Find Your Italian Heritage
Part 2 / Your Cultural Heritage ~Taking the First Steps
I didn’t know about organizations such as the Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society when I began my search … and that’s a shame because they could have saved me a lot of wasted time and effort pouring through old phone registers and documents to find traces of my grandfather or his brother living in Columbus in the early 1900’s.
A good historical society or certified genealogist can be crucial in helping you organize your thoughts and pinpoint exactly what your goals are in tracking your Italian heritage. I personally received sound advice that I utilized, and that was taking the time to talk to elderly family members still living ~ as it turned out, their thoughts and ideas in recounting family folklore was the decisive tool I needed along the way to achieving my goals. Another great tip I received … talk to your family members and locate any old family photos or letters that may be hiding in attics or dilapidated albums … these can help give you a visual sense of your goals! There are only three photographs of my grandfather Sebastiano which I’m aware of, but they chronicle a portion of his life from around age 11, age 17, and age 30. I look at these photographs all the time trying to put myself into my grandfather’s shoes ~ wondering what he was thinking at the time each photo was taken.
I still have a long way to go, but educating myself about my cultural heritage goals and consulting with others to get their feedback, now has my search centered in the 1700’s in old Sicily … and that’s something I never dreamed of when I began my quest! Buon Fortuna!
Top photo: La Famiglia Cuccia, circa 1908. Back row standing from L to R: grandfather Sebastiano, and uncles Nicola` and Pietro. Front row standing and sitting: uncle Salvatore, my great-grandparents Antonina Greco and Antonino Cuccia, and aunt Gioacchina with her children (names unknown)
Bottom photo: The Cuccia family, September 2016. That’s me, grinning in the center of the photo as the family helps me celebrate my 60th birthday. Noi viviamo! We live!