This man is my great-grandfather. His name was Ignazio Stagno and this isn’t the only photo I have of him but it is my favourite. Most people are lucky enough to have old photos, but this one is one of my most treasured because it shows off the eyes that many people in my family have inherited. (Including myself) The slight slant in the corner, the very oval shape with heavy-liddedness that does not help when someone has the flash on. I know very little of Ignazio, except the following facts:
Born: 8 JUN 1893
Place of Birth: Galati, Messina, Sicily
Father: Giuseppe Stagno (a foundling)
Mother: Olivia Spavara
Wife: Margherita Musarella
I am certain that he worked long hours as a fisherman, and probably loved Giardini once he moved there with his family. He died on the 12th of August 1943 and is buried in the Giardini-Naxos Cemetery.
I must admit that my curiosity for Ignazio’s life is not as strong as my desire to know about the life of his father Giuseppe. When I discovered through records that he was a foundling, dropped off at a church as a baby, never to grow up knowing who his parents were, I was both disappointed and excited. It meant that my search for the Stagno line was almost certainly over. There is no mention of the names of his true parents so it is now impossible to find out any further information about our ancestors in this line. But exciting because we have a foundling in the family! Now that is scandalous and the kind of information you love to discover when doing research. I’ll talk more about my discovery of Giuseppe Stagno’s life at a later date I’m sure. Back to Ignazio..
What kind of father was Giuseppe to Ignazio and his other children? If he was adopted into another family perhaps it would have been similar to anybody else’s life at that time. Giuseppe must have done well enough for himself, to have married a girl, and had children who went on to also marry and have children and a life in Giardini. I wish this picture could tell me more about his life. It’s not very descriptive. But his eyes tell me he had many things to tell and I wish I could go back in time to hear them.