Announcing My New Book, ‘The Sulfaro Family’

'The Sulfaro Family: How five generations of Sicilians survived through epidemics, wars, and immigration' is now  available for purchase on Amazon. The story of the Sulfaro family starts in the coastal area of the Province of Messina, Sicily where multiple generations...

Retracing Paolo Sulfaro’s Footsteps in Bramwell, West Virginia

Over the past year I have been writing a book about the Sulfaro family. A large section is dedicated to Paolo Sulfaro, my great-grandfather, who traveled back-and-forth between Sicily and West Virginia to work in the coal mines before his death in WW1. I have pieced...

National Archives Alien Case File: Teresa Sterrantino nèe Sulfaro

Today I visited the National Archives in Kansas City where I viewed the original alien case file documents for my great-great aunt, Teresa Sterrantino nèe Sulfaro. When it comes to genealogical research only meeting the relative in person comes as close to the...

How to Uncover Online Sicilian Catholic Church Death Records

It's been 6 years since I started resurfacing the lives of my ancestors, and I still  struggle most with my paternal side. My paternal grandfather was born in a small Sicilian town called Chiaramonte Gulfi. You can read a little bit more about the town in my previous...

Italian Privacy Laws: Restriction of Records Hindering Research

My journey with genealogical research has always come in short bursts. The research is enjoyable but more time consuming than Facebook. I started my research when I was a student, and not a busy full-time marketer working 40 hours a week. So these days if I'm going to...

Why Evidence and Analysis are Essential to Genealogy Research

After years of genealogical research you will quickly realize that discovery is entirely based on evidence and analysis. Assumptions are the devil of research. If you think you've got it all then you are willingly admitting to ignorance. I learn this lesson over and...

Motivation Monday: Tips on building your family tree without using ancestry websites

In the beginning the tree is incredibly easy to climb, and the information almost seems to fall from the sky into your hands. But as you climb further, the distance between the branches grows, the leaves begin to thicken, and suddenly it's difficult to assess the best...

Travel Tuesday: Australian Immigrant Passenger Lists

Ellis Island's website has become a wonderful and famous resource for finding your immigrant wannabe American ancestors. Not only can you find out what country your family originated from, but you are also able to learn intimate details about your ancestor's hair...

Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow: The Forgotten Confederate Civil War Soldier

Since my last post I have been quite busy going through the requirements to get my certification from BCG. I finally completed the client report, which took almost 2 months, and have now progressed onto compiling a three-generation narrative genealogy. I love...

Military Monday: Translating Italian Military Documents (Liste Di Leva & Liste d’Estrazione)

Every day is a learning curve when it comes to genealogy. Today I was lucky enough to receive a document from the Archivo Di Stato Di Catania. I wrote to them on March 8th so I only waited 17 days for a reply, which I think is a great turnaround. This document was the...
The Highs and Lows of Genealogy

The Highs and Lows of Genealogy

It's so easy to get swept away by genealogy research in the beginning. Everything is new, and usually the success of finding your relatives is high. The records are fairly recent, after all, and you can't believe how easy researching your family is. Why would anybody...

Travel Tuesday: Taormina

Travel Tuesday: Taormina

After a short break, I am back to share some photos and my experience from my visit to Taormina, perhaps the most perfect little town in Italy. Taormina is located on the top of a hill that overlooks Giardini-Naxos. My family and I took a short bus ride that somehow...