GenTraveling in Italy

pastacurtains.jpgHow do you like these pasta curtains? Clever huh? I took this photo last year as we walked through a cute village in Portovenere, Italy.  And speaking of Italy, I recently read a fantastic article about gentraveling in Italy at this website HERE.  You know I’m a sucker for a really good GenTraveling story! The author explains how he was visiting Italy, planning to do some family history.  As he drove into a village, he turned onto a residential street “the width of a shopping cart” and there was a truck blocking the road (which I could totally picture after visiting last year)!  Since he was basically stuck, he got out and yelled to the man unloading the truck, “Excuse me, do you speak English”….

***Please just go read the article because basically the author asks himself “Did I really just drive into the Alps, yell to a guy on the street, and find that we’re related?”!

Author Matt Crossman also gives readers some really good tips about GenTraveling:

Tip 1: There are tons of resources and experts to help you find your relatives

Tip 2: Family stories may be flawed, but you should collect as many as possible

Tip 3: Take your research with you

Tip 4: Be open, trusting, and prepared for the unexpected

Tip 5: Hire a local researcher if you don’t trust your own blind luck

Tip 6: They’re your relatives, and they’re gone. At some point, your heart will break.

Tip 7: You’re related to more people than you realize, so ask and ask and ask

Tip 8: Every answer leads to more questions. It’s a blast.

Again, go read the article for more details on these 8 tips. And I agree!  GenTraveling is A BLAST!  I get so excited to read other people’s experiences.  It’s THE REAL DEAL THRILL!


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!



GenTraveling – Cemetery Research in Italy


Hello GenTravelers!

Cemeteries should be on everyone’s ‘To-Visit’ list when GenTraveling.  However, cemeteries in Italy are quite different than what we’re used to in the United States.

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’ll want to read “Cemetery Research in Italy” by June C. Delalio CG, in the Jan-Mar 2011 NGS Magazine. June points out the following interesting facts about Italian cemeteries:

“People are not buried forever in Italy. Graves are rented for a period of from ten to fifty years. Payment is made to the town and when the time is up, if there is no one willing to renew the payment for the grave, the bones are taken from the crypt and put in an ossuary, or common grave”

Before the end of the eighteenth century, Italians were simply buried almost anywhere. It was only after Napoleon’s invasion of Italy that cemeteries were built, since Napoleon was worried about another plague and ordered cemeteries to be built outside city limits.

“When the cemeteries were built in the nineteenth century, they generally were a formal design with square blocks and straight streets. There were vaulted galleries on the outside walls with wall plaques sealing in the coffins.”

The articles goes on to explain where to go to find cemetery records, and points out that there typically isn’t very much useful genealogical information on the records. But the great thing is, most of the markers have a photo of the deceased! The author gives further tips you’ll want to know before you go.


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!



GenTraveling Friday Finds


Hello! I have some Fabulous Friday Finds to share with you!

All over the internet, there are articles about places where you might want to GenTravel to! Each Friday I hope to share links to some of those articles.  There might be one link, or if my time management skills are stellar that week, and I have time to hunt for more, I’ll link to more than just one. :o)

Here are this week’s:

LegacyTree Genealogists is a professional genealogy research company. They have a blog that occasionally features onsite research information.  If you’re interested in traveling to the following locations, you might want to check out these links.  (Gentle warning: Since they are a professional research company, there may be slight suggestions aimed at getting you to hire them to do your research…just wanted to give you a heads up :o)

Czech Republic

Adelaide, South Australia


Teggiano, Italy



Have a great weekend! Best wishes for finding those ancestors.  Are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!

GenTraveling – Italian roots in New Orleans


Hello GenTravelers!

I have to admit, when I think of New Orleans,  Italian immigration doesn’t typically come to mind. That’s why I was interested to learn about the large number of Italian-born residents that were enumerated on the 1910 federal census.  The number of Italian-born residents in New Orleans increased from 1,995 to 8,066 between 1880 and 1910! Between 1820 and 1860, the port of New Orleans was the second largest port of immigration in the country, so if you have Italian ancestry and know they came via Louisiana, you may want to plan a trip to New Orleans.

In the October 2012 issue of NGS Magazine, you’ll find an excellent article to consult called “The Sicilians of south Louisiana” by Beth A. Stahr, CG.

Beth writes that, “Pride in Italian heritage continues to be strong, as evidenced by the recent renovation of and re-naming of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation Museum to the American Italian Culture Center. The library and research collection was relocated to the Jefferson Parish Library’s East Bank Regional Special Collections Department during the transformation, and is now open to genealogists.”  Be sure to put that library on your GenTravel Bucket List!

Beth’s other recommendations for anyone planning a trip to Louisiana to research their Italian heritage:

  • University of New Orleans, Earl K. Long Library Louisiana and Special Collections
  • Tulane University, Howard-Tilton Library Special Collections
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection, Williams Research Center
  • The New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana Division/City Archives
  • Southeastern Louisiana University Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies
  • Louisiana State University Hill Memorial Library Special Collections

Beth continues, “Genealogists who are researching Italian families in Louisiana can expect to find family members traversing between New Orleans and outlying parishes as work was available and as their fortunes increased. Traditional genealogical records like the federal census, vital records, and church records should be checked first, with the understanding that the family may have lived in multiple civil parishes.”

Good luck finding your ancestors!


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!