POINTers IN PERSON Minutes
Chapter # 10 Central Texas/Austin
Sherry PACELLI Haddox (4883)
Lin ONOFRIO Brinkman (#1388) opened the monthly meeting of POINTers in Person on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 with 19
people in attendance, including one guest, Barbara Farnie Priest. Her family name was changed from TRAINA to FARNIE in
the early 1900's. Barbara has decided to join our group. She is researching the following names, all from Sicily:
TRAINA and GRASSEDONIO from PRIZZI; MERENDINO and QUARTANO from CAMPOFIORITA; DILIBERTO from CAMPOFIORITA OR PRIZZI; PUCCIO and PANZI(E)CA from CACCAMO; STELLA from SANTA VILLARMOSA; PICCIONE from POGGIOREALE; GERVASI from VALLELUNGA.
Joe MASTRANGELO (#2614) received his Italian passport in December. The process is now complete and Joe is officially
an Italian citizen. Joe received a notification from the Comune of PUTIGNANO acknowledging the fact that his information has been recorded in
the Comune's registers.
He is continuing to extract birth records from PUTIGNANO films and has completed the years 1809 thru 1897. He has started 1898. Currently he has approximately 3850 birth records recorded in his Access data base. He has encountered some records in the 1896 and 1897 films that he has not seen before. They recorded the registration of multiple children in a family into the civil records. It's possible they were recorded in the church records and they were bringing the civil records up to date.
Virginia (MACRI) Gerick (#2730) told the story of a small mission church in rural Bryan, Texas which was not only founded but actually built by members of a community of Italian immigrants that were cotton farming in the Brazos River bottoms in 1908. The nearest parish at the time was St. Anthony's about 12 miles away in Bryan - a difficult trip to make. But, a priest would come once a month to say mass in different homes. Ouida Scarmardo, who was 12 years old in the summer of 1908, announced that she had a dream in which a woman told her the community needed a church of its own but neither her parents nor the parish priest took her seriously until she was visited by this woman a second and a third time. As a result, six weeks later their completed church stood in the midst of the cotton fields, built by the members of that Italian community. Their first mass was celebrated in October 1908. They named the church San Salvador in honor of the patron saint of Cefalu in Sicily, hometown of some of the immigrants. Mass is still celebrated there every 1st Saturday of the month by a priest from St. Anthony's Parish in Bryan. Every year descendants of Ouida make a pilgrimage of thanksgiving to the church, continuing the tradition she started.
Jim Gerick stated that last January he mentioned that he was in the process of writing family histories of his grandparents, the V.K. Gerick Family, and his parents, the Adolph and Annie Gerick family. He was proud to report that the family histories have been published. Jim brought a bound volume of "Czech Family Histories", published by the Texas Czech Genealogical Society. The Society has undertaken to document as many Texas Czech families in Texas as possible.
Don VILLONI reported that just prior to leaving for our PIP meeting he checked his email and was surprised to find a message from a man in the Netherlands. The email letter identified a Dutch family in the 1850's and explained that a member of that family had a child out of wedlock. A current researcher for this family has discovered a DNA link to the Villoni family through the Y-chromosome line. They also emailed photographs of the family. Several years ago Don gave a DNA sample to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation while he was in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jeanie MARSALIA (#4251) mailed letters to NARA in fort Worth, Texas and College Park, Maryland requesting a statement
from them that her grandfather was never naturalized. She also sent the same request to Homeland Security (Citizenship
and Immigration Services) since she has already received a letter from that agency stating that no records were found.
Jeanie would need this statement from both agencies in order to pursue dual citizenship.
Jeanie looked in the Italian white pages for anyone with the last name of MARSAGLIA in the town of MONASTERO DI LANZO where her grandparents were born. She found one person named Giacomo MARSAGLIA and mailed a letter explaining who she is and why she wrote to him.
Laurie (GUGINO) Riester (#3878) has a Gugino cousin who just recently made her first trip to VALLEDOLMO, SICILY, the
home of their ancestors. Her cousin sent her a wonderful write-up detailing her trip, including the time she spent with
the parish priest Cosimo Leone and some of the staff of the Madre Chiesa in Valledolmo. They were most helpful in terms
of sharing records and providing details on their ancestors. As an added bonus, one of the people turned out to be a
relation, also descended from Antonio GUGINO and Fortunata PARLATO.
Laurie had another interesting "Gugino cousin" thing happen last month. She was selling some things on eBay and received an email question from a potential buyer with the last name of Parlato. Laurie's ggggrandmother's last name was Parlato. Laurie responded to the buyer, answering the question and attaching a "P.S.", asking if the buyer knew much about her family history. Laurie mentioned that her maiden name was Gugino and that her family came from Sicily and settled in Fredonia, NY. The buyer responded that she had Gugino cousins in Fredonia. Before all was said and done, there were several emails back and forth, each with new family members being added to the thread. More digging will be needed to determine exactly what the family connection is, but there most certainly is one. Laurie and her brother are planning a trip to Fredonia this summer and they hope to learn more.
Scott Patrick (#4819) has made contact with several previously unknown cousins from here in the U.S. These are
relatives of Scott from his great-grandmother's half-sister, Amalia MARONE GALGANO. The cousins Scott has corresponded
with are through daughters of Amalia and carry the surnames of FAVORINI and CONTE.
These cousins have been able to provide pieces of information even on Scott's GARAGUSI line. They confirmed that a person
known as Mack Gardner was born Ercole GARAGUSI. They also were able to fill in information on Mack's wife, who was named
Michelina GALLO. She apparently was a well known singer from the early 1900's until around 1950.
Scott has also been able to share information on the MARONE and MANZI lines from back in Italy with these cousins. There is hope of more information and possibly some pictures in the future.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM. Our next meeting is February 22, 2006 at 6:30 PM at the Round Rock Library.