. A pag. 10.

 
Il sesto e il settimo dei figli, furono; Salvatore e Domenico.  Ambedue esercitarono il mestiere di pescatori; Purtroppo, la vita lavorativa, fu difficoltosa e un po grama.  Il primo chiuse la vita in Australia e precisamente a Melbourne, ove era stato chiamato dai figli.  Il secondo, la chiuse a Stazzo, amorevolmente curato e assistito dal figlio.

Ambedue condussero vita longeval. Il primo 98 anni; il secondo, sui 96

 
Ultimo, Antonino.  La sua vita fu molto movimentata. Fu piu di una volta in america.  Al suo ritorno definitiv'apri una minuscola industria per produzione di derivati di limoni. L'attivita, per tanti anni. Purtroppo, intrapreso un grosso tentativo commercialistico, per capovolgimento di situatzione, ando in dissesto, perdendo cio che faticosamente aveva acquisitato.

 
.... sorretto da un figlio, che, in carriera militare a livorno, indusse genitori e sorelle a lasciare il paesino di Stazzo e prendere definitiva stabilita in quel centro cittadino dell'Italia Centrale.

..... chiuse la sua travagliata esisteanza all'eta di 87 anni, nel 1982.

....nome si e visto, degni eredi di una stipe longeva, ad eccezione di due figli; ..... loro fine, tocco il limite dei 90 anni e passa, cosi come i genitori: 91 il padre; 89 la madre.

.... l'albero genealogico, marcite le radici, disseccato il fusto, mando giu

.... le sua foglie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Who the Hell Are We Anyway

I was talking to one of our cousins today about family...seems that is all I ever talk about...family with family.  There are worse fates I suppose. Her question to me was what do we say when we are asked who we are ethnically?

Our part of the Mediterranean, actually the Tyrrhenian sea in our case, was a crossroads for every invading culture in the old world.  We have an amazingly diverse genetic pool and it is getting worse as we expand out into the world.  I am not certain that there is a single answer for this question.

  Many of our people have Sicilian roots.. Sicily is remarkably similar to the islands in its diversity and is not a real genetically related group. You will find a genetically different person every fifty feet in Sicily.  If you wanted to say what our ethnicity is, it would include Greek, Sicels, Latins, Arabs, Jews, Vikings, French, Spanish, Phoenecian and you name it.

However, if you needed to choose a name for our islands' sources, you might look at the depopulation of the islands in the 1500s. Red-beard the Turkish pirate laid siege to Lipari and most of the people of the islands were sold into slavery.  A few returned after being ransomed.  These were the old mixed early population. Many of the rest of the people were brought to the islands from Calabria, which is visible from the islands.  Obviously this was close enough to have old connections with the islands' population anyway. (This is about the time the Cafarellas arrived.  Whether we are Calabrian or from farther north...Sorry...don't know yet. But there were Cafarellas in and around Caserta north of Naples at this time, and some of the related names like Colonna suggest more northern connections.) This was not the first depopulation either.  The earliest populations of the islands may not even exist anymore.

The Calabrians are also a mix, but somewhat less diverse, more Latin who were native to the peninsula, Greek  in the form of the descendants of early colonists from mainland Greece and  Spanish who came along with the Spanish rulers based in Naples.

There were a couple more waves of immigrants to the islands over the next centuries, but by far, you could say we are predominantly ethnically or culturally Calabrians, while we linguistically used a more Sicilian dialect as we were governed from Messina and traded heavily with mainland Sicily for a very long time.  Dance, music and other cultural characteristics are closely related to Sicily, but again, economic and political ties can have a powerful influence and Calabrian culture is somewhat similar in some things.

In my immediate family, we have:

 Vasquez..Spanish, possibly Jews run out of Spain after the Christian re-conquest or possibly diplomats or settlers from Spain.

 Lazzaro..Jewish. I have DNA results that say both Ashkenazi and Sepharic Jews in the family.

 Cafarella..Arabic mixed with Italian with contacts in central and northern central Italy. Possibly Rome, Lazio and Campagna.  Malfa(My Grandparents' village) is remarkably similar to Amalfi.(The city state south of Naples)

 Cincotta.. Probably very old Greek and Italian and some even say they were Spanish.  They also note the fact that CINQUE or CINCO and OTTO or 58 makes up the name.

Whatever we are, it is not simple. 

You may say Sicilian because the islands are governed from there...but each individual would have to examine his own roots to really confirm that designation. 

I think that Calabrian (Calabrese) is a better description of most of us and I like that it sounds more exotic. 

Some of us in America just say we are Sicilian because of the glamour associated with the designation...perhaps we like that people believe we are all related to Mafia and the Godfather series and can wipe you out with a phone call...I think it is a testosterone thing!

The funny thing is that Sicilians can only say that they are Sicilian by geographic designation, just as we in the USA can only say that we are American by Geographic luck.
Australians too I guess.

I have mentioned Jewish ancestry a couple of times, so this might be a good place to discuss this.

Jewishness is a hotly debated designation.  You can be called Jewish without a single middle eastern gene but have a sort of religious designation.  There are also a number of theories as to where Jews came from.  Needless to say, the 19th and 20th century origins of some of these theories may be well grounded in the Nazi movements and motivations. Those are debates that will have to continue till everyone is satisfied as to the history of the Jewish people and is not my problem.

 As to who we are, well, I have had some indication that I have both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish roots.
Great Synagogue of Rome.jpg 
New ideas seem to indicate that these two groups may have come from the same European origin.  Rome was one of the largest populations of Jews in the dark and Middle ages.  As the Christians were not allowed to engage in money matters, such as loaning of money at interest, European kings invited the Jews of Rome to form communities in the rest of Europe.  Many Jews of central Europe eventually ended up concentrated in Germany and the east.  There, they formed their own somewhat different culture and language from the western Jewish populations.  These Eastern Ashkenazi Jews spoke Yiddish and had unique pronunciation of Hebrew and variations in customs of their own.

The Jews who stayed in the west, particularly in Spain had their own cultural group which perpetuated through various governing rules in the country in a very friendly manner, till the inquisition of the Christian rulers finally drove them out. These were the Sephardic Jews.

Now the Ashkenazi in many but not all cases may not even qualify as Jews as all.  It seems that genetics tells us that many of the early Jews who settled in the central and eastern areas married local pagans or Christians and whether they converted or not, do not actually qualify in the minds of Rabbis in Israel as eligible to claim return to Israel...that is if they actually find out. 

Do not quote me, as I am relying on fairly new information, and this is still up for debate.  Meanwhile, If you are interested, you should explore this topic for yourselves.  It is a very interesting topic, and by contacting me directly, you may help me clarify and correct all this in time.
Image result for tiber island rome

Jennie Cincotta Collins Obituary

Jennie M. (Cincotta) Collins
                                                                                   
 

COLLINS, Jennie M. (Cincotta) Of North Reading, formerly of Everett, March 7, 2009, age 79. Beloved wife of 49 years to John P. Collins, Sr. Loving father of Jacqueline M. Collins and her companion Bob King of Reading; John P., Jr. of North Reading; Joseph P. and his wife Dianne of Georgetown; Elizabeth M. Donaldson and her husband Jeffrey and Maryann Murray and her husband Michael, all of North Reading. Sister of Bernie Correlle and his wife Betty of Kissimmee, FL; Anerio Cincotta and his wife Marilyn of Stoneham and Richard Correlle of Haverhill. Sister of the late Paul, Anthony, Lucian and Rose Correlle and Mary Grecco. Grandmother of Jennifer, Jacob and Katelyn Donaldson, James King, Joseph, David and Ana Collins, Maxwell, Mason and Marshall Murray. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Funeral from the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., NORTH READING on Thursday, March 12, at 9 AM, followed by a 10:30 AM Funeral Mass at St. Theresa's Church, 63 Winter St. (Rt.62), North Reading. Calling hours will be on Wednesday from 4 to 8 PM. Burial will be in Forest Glen Cemetery, Reading.

Grave Finder, and Jennie Cincotta Collins

I just noticed this site in a random search.  It is my cousin Jennie Cincotta Collins.  I just thought it might be a good tool for someone doing searches.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39054354/jennie-m.-collins

Sunday, November 18, 2018

My own DNA

I should have posted information on my DNA tests earlier.  I guess that I have found so much stuff there and I am not terribly tech savvy.  I do not know how or what I want to upload.  So, I just sent the raw data to a distant cousin in Australia so they can upload it to another genealogy site.  I guess his response to me is what people really want to see, so I will just post that for the moment.  So here it is. from my cousin's husband Patrick van der Hoeven:

Your ethnicity report came up on the mobile phone app this afternoon.  Interestingly it says still not ready on the computer website.  Also it may be a few more days before they get the matches listed.
 
However on the mobile app, you are 57.5% Italian, 12.9% Iberian and 24.9% Irish/Scottish/Welsh. Finally, you are 4.7% Jewish.
 
No real surprises there. 
 
I was expecting a larger percentage of  British Isles as no one ever said that my grandfather Mitchell had any Italian in him...but who knows as there is no info on him prior to 1873.

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe35%

Italy27%
Sicily
France18%

Ireland & Scotland15%

Germanic Europe5%

Here is the estimate of ethnicity from Ancestry DNA

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Obituary Anerio Cincotta

Anerio Frederick Cincotta


February 21, 1933 - November 09, 2018
North Andover and formerly of Malden and Melrose - Anerio "Fred" Cincotta, 85, a longtime resident of North Andover and previously from Malden and Melrose, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on Friday, November 09, 2018.

Born in Revere, to the late Jacob and Rose (Cafarella) Cincotta, Fred was raised and educated in Malden, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Malden High School and Bentley University. As a member of the United States Air Force he proudly served his country and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.
He retired from Raytheon, Andover, and previously owned and operated Mr. Anerio's Hair Salon in Malden. He enjoyed photography, woodcarving, playing the accordion, poetry and story writing, and spending time over the years with his many beloved dogs.

Fred was predeceased by his loving wife, Margaret (Eagan) Cincotta to whom he was married for 35 years.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Florence (Smith) Cincotta; his two loving daughters, Margaret Cincotta and spouse Laura of Athol and Catherine Cincotta of Billerica; stepdaughters, Laura Sullivan (Robert), Lisa Robinson (Frank), Linda McInnis (James); and predeceased by step-son Lawrence J. Smith. Anerio cherished the time spent with his grandchildren, Alex, Joel, Jillian and husband Austin, Francis, Alexandria, Courtney, James, Nicholas, Kaitlyn, and Linda.

He also leaves his loving sister Jennie DeFina of Waltham with whom he shared a very special bond and friendship; and many nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff at Baldwinville Nursing Center for the kindness and care extended to Anerio and the family.